The Forgotten Allure Of Books

Books...remember those things?

I have to admit, I love books. Real, honest to goodness books. Remember those?  The archaic relics of our youth, tucked away in the memory bank between the bogey monster and Lizzie Maguire. Oh sure, you come across a book or two in English class, I'm sure, but in all likelihood, the closest you'll get to reading it is the SparkNotes version. Believe me, I've been there. In fact, I'm sometimes still there when it's a Sunday night and I've forgotten all about the 10 chapters we're supposed to read about Huck and Jim.

However, I feel like I'm doing Mark Twain a disservice. Sure, SparkNotes fills out the study guide, but it’s just not the same. You can't say you’ve actually read the book when all you've done is skimmed over the summaries online. 

I love people who read, I really do. I especially love it when you're reading a real, live book. Not on an iPad or on a Nook or your iPhone or a Kindle. Don't get me wrong, I see the value in the availability of an entire library at your fingertips, but to me, the satisfaction of turning the page in a real book is not the same compared to doing it on a Kindle. Or a Nook. Or an iPad. Or an iPhone.

I went to Barnes and Noble the other day, and I had forgotten just how many books they have there. Books upon books upon shelves of books, all shiny and new, not old and crusty and stained with marinara sauce from its previous reader, like the ones you'll find at the library. If you're like me, you could get lost in there for days. I have to say, I've always wanted to be one of those people lounging casually at a chic coffee shop downtown, reading an assortment of Whitman's finest, Pride and Prejudice, or some other enthralling classic. But try as I might, I consistently find myself parked in the children's section of the bookstore, musing through the Lorax, or giggling over Curious George.

Maybe someday I'll join the elitist ranks of the well-read and highly cultured.

 "There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love."

                                                — Christopher Morley (No relation to yours truly)


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KK February 20, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Have you ever read a book on a Kindle? I used to read real books made out of paper but love reading on my Kindle. It is so easy to hold, especially in bed or while drinking my tea in the morning. I can check word defintions with a slight touch on the word or mark place with another touch. If I want to take a break, I can play Words with friends on my very same Kindle. I used to leave B & N with a load of books every time I went there and I do miss that but not enough to stop reading on my Kindle Fire. Some books need to be books but novels read so much better on an e-reader.
MR. TIM KENNEY February 21, 2012 at 09:10 AM
Rachel, I too love walking into Barnes and Noble and flipping through the pages of the books. There is something about that feel that I cannot get on my iPad. I am trying to love my iPad for books. I really am. But there is still something about the feel of cracking open the spine of a new one.
Martha Reynolds February 22, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Don't forget the fabulous Symposium Books on Main Street. I could spend more money there that at Dave's. :-)


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