Are “real” books obsolete?

I read constantly. If I don’t have a book to read, I feel lost. I read as many as a dozen books a week, depending on format and the size of the book.

I keep almost all my current new reading material in an electronic format. Because I read so many books a week, it’s impossible to find places to put that many books if they were paper. I am usually reading at least two books simultaneously: one on Kindle and another in audio.

I buy very few paper books, not because I don’t love them, but because I am out of space in which to store them. Moreover, there are definite advantages to electronic books.

I can take an entire library with me when I travel with my Kindle. For audiobooks, all I need is my laptop … and I would take that with me anyhow.

Our books say a lot about us … maybe too much.

I no longer haul a trunk full of paperbacks on vacation. My Kindle is light and small and fits tidily in my bag. My wrists don’t get tired from holding it and I can read one-handed. My Kindle cover has a built-in reading light that doesn’t keep my husband awake and will turn itself off if I fall asleep while reading.

It keeps my place for me and the bookmark doesn’t fall out.

I grab my Kindle on the way out when I’m off to the doctor. I don’t mind waiting because I’ve got books to read. I don’t have to figure out where to put the “real” books I do purchase because for the first time in 30 years, there is room in the bookcases. We gave away hundreds of books to our local library, the high school, the senior center, and any friends who wanted them. We’ll have to do it again, eventually, but we’re being very cautious about what we buy.

Garry has his own Kindle. So does my son. I wish they’d put my granddaughter’s text books on Kindle so she wouldn’t have to haul 50 pounds of books to school every day. I don’t know why they don’t do it. They could save whole forests, not to mention a lot of young backs from serious damage.

Mixed media … books, movies, music and more.

But I still love books. There is nothing like the smell of a new book when you open it. The paper and the ink, and the soft crack of the binding as it loosens for the first time. The rustle of paper when you turn a page. If I had unlimited room, I’d have a library with every book I love filling the shelves.

And then there is the software and the manuals for all the applications I no longer use, books, a few antiques, and more, mostly obsolete, software. And one music box.

I think I’d choose to read on the Kindle anyway.

There’s room in the world for all kinds of things. Books will never be obsolete; buy them as long as you have room in your bookcases. For everything else, there’s a Kindle.