Monday, October 25, 2010

Introducing a Short Series

As many people already know, I recently purchased a Barnes & Noble Nook eReader, which I absolutely adore. Not long ago, I read a short article titled something along the lines of "An Avid Reader Who Loves His Kindle More Than His Real Books". While that is certainly not the actual title, it is reminiscent. After reading that, I felt inspired to write up my own story of why I love my Nook so much for my blog. To say the least, I got a little carried away and now I have quite a long story. Due to its length, I've decided to release it in pieces. Today I present.... the Prologue.

Why I Love Felicity (My Barnes & Noble Nook eReader): A Short Story

Prologue: Why I Love Physical Books
In recent years, since eReaders grew in popularity, I've noticed a development in the book industry. Publishers have been forced to offer their books in a new form: eBooks. Welcome to the digital age. Now the consumers have the option between physical books and eBooks. Note that I carefully avoid referring to the physical books as "real." I believe this would leave the idea, somewhere in your mind, that I consider eBooks as less than real or less than adequate. Since this is the exact opposite of what I'm trying to get across, I want to make the distinction clear. To some, the choice is simple - they love the physical books too well to give in to the digital age. I want you to understand just how much I, too, love physical copies of books before I explain to you why I love my eReader so much.

I'm one of those people who will walk into a used bookstore just so I can breathe in the scent of books that have been handled by no-one-knows for however many years, picking up dust, absorbing the scents of the houses they have lived in, and, without exception, becoming the perfect blend of age and wisdom. Before you ask, the answer is yes. I am still discussing how I perceive the smell of books.

I love the sensory experience of a physical book. Not just the musky scent, but the feel of the bound volume in my hand - the control I have over it and the disguised fragility of its pages, bindings, dust jacket. The texture of the pages in a book varies from smooth to the coarseness of a rougher, more natural sheet; the kind that makes you feel like there must be something precious contained within to merit such heavy stock. Then there is what I like to refer to as "Bible paper". This is the stuff that is so thin, you can easily see the print on both sides when looking at just one. It is more like the tissue paper you use in gift-wrapping than something you would expect to find bound and printed on. Yet there is still this quality to the page that forces me to handle the volume with delicacy, to occasionally lick the tip of my finger to turn a page without causing any lasting damage. When I read a book with this type of paper, it feels like a greater accomplishment to make it an inch into the book than it does with others.

Finally, I love the look of my bookshelves, filled with books of all shapes and sizes, colors, and materials. The bindings on my favorite books worn to share with the world just how loved they are. The titles barely legible, cracks streaking across the words or lettering flaking away. Sometimes my books are stained, other times they manage to get away from my grasp in pristine condition. No matter what condition they are in, they still look glorious there, standing in their not-so-neat rows.

I really love books.

1 comment: