Nook

WHAT MAKES A BOOK?

I read a lot and almost entirely on a Kindle. I feel about my Kindle the way I feel about computers: it’s a better way.

Especially as I’ve gotten older and my eyes tire quickly, being able to adjust size and style of the fonts has become increasingly important. Kindle is lighter than a paperback and has its own light. My Kindle isn’t a book — it’s a portable library that I can take with me wherever I go.

A while back, I had to read a “real book” because it wasn’t available on Kindle. I found it heavy and worse, I had to turn a light by which to read. I’m not used to that! Kindle HDX 1When we travel, I no longer need to haul a trunk full of paperbacks. My Kindle fits neatly in my shoulder bag, camera bag or laptop case. My wrists don’t get tired from holding it. I can read one-handed. The Kindle keeps my place for me, even if I’m reading more than one book at a time. And the bookmarks never fall out.

75-MyBooks-NK-05 I grab my Kindle on the way out when I’m off to the doctor. Having stuff to read takes some of the sting out of waiting. At home, I don’t have to figure out where to put books. For the first time in 30 years, there’s a bit of wiggle room on my book shelves.

I get annoyed by people who tell me electronic books aren’t “real books.” I’m sure when books replaced papyrus scrolls, a lot of people complained. And when the printing press replaced scribes, whew! That was major change. For me, it’s contents that makes a book, not format.

A couple of years ago, we gave away hundreds of books. They went to our local library, two high schools, the senior center and to any friends who wanted them. And there are plenty more where they came from if anyone wants them.

Yet I still love old-fashioned paper books. There’s nothing like the smell of paper and ink when you open a new book. Nothing sounds sweeter than the soft crack of a book’s binding as it loosens for the first time. The rustle of paper when you turn pages is music to my ears.

If I had unlimited room, I’d have a library with every book I love filling the shelves. But I’d do my reading on the Kindle anyway. Because it weighs almost nothing and it’s lit from within. I’ve gotten spoiled by the lightness and the light.

There’s room in the world for all kinds of things. Paper books will never be obsolete. Buy them as long as you have room in your bookcases.

For everything else, there’s a Kindle. Or a Nook or a tablet or whatever device you prefer.

Reading is important. The rest is semantics.

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.