Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I Love Books

There is a lot of talk lately about the Kindle, an electronic reading device, and ebooks in general. The electronic reader is touted for its convenience, ease of use, large capacity and portability, among other things. I know that most of this is marketing mumbo-jumbo. The Kindle is not nearly as good as the advertisers would have us believe. But still, it is an interesting concept. The biggest flaw with it is that it completely overlooks the greatest invention ever. The Book.

I love books. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, "I cannot imagine a life without books." It is to horrific to contemplate. And yet, that is what the internet, the ebook, the ipod and other devices are ultimately leading us to.

However, I rejoice that I already own a lot of books. I have more books than I will ever read. If publishers quit manufacturing books today, I would have enough. But that is not the point. The point is that I want new books. I want to read pages printed with words bound in covers.

The things I love about books are simple. Maybe you share some of my passions.
  • I love watching my progress in a book as the book mark moves from front to back. I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that I am getting somewhere. That progress can be visibly measured.
  • I love the art on the cover of the book. I learned long ago the truth of the old saying- "Never judge a book by its cover." But there is great joy when a great book has a good cover. Sometimes I just look at the cover of the book and marvel.
  • The shape of books is great. They line shelves so neatly. They fit in your hand just right. And when you have an uneven table leg, a book is the perfect remedy to prop it up.
  • The size of books is perfect. Although there are some books (coffee table books, encyclopedias, etc.) that are entirely too large, holding a book is one of life's great pleasures. It is large enough to remind you of it's presence, but small enough that it does not become a burden.
  • The smell of books is awful and wonderful. There is no mistaking that odor. I cannot describe it, but if you know the aroma you can imagine it just now.
  • Books give you a sense of accomplishment. I journal all the books I read. I know how many I have read. I can tell you my favorite authors. I keep a list of books I still want to read. And when I see my shelf of recently read books, I am filled with a sense that I have done something.

The days of books may be passing by, but I hope not. I love books.

No comments: