photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I've Been Assimilated...Sort Of

I've resisted buying an e-reader. Resisted violently, as a matter of fact.

I was not going to cheapen the reading experience by giving into the craze.

Because reading is so much more than words.

Reading is holding a book- a book- a magical collection of pages bound together, every one of them covered with seemingly senseless symbols unless

you know the magic code. Reading.

Reading is the transfer of someone else's ideas. Thoughts that formed inside of a brain, detoured through a heart to add emotion and filtered through that person's eyes to fill it out and breathe life into it with the essence of personal experience.

Reading is tangible, and real, and solid. Like a book.

Reading from a book is a visceral experience, not just a mental exercise.

A book has weight, and heft- as if the very words themselves carry a poundage value.

Turning pages uses sight, and touch, and even hearing- the quiet whisper of, "Yes- keep going, there are more words to come."

Very new books have a 'new book smell' and very old books have an 'old book smell'.

The best books are signed, not just by the author, but by previous owners and those who may have gifted them with this- a solid mass of thought. Conjuring up a way to fossilize a rainbow wouldn't be any more amazing.

So I refused to give in. I disdained the argument of, "I don't have room for books and I only read a book once and then am done with it- I hate piles of books cluttering up the place." Our home is more books than walls, more words than windows, more descriptive images than roof. And we love it.

So why do I have books for sale on Kindle and Lulu? Because the way *I* feel isn't necessarily the way everyone else does.

So why did I buy Ward a Kindle Fire for Christmas? Because he can use it to read in bed without a reading light and it silently goes to sleep on its own when he does.

So why do I read downloaded books on my PHONE (Ha! See? I haven't bought an e-reader...LOOPHOLE) Because I carry my phone anyway and it's a portable way to fill time when waiting when I'm not at home, or the few minutes before I fall asleep at night- the phone plugged into our headboard socket.

And why do I spend so much time typing words on a screen and sending them out willy nilly through cyberspace, transient as snowflakes- flocks of word birds taking wing and disappearing with one click- solid in front of me one instant, then gone leaving not even a comma feather behind?

Yanno, you're just lucky this ISN'T a real book, because I'd smack you upside the head with it.

Kindle- the safer way to ingest words.


  1. I used to be against e-readers too, and for the same reasons. But then I discovered the enjoyment of e-readers that goes beyond the book smell. See, I am not one of those 'read it once and done' type people. When I like a book, the characters become my friends and like to revisit them often. Unfortunately, this puts quite a bit of wear and tear of the book that contains my character friends.

    But with an e-reader, if I like a book, I can then order the paperback, which can go on my shelf. Then I can continue visiting my friends on the e-reader, and the physical book that contains them, remains safe on my shelf with no crease in the spine or wrinkle in the pages.