Friday, June 4, 2010

For Everything There is a Time

Reading is a part of our lives from the time we are just babies and sat on our mothers laps and felt the rhythm of her breathing and heard her voice telling the story . We associated reading with comfort. It is no wonder so many of us continue to love to read as adults.

When I was a young girl I loved to read.
We made it to the library a couple of times a month. Two lions flanked the concrete steps of the downtown library. I lingered at the steps reaching as far up as I could, running my hands across the ominous looking lions until Mama rushed me into the building. Inside the building a Tom Thumb display was set up on a huge square table in the center of the room. I walked all around the table taking in every angle of the display. I could hardly take my eyes off of it. I was so intrigued by the idea of a tiny little person. I asked one question after another until my mother finally convinced me to move on to the next room where Linda had ventured ahead.

By the time I was in junior high some years later the mobile library started to come to the parking lot of the new Spartan store on Goliad Rd close to my house. It was not as big as the downtown library, nor as grand but it gave me a more limited choice and I could find something every time and each book was better than the one before it. I missed the big library but I got used to it and we were able to check out books in less time than before.

By the time I was in high school a branch of the downtown library was built just a few miles from our house and we became regulars there. By then Bobby was little and I would help him find Harry the Dirty Dog to check out or George the Curious Monkey but Harry was his favorite. Once he was settled and looking at books I headed straight for the mysteries and immediately looked for Victoria Holt. I read every book by her that I could find until I had her formula down and knew how to predict the ending before I got there. There was comfort in the familiar and when I could find no more books by her I felt lost and did not know where to go to find a good book.

Today I ventured out and ordered myself an electronic reading device, a Kindle online. After browsing through the shelves in Amazon I can now purchase and download in a matter of minutes to my Kindle and I can keep about 1500 books on this small device. I'm not sure it will completely satisfy the feel of a book in my hands or the smell of the aging paper or will allow me to flip through the pages to see how much more there is before the chapter ends but I believe it is the future.

Soon students will have an electronic reading device issued to them instead of tons of books and each device will be able to hold every book they could possibly need throughout their school years. Backpacks will be smaller, less heavy and will carry snacks instead of books.

Change is inevitable. Change is refreshing.
You either learn to embrace it or you continue to find yourself unhappy about something new.

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.


  1. What a great post! I will admit, I like books . . . the real thing. I'm with Captian Kirk on this. The dust covers, the covers, the binding, the pages, the way some book pages are cut unevenly, the smell of a new book... There is 'possibility' with a new book. I'm a bit weird. When I get a new book, whether it is actually new or 'new to me', the first thing I do is smell it. Then I read the dust cover, if it has one. First, the synopsis on the back. Then, the the inside of the front and back of the wings of the dust cover. Next, the final page of the book. And finally, I check for the number of pages in the book. Once I begin reading it is always the Acknowledgements, Preface, Dedication, etc. Then the best part . . . the book itself. Yes, I'm not one big on change. Sometimes we just have to accept what comes our way. But tell me - how can I do this with an electronic book. Just seems kind of sterile to me. More convenient but sterile.

  2. I am not so sure how this will play out for me. I will receive it on Wednesday this next week. I have been toying with the idea for some time now and have finally been convinced it is good. My nephew loves his Kindle and would buy it again. So I thought it was worth a try. I am hoping there are new possibilities with the Kindle that I will like as well as the feel of the old book in my hands.

  3. When you get your Kindle, first check to make sure it's not pink. Then download "Ur" by Stephen King. Welcome to e-reading!

  4. Okay, curiosity has me. I have to ask, why not pink?

    I did order a black leather cover for mine and considered a color in the leather and decided on classic black, no color but I did not notice the Kindle itself came in various colors.

    So what is your history on the pink one?

    My co-teacher and oldest son are Stephen King fans but I have never read his books. I will have to give it a try.

  5. I'm so glad you are looking forward to your Kindle. I can't bring myself to do it. I'm a purist and it has to be a book in the hands. For me, it isn't just reading - its a way of life. That way I can flip through to find that amazing quote knowing it was "about this far" into the book. One of my favorite quotes about books was from the book Inkheart and it talked about how we not only lose ourselves in books but when we re-read them, we can find ourselves again between the pages. That is why a book gets thicker. It holds pieces of us in it, our memories. :) Also, I love to share books. How am I going to pass one along if I don't have it in my hands? Reading is so communal to me. Its also therapeutic. Whether it is curling up with a good book on a lazy day or browsing the shelves in a bookstore, it relaxes and calms me.

    I'm all for change in some areas but in this area, I need my book! :)

  6. I have held back on purchasing a Kindle because of two things: the feel of a book in my hand and sharing. But those who have a Kindle love it.

    Now, I am looking into an iPad.....