These are my books.
Well, these are some of my books. There are more upstairs, and still more (424, wait, no 425, I just bought a book ten minutes ago, to be exact) on my Kindle.
Let me start off by saying I used to be like you. I used to be a snob about books. They had to be paper. There’s nothing like a paper book, I would exclaim! It’s about the sensory experience of reading a book: handling the paper, the heft of the book! Now I’m just embarrassed by everything I said. I’ve definitely changed my mind since my post “The death of print (just kidding!)”
So what changed? Realizing I could take most of my library with me. Seeing how easy it is to use an e-reader. Yes, it would be nice to have 424, wait make that 425, more books around the house, if only to accentuate to the world at large that I read, but that’s a lot of space. A lot of paper. A lot more to be dusted.
More importantly I think what changed is how I value a book. Husband J once said that we assign a different value to books than we do to music, because that’s who we (he and I) are. I still treasure my tangible books. I have my first editions and my editions that are of value to no one but myself. I still read my copy “The Secret Garden” that is falling apart from mildew damage that I bought at a bookstall in London for 4 pounds. My copy of “The Sun Also Rises” that traveled with me through Europe will probably make it to college with son J.
Yes, the physical experience of reading a book, the feel and scent of the paper, the weight, is important, but it’s not the only thing.
Because remember, there are words there too.