Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Books Have a Soul
Yesterday, I took my daughter to the bookstore for our annual summer reading shopping spree. Both of my children attend schools where there is a required summer reading list (which I'm happy to support), and when we have time we try to make a regular stop at the library. I'm so grateful that my kids enjoy reading and are just as interested as I am in collecting books in their own particular genre. Interestingly, even though my kids are "technology kids" -- I have to ask them how to do everything from computers, iphones, ipods, you name it -- they haven't embraced the e-book phenomenon. I actually gave them both e-readers for Christmas last year, and neither one of them uses it much. I was also a little sad walking into B&N yesterday as an entire section of the store is now stark and empty.... they have moved shelves with rows upon rows of glorious newly released titles to make room for their electronic books, and it looks.....bare and sterile.
There is a terrific article on the Poisoned Pen bookstore blog (The Romance of the Written Word by Steve Schwartz) that articulates how I feel about the future of paper-and-ink books better than I could ever express. I love how he describes that "books have a soul" and that beloved, well-worn books make your senses come alive with the smell and feel of the novel in your hands. What wonderful memories come flooding back when I hold a cherished favorite book in my hands!
I truly understand the absolute necessity of e-books (and audiobooks)...they are very convenient for people who want and need to read on-the-go, it's such a space saver with thousands of books in one place (not to mention environmentally friendly to the trees!), and so fast, easy, and less expensive to download.
So my question to you as a bibliophile is this -- what do you see for the future of your personal library? Have you begun to switch to an e-reader (or audiobooks) exclusively? Do you still purchase paper-and-ink books? Are you 50%/50%?
For me, I have an e-reader, but I rarely use it. Nothing can replace the feeling of a supple, flexible book in my hands -- so currently I'm 90% paper, 10% e-reader/audio. I have the Outlander series on audio which I listen to often, but they are enhancements to the books, not a replacement. I enjoy my audiobooks when driving by myself or working in the kitchen/doing chores around the house.
Your thoughts? What's your preference? (BTW, I'm not trying to sway anyone either way -- I just love talking about books in every way possible, and I enjoy hearing how others incorporate reading into their lives. It's all good!) :)
Posted by Joanne at 8:17 AM