While I may be a super hero by night (or not), my day job is at a bookstore. I went to work at my job specifically because I love books. There is no better way to spend a lazy Sunday than curled up with a good book and a beverage, in my humble opinion, and what better thing to do than spend my work hours surrounded by the things I love (This poetic vision on bookstore employment does fade after awhile, I can assure you).
I read as often as possible, and as you may know from the tab at the top of this blog for Fifty Books A Year, I try to read at least… well… 50 books a year. Because people know that I like to read, they often ask me if I still buy books, or if I exclusively use an e-reader now. And the answer is always, “Of course, I still buy real books!”.
I have read and enjoyed and loved many books that I have read via an e-reader (and I have them all. A nook, a kindle, and an iPad) and I find that after a few pages, I don’t even really pay attention to the medium from which I am reading, I just get engrossed in a story.
It’s not the same. It’s not the same as being able to feel the pages between your fingers or the way a page turns. The delight at flipping open the book you’ve been thinking about all day surpasses the touch of an icon on the screen. And there is something fantastic about a worn out, well loved, and read countless times version of your favorite book on the shelf that just makes me happy in a way that a device on a charger can not.
When I was a little girl, the very first book I ever read was called Ballerina Bess. Now, I am certain that by “read” my grandmother actually meant recited from memory, but nevertheless, she always said that was the first book I ever read and never stopped. I loved getting books from the library, and loved even more when we would make the trip to the bookstore nearly an hour from where I grew up so that I could get the latest few Babysitter’s Club or Sweet Valley High books. I can’t imagine a generation of kids who don’t get to know the joy of getting to pick out their own books by scouring the shelves and looking for exactly what they want.
Unfortunately, my Ballerina Bess is long gone. I’m pretty sure my grandmother gave it to me when I was young enough to not appreciate how special it would be to me later in life, especially now that I have a young reader of my own. While Bess may have disappeared, my love of books remains, and so I may be an Apple junkie, with an iPhone always within grasp and various devices fully charged, I will never give up the real thing, it would be like abandoning my oldest, dearest friend.