Making my case for books

shot_1284068213591.jpgI love BOOKS. It’s not just the stories they tell or the worlds they create, its the feel and smell of a book. It’s a book’s character, how every folded page or coffee stain shows use and love. It’s a worn out spine. It’s a scratched up cover.

It’s a book.

I got on this topic after/during a debate with a friend on Facebook who just purchased a Kindle. (Sorry Dave! You never know what might turn into a blog post!)  If you don’t know what a Kindle is, its an electronic book reader. It does more than just let you read books, but in its most basic description, its a book reader.

I happen to be one of those people who staunchly wants to keep books in book form. Before I go into my laundry list of reasons, I will in all fairness give the Kindle these kudos:

1 – You can carry a LOT of books in one small electronic device. In less space than one paper back book, you can have multiple books available right at your fingertips.

2 – Saves paper and trees. (However, my father-in-law was a logger and that is how many people make their living. Plus, no one ever seems to notice that they do replant trees after they take grown trees out.)

3 – You can do more than just read books on a Kindle. Although, my phone can also surf the web, play music, etc.

4 – I have to admit, being able to search for a phrase or section of a book with a few clicks is really, really cool.

Okay, I’m done playing nice. Now why I won’t use a Kindle. At least not any time soon. (I have to leave myself an out, you know, in case a moment of weakness comes and I go over to the dark side.)

1 – Like I said before. I love the feel and smell of a book. I happen to be one of those people who really loves going to the library and being surrounded by book after book after book. Its sensory overload for someone like me!

2 – When on a plane, I don’t have to wait to open my book, nor do I have to close it for landing. I regularly, when I fly, hop in my seat and open my book immediately. I read until the wheels touch down. I only pay attention to the “electronic devices” guidelines in regards to the iPod or maybe my camera if I am in a “take pictures from the plane” mood.

3 – I never have to worry about the battery dying. Granted, from what I have read about Kindles, they have stupid long battery life. But, hey, books don’t need batteries…

Retro Camera :: Books4 – …before anyone says they can read their Kindle in the dark, I respond, “So can I… its called a flashlight.”

5 – If I am on a desert island (because you never know when THAT might happen), I can read my book and then use it to start a fire and keep me warm.

6 – I never have to worry about losing my books to a dramatic hard drive crash or something of that nature. I just have to worry about a lighted match.

7 – If I drop my book, I don’t have to gasp in horror if I broke it. I can throw in my purse and not worry about scratching it up (even though I AM a stickler for keeping my books nice) or it breaking. Heck, a broken spine on a book shows use to me, and it is like a badge of honor.

As we go more to a digital world, more and more things that have been staples of the past are fading away. There’s a good chance that books will be next. Newspapers are already having to change their mode of operation.

Through our history, we’ve advanced as a people through technological innovations. Kindle, and other such book readers, are another step in our advancement. I acknowledge that. I’m just also a sucker for the ways and times of the past, and books represent that to me. Perhaps a big part of that is the fact that growing up, I always had a book in my hand. It went everywhere with me. Books to me not only represent where am going with my future, but they also represent where I came from.

And forgive me, but I am not ready to let that go yet.

6 thoughts on “Making my case for books”

  1. Well said!! I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always loved books and I know you do too!!! We will both fight this to the bitter end!

  2. I love books as well. It’s my favorite way to spend long winter days and nights up here in Yankee country. You’d have to pay me some serious cash to get me out side when it’s 7 below with a 30 something below wind-chill.

    I do have to admit that I have thought about buying some kind of electronic book. We live in a really small town with out a book store or library. I find my self hunting for books at Wal-Mart and if I can’t find them there then I order them on line from barns & noble. I like the idea that I could have new reading material in just minutes, but it’s just not the same thing.

    1. OOh… good point about being an area without a book store or library. I never thought about it being useful in times like that. I could see it having an importance there. I also meant to say I could see if being useful for college students whose text books update every couple of years. Books are so expensive… pay a fee for a download for the year instead of lugging a book around. THAT I can get behind.

      That being said, I want to hold on to the old ways and to paper books for as long as possible. Its, like you said, just not the same. I love having my book collection on display. It says as much about me as what color drapes I have on the windows. And… ultimately, I’m just stubborn that way. ;)

  3. I am also stuck in the past when it comes to books versus Kindle, although I fully understand the value of e-books.

    Here are three more reasons for the pro-book category:

    1. It looks impressive to have a big book case full of books that you can say you’ve read.
    2. It’s easy to loan a book to a friend, I’m not sure how well that work’s with the Kindle.
    2. If civilization collapses anytime in the near future, the remaining printed books of the world will be invaluable in an age without electricity, both for their information, and as kindling for fires. (I realize this is a little dark, but hey, it is a possibility.)

    That being said, the book I am writing “The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide” will be available as an e-book as well as a traditional printed book. (I certainly don’t want to miss out on any sales because I’m an old-school book snob.)

  4. I love books. :) I even heard of this children’s book called something like “It’s a Book” – it explains what a BOOK is to children of this technology age. :)

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