I’m pleased that people cherish paper books. Many don’t know how to explain. I’ve given it a lot of thought and dig deeper than “I like the feel”! First, re-wire the idea that emptying our rooms of possesions is everyone’s goal. What if literature is your decorating theme? What if you have a place for your collection? Other than trading unneeded copies; mine aren’t an obstruction to “get rid of”.
They bring more than their subject. Think of ‘e-books’ as a poster. Posters show what art looks like. But some appreciate the dynamics, the world, of original paintings: valuable, sentimental. There’s a broader purpose than viewing the image. The reason ‘kindles’ are meaningless to some people; will never feel like we “HAVE the book”, is because it isn’t solely about the text within.
Finding what I wished for is a quest! Scoring low-priced, high quality copies, is exhilarating. Some quests take years. I celebrate having them in my hand: “The Maze In The Heart Of The Castle” by Dorothy Gilman and even more so, her autobiography “A New Kind Of Country”. You’re more excited about a meal if you went to the work of growing the fruit and vegetables.
Next, is childlike excitement to make room for them! I love carrying a pile of acquisitions into my library and scooching things around until they fit where they should go. Some might not be read for a decade. I swear, sorting is the best part. I stand back and gaze at what I collected, in a way admiring my life’s work. I feel satisfaction and peace. I derive enjoyment well ahead of the act of reading. And maybe wonderful vibes have now been passed along to my home.
Why do I treasure the tangible? “Psychometry” explains the energy we leave on objects. A digital file is a world away from a letter your Great-Grandmother touched. Museums are valued because artifacts, like us, are affected by time. Their survival awes us. By the presence of an object older than me, I touch a past era. If my book is new, then I am the beginning of its lifetime. We are the ones with a shelf life. It’s comforting that our touch impacts what we love and use.
A separate explanation is that we do so much with computers; I like some pastimes independent of them. I don’t want to involve software in everything I do. All eggs ought not rely on the same basket. When photography turned digital, after music, movie-watching, and Christmas ‘cards’ (yuck); I wondered how many non-electrical hobbies we had left.
Lastly, tangible items contain an opportunity for tangible surprises! Thrice in a used book, I’ve discovered the author’s autograph. Once there was a viable tomato seed. In an eerie moment at night, a child’s school photograph fell out of an old mystery. These encounters aren’t possible with a ‘kindle’. It makes no sense to urge everyone: “Try it”. So, how is this reasoning compared to “I prefer to turn pages”? ;) I pray books are always in print because the legacies of personal mementoes, the aging of time, our energy, and the physical… all matter.
* This and my other articles were a spotlight on the Canadian reading website.
* I created my own challenges, débuting February 2014. See them at this link! :)