Okay, I bet all of you are like “um girl we’re reading this shit ain’t we?” but I’m not talking about clicking a button to scroll down to the next paragraph or staring into an illuminated screen. I’m talking flipping the pages with your finger and feeling the grain of the paper, having to hunt down a well lit spot or just making do with a flashlight, sliding a bookmark to pause the excitement (or dog-earing like me whoops haha), and handing it over to your best friend with total faith that they’ll take care of a cherished story instead of just emailing them the link.
I know there are a lot of good things about e-readers like preventing the decimation of trees, always having plenty (if not too much light), and being able to click a button and know you’re exact spot is saved. And while those things are great and all, I just don’t like how impersonal it is. Maybe I’m just an old soul or maybe I’m just dumbly sentimental. By the way this is probably a good time to mention that this is post is basically a rambling of thoughts and my (own-personal-please-respect-it-to-be-my-choice-and-I-respect-yours-to-be-yours) opinion. When I go to the library I love the fact that another person has held this book, traveled with it in reality and in its surreality, felt the same emotional bursts (maybe), etc. It just makes the earth feel more…. earthly? I guess? I don’t really know what the word is but you get me… I hope.
Maybe this refusal to switch over stems from my sentimentality with reading. I started reading at a very young age, had graduated to chapter books by the end of kindergarten. And the person I have to thank for this is my wonderful Mom. Once every couple of weeks my Mom, older sister Ashley, and I would all go to the library. I guess a lot of kids would be bored by this but I grew up without much money and the idea of going into this giant fantastic brick building with its fancy staircase and being able to pick one or two things to take home with me just made it amazing. That may sound silly to some but I’m hoping there are a few of you out there that can relate. And then the stately looking women and men who ran this giving-place actually entrusted me, a snot nosed kid, with their belongings whcich, even better, contained wild adventures??? It blew my mind. And then we would all go home with our selections and we would pick our individual spots and get lost in our stories. It was a great time in my life and I will never forget those days though I was so young.
Needless to say my bookshelf was full by my teenage years, and whenever I would be upset or down (which was frequent in those awkward days) I would get lost in a book and go on a journey and come back feeling windswept and suddenly all of the things that were bothering me didn’t seem to matter anymore, at least for a little while. In high school a group of people were passing around a copy of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club” and whenever a person finished the book they were to sign it and pass it on but only to someone in the school. I felt so privileged when I signed my name in purple gel pen, not only had I discovered an amazing author, I also felt a kinship with all of those people, the at least 100 signatures crammed onto the title page. And now, in my twenties, I pick up a book when I get home from work and want to relax and unwind, or when my fiancée is at work and I want to get focused on the characters so that I don’t notice his absence (as) much.
I think all of these things- the special trips to the library with my Mom and sister, the help forgetting my worries, the calming ability, the sentimentality- are why I will never be able to switch over to an e-reader for good. You are obviously welcome to read however suits you, I make no judgement. I just had the thought on my mind and figured I would share with you. Thank you for reading and if you have a personal connection to books that you want to share please feel free to comment –Amber (P.S. Or if anyone has a recommendation book-wise please comment and tell me 🙂 )