Reub's journey

31 May 2012


There should be some kind of moratorium on being sick in warm weather. I have just gotten over a cold that laid me low over the long weekend. I cured myself by letting John do everything, and by blissing out on hot lemon Thera-flu which caused me to sleep and sleep and sleep. However I did burn through two books (Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. Reservation Blues, by Sherman Alexie). There is always energy enough to read.

Books. It's hard to get along without them.

I love to read, to become lost in some other world, and then to come out of it and think about it. In the past 5 days we have acquired a new bookshelf to help organize our piles and piles of books...

...and I've just gotten an e-reader, a Nook, to be exact. The excuse for this little device is that we will go to Japan for two weeks in June, and I'll need the requisite amount of reading material, so many books that there isn't much room for clothes.

The accessibility of reading material in the palm of your hand is pretty cool. But still, it can't really compare, can it. It's like when LPs were replaced by cassettes and then CDs, and then MP3s; we lost the cover art and all of those liner notes; the feel and look of things changed. It's like wine in a box: it gets the job done, but there is no panache.

For 99 cents I bought 25 books last night, all oldies (think the Bronte sisters, etc), and this morning I dropped 55 bucks on 5 more books. But oddly, I haven't read anything yet.

I already miss the books themselves. Going completely electronic seems unlikely.


  1. i really don't read (other than too many blogs!) but if i did, i'd miss a real book, too. i liked your comparison to lps. so true.

  2. Don't pay for old books which are out of copyright. has public domain books in different formats for free download.

  3. Thanks Laoch. I figured they were free somewhere, but didn't know where. I'll check it out.

  4. I take my Kindle everywhere so that when I am stuck waiting for something I can read. I have gotten both free and at cost books through it. I still, like you, love the feel and smell of books and the little extras that books provide. I get all hot and bothered just looking at a shelf full of books!

  5. I love having my Nook for those long trips when you don't want to pack 20 books in your suitcase. However, I still have one bookcase filled with books yet to read, and another filled with those already read --- and may need to be re-read! And nothing can keep me from going to library book sales and the bargain shelves on the back wall of Barnes and Noble!

  6. I have yet to break down and buy an e-reader, but I know I will before too long. I know that the ease of use, environmental friendliness, and portability are good things. However, there is nothing like the smell and feel of a good book in my hands.

  7. I read all the time. I borrowed my sister's Nook to read a book she had on it. the main thing I liked about it was being able to read at the table without struggling to keep the book open to the right page. some books will lay flat but mostly unless you hold them open the pages want to flip.

  8. twg: I like my comparison to boxed wine better.

    laoch: Did I mention that my middle name is "Lazy?"

    Tabor: Now I will have to drag both my camera AND my reader everywhere.

    Merry: Watch out. I have your email address and I am going to loan you 25 books all written 200 years ago!!!:oD

    Margaret: Yeah, well. I think it's gonna be really great for traveling. But the books are spendier than I realized, and when you "borrow" them from the local library you have to get on a waiting list. Not as handy as I thought.

    Ellen: Hey you're right. That is an advantage! One handed reading!! That will free me up to do something completely different with my other hand!

  9. OHHH I just love my kindle and I am thinking of upgrading...I have never read so many books in my life and I have a whole wall of wonderful, beautiful, turn the pages and smell the paper books! There is nothing more eloquent than a wall of books. It just makes you look smart! But cut off my arm before you get my Kindle!

  10. I love old books, especially old ones. I just can imagine reading a book electronically!

  11. I love the feel, the SMELL, of actual books, however when traveling it's excellent to read on the ipad. I now read the New York Times on the ipad - it's marvelous - no ink stains on my fingers. The app is beautifully designed to feel like you are flipping through one section, then the next.

    Glad you're on the mend!

  12. I can't see myself giving up books either. We have a Kindle in the house, mainly for Beloved, because he finds print difficult, but there are 1000s of real books on the shelves. I am trying to thin them out a bit but it's very hard. There is always a good reason to hang on to them.

  13. My main source of book buying is yard sales where I can pick up dozens of books through the summer at 25 to 50 cents each. I don't think I would ever give that up but I can see myself with a Reader somewhere down the road.. either for travel, as you said or when eyesight begins to fail more.

  14. Linda: If it were true that lots of books make you smart, then we are geniuses. Our house is piled with books.

    Rebecca: I felt that way for the longest time, but I see a niche for the eReader: mostly for traveling or those days when I'm between books and desperately need something to read.

    Reya: I'm feeling better, thanks! I considered getting the iPad, but it seemed heavy for a reader, and a bit out of my budget right now. But someday...

    Friko: I'm trying to thin our books out too, but I can't seem to part with anything!

    Hilary: I love getting things cheap at yard sales. A 25 cent book is a deal!


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