Something really scary happened the other day. I was sitting, reading a wonderful book (not on an e-reader) and I tried to turn the page by swiping. I am ashamed to admit it, doubly so as an English major. But, as with all sins, one must purge herself in order to be considered clean (I’m not sure where this religious theme is coming from, but we’ll roll with it).
For the longest time I was anti e-reader. There is just something wonderful about handling a book. It enhances the reading experience. There’s nothing like the smell of a new book or the crack the spine makes as you open it, taking notes in the margins or dog-earing the pages to mark your spot. You can’t get that with an e-reader.
Plus, it connects us to the past. The invention of moveable type and the subsequent ability to mass produce books is such a rich and important part of human history. Taking away a book is like taking away handwriting in cursive (We’ll leave that one for another post).
And then…I moved out of my parents’ house. Prepping for the move, I got rid of TONS of books because there was no space for them in my new apartment. I kept those that were most precious and either boxed them up or took them with me. It was only then that I finally conceded to the idea of an e-reader.
For Christmas, I got the new Kindle Fire™. I instantly downloaded tons of free classics with the goal of filling in the holes of my literary repertoire. Since then, I have happily jumped back and forth between book and Kindle.
The Kindle is great for the gym because it lays flat and I can increase the font size while I ellipticate (yes I made that word up). It’s also perfect for vacations because I don’t have to try to pack enough books to keep me occupied. I am a voracious reader. On my last vacation, I read 4.5 books in 8 days. And that does not mean I skimmed or didn’t take the time to enjoy each one.
But, when book and Kindle merged in my subconscious and I swiped my finger across the paper page of a real book, I had to pause. Such an action is a repudiation of all my training and my passions. I have become a hypocrite, a practitioner of convenience. I have rejected one of the things I hold most dear: the book. And I want to be a published author. How embarrassing.
And so, now that I have confessed my sin to you, dear reader, it’s time for redemption. I think the only way to redeem myself is to go to a bookstore and buy 5 books. Now THAT’S a punishment I can live with! So, this weekend, I will be spending a good portion of Saturday walking the stacks at a local bookstore and begging my beloved friends for their forgiveness.
Thank you for listening