I’ve always loved reading and have, over the years, found much enjoyment and, at times, great solace in immersing myself in a good story.
My taste in books is quite eclectic. I get as much pleasure from reading Our Mutual Friend as I do from spending time with The Diaries of Adrian Mole. I am equally happy delving into the mysteries of Agatha Christie as I am quaking under the covers with something by Stephen King. I prefer fiction but have been known to read an occasional biography and take notes from an instructive gardening or photography book now and then.
Recently one or two people of my acquaintance have espoused the Kindle method of reading; ebooks that can be downloaded onto a computer screen. Now I realize that this is the in thing, that it’s convenient and saves space on the bookshelves for other items but I think I can safely say that I will never obtain my reading enjoyment through that particular medium.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not old- fashioned by any means. I have a fancy digital camera, an ipod and a laptop on which I spend countless hours surfing the net. I enjoy writing this blog and reading other people’s. I just don’t want to read my books electronically. I think it’s a great idea but just not for me.
I love the look of books on a shelf; the brightly colored dust jackets and the gold-tooled lettering on those red bound classics. I delight in the feel of the pages; pristine and pliable, waiting for that first reading, or old and brittle, creased and stained from years of avid perusal.
There is something so much more tantalizing about turning an honest-to-goodness page than there is in scrolling down to see what happens next.
Sir Jasper Darkbolt advanced towards the young woman, his pulse racing. He licked his lower lip as he saw the anticipation in Lady Fenella’s eyes and noticed that little gesture that said “I really shouldn’t but I might not be able to resist the temptation.”
He drew nearer until they were close enough to touch. Darkbolt, tormented by the thought that she may reject him, reached a nervous hand towards her and tore away the snowy white cover………………..
How thrilling!!! Will he ravish her right there behind the aspidistras, satisfying the hunger that consumes them both? I turn the page slowly, thereby prolonging the moment until Sir Jasper has his wicked way.
“Won’t you have one of these cucumber sandwiches, Lady Fenella? They’re awfully good!” Sir Jasper removed the napkin and proffered an exquisite china plate heaped with dainty morsels.
I can’t imagine a world without books.
So I was heartened, the other day, to see a crowd of people at our local library book sale, all jostling each other in an effort to obtain that perfect volume to add to their collection. Thank goodness! I’m not alone! There are at least a hundred people, to my certain knowledge, who still want to get their hands on a solid edition of a Michael Crichton or John Le Carre novel. There are still those who are willing to get stepped on, elbowed and pushed aside in order to obtain a hardback copy of Memoirs of a Geisha or Oliver Twist.
And here’s another thought. How do you get an author to sign a copy of his or her work on a computer screen? One of my most treasured possessions, at least as far as my book collection is concerned, is an autographed copy of Risk by Dick Francis, a memento of a fantastic day at the races.
When our basement flooded last year, the first things I rescued were not important family documents or essential computer paraphernalia but all the books on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. So you can see where my priorities lie.
Which is why I say you can keep your Kindles and ebooks. Give me the real thing any day!
Hooray for books!!!