Real books.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

If you've hung around this blog for long, you know I'm a reader. A lover of books. The bookworm in me would love to section off a corner of our home and create a library where I'd spend a couple hours each day under a thick blanket devouring novels. Someday, perhaps.

Right now, though, I typically do most reading for pleasure on my iPhone or Kindle before I fall asleep. I'm a little embarrassed to say that, though, because I'm still very partial to physical books. There's just nothing that replaces the feel and smell and weight of real pages between my fingers, not to mention the deep breath I take when I'm away from technology.

Two articles - one a lecture and another a blog post - have expounded on this perfectly. And their passion for reading books (real, physical books!) thrills me. Selfishly, I want Liam to grow up in a world with books and libraries and librarians and not just screens.

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming
This is the abridged transcript of a lecture given by author Neil Gaiman, which is "an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things." His is a convincing argument (and it's peppered through with delightful British terminology, which I love). 
"I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me, more than 20 years before the Kindle turned up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is. Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar-operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there will always be a place for them. They belong in libraries, just as libraries have already become places you can go to get access to ebooks, and audiobooks and DVDs and web content."

RJ Palacio: What E-books Can't Do
RJ Palacio authored Wonder which you must read if you haven't already. This post about her mother's handed down books brought me to tears. 
"I had forgotten about this habit of my mother’s: to underline in pencil the sentences or paragraphs in a book that moved her. So I read The Land of Spices as annotated by my dead mother, who I missed more than words can possibly express, and it was, for a while, like I was having a conversation with her. She spoke to me through these mysterious underlined passages. She whispered confidences. She reached me, briefly, from that place beyond words. We shared secrets. I loved the book and I think I know why she loved it. And this all happened after she died."


  1. Ok well the last one made me cry & gave me goosebumps all over. I have such a love/hate relationship with my kindle. It's amazing to be able to access a book that quickly on amazon but it's also so so sad to not fill your home with them- just your ipad. I loved this Whit. I think the next book I buy will be a physical one thanks to this. Love you.

  2. More than underlined books, I love real handwriting. That is where I cherish written recipes by my sister and dad, mother-in-law. I can just picture them sitting down to write them out for meals in the future. In Kindle, you can highlight your passages tool. I don't have any room left to store books. That is why I love libraries.

  3. I have not read a book on a screen ... maybe I will keep it that way. :)


  4. I just recently found your blog and I absolutely love it! I cant wait to read more of your posts and get to know each other! I would love for you to follow me at :)


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