As a child, I used to love my father reading me a book before bed, taking the gigantic (well it was at the time, I was a small child) book of fairy tales and reading Cinderella, or Beauty and Beast, and looking at the illustrations that came with it. However is this tradition going out the window with the creation of the ever popular e-reader …
I am one of those people who are decidedly small-minded when it comes to books. I have my views and am very limited in changing those ideals. I have nothing against the tablet/iPad. I myself own an iPad and use it all the time, (mainly to blog) however I refuse to use it to read. I think the kindle and e-reader are very modern and I have a feeling that this is the reason why I don’t like them all that much. My bitter feelings about technology aside, at the age of 20 I probably should love them, as I can honestly say I practically live on my mac. There is something about holding a book with pages and a spine in your hands that is so universally satisfying. I don’t understand as to why the age of today is so happy to give that up, apart from being able to carry multiple books on a device that fits in your handbag, I don’t get the appeal (Most women have large bags and a paperback book would fit in quite easily).
I was at a friend’s house not to long ago, and her housemate was sitting on the sofa opposite us and we looked over to see her with her nose buried in her book. We asked her what she was doing and as if it was the most obvious thing in the world she answered ‘I’m sniffing my book’. Now as funny as that was at the time, it did get me thinking books do smell really good. That wonderful musty smell you get when you walk into an old library or second-hand book store in Richmond or Leicester Square (there is practically half a street of them on the way to China Town). I am sure there are plenty of other places that have these shops but this is the area in which I currently reside. The idea of spending a good hour (probably more) sifting thorough shelves and shelves of precariously stacked books is for me one of the most satisfying ways to spend my Sunday afternoons. My room is covered in books, shelves, my window seal and the pile on my nightstand and there is still no room, I have boxes in cupboards and pile under my bed and in my wardrobe. Yes they can be a pain to store but they hold memories in which I tend to cherish. Yes there will always decidedly be those books that you didn’t like and give to the charity shop or sell on second-hand and it is those books that will be enjoyed by others as you did not. They are not just deleted and forgotten about in cyberspace.
Now I may just be complaining like an old biddy as it is generally what I like to do, however giving my son or daughter my well-thumbed copies of my favourite books is something I have always dreamed of doing. I have admittedly had to replace Pride and Prejudice a few times. Will this dream be that only a dream? Will the paper back book cease to exist?