I still remember going to the library with my Mum when I was a preschooler. I had my own library card, and proudly brought home three books from each visit. I learned to read phonetically, and those books gave me new practice material each week. Finishing each page and physically turning it to the new challenge was fun, and exciting.
Every night as we got older, our father read a chapter of one of the “Children’s Classics” to my sister and me. That’s how we became acquainted with Heidi, Tom Sawyer, Hans Brinker, and others. I still have many of the books I owned as a child, and some of the books I bought for my own children as well. Among them: Dr. Suess’s Gerald McBoing Boing, Kipling’s Just So Stories, and Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses for me – Lobel’s Frog and Toad are Friends and Silverstein’s The Giving Tree for my kids.
Fast forward… When I retired, my co-workers gave me a Kindle Fire and a gift card to load it with books. On days when I was caring for my mother, she slept a great deal and I read. I couldn’t leave the house, but I could download light fiction and mysteries onto the Kindle to pass the time. When the power went out in our last winter storm, I could still read in the evening on my little backlit e-reader.
I like that I can get magazines newspapers, games, and some books electronically. But… there are also things I still like to own in paper form. I love having all my Diana Gabaldon books on the shelf, and there are a few other authors I plan to keep there, too. We have history books, photo books, and more.
I like being able to have up-to-date reference materials online (the OED and encyclopedias take up a lot of space, too.) And I like that I don’t have a million paperbacks cluttering up my space. But for some other kinds of books, I still really love my paper volumes – and the bookstores that sell them.
This post was written in response to the WordPress Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Do you prefer digital books or paperbacks?