So Many Books, So Little Time

Francesca Silva

I love reading. Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about my books. Erasmus’s quote “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes” are words to live by, as far as I’m concerned.

I love not only the words in the pages of a good book but also the feel and smell of books. I love the way a new book “greets” me with its fresh, crisp pages when I first open it. But I also love old books that smell slightly musty and “old world”. Whenever I open a recently acquired second-hand book and it automatically falls open on to a particular page, I start wondering about the previous owner(s) of the book. What was it about this particular part of the story that resonated with the reader? And when I see that someone’s written an inscription in the book (“To my dear nephew Ned, with much love from your Auntie Nan”), I start imagining Ned’s reaction to Auntie Nan’s gift. Did he receive it with the same wonder? Did he like books? Did he like this one?

Whenever we travel anywhere, I always bring books. My idea of hell is to have nothing to read, so I usually bring at least five to six books with me. I like to read books about whatever country we’re in and if they’re not quite up to par, I’ll leave them behind for someone else to read. But that doesn’t mean I come back with fewer books – of course not. I end up buying more books and bringing those home with me, which I’ll admit does tend to weigh down our luggage somewhat.

So the other day, when we were planning our next trip, my husband cautiously broached the possibility (“Now, don’t shoot me down…just think about it”) of buying a Kindle. A Kindle! This insensitivity from a man who bought me a signed, first-edition copy of my favourite book a couple of years ago. I couldn’t believe it. He pointed out, quite rationally, that it would be practical. I responded that I didn’t want to be practical about my books (which is true…I’ve always been totally irrational about them). Knowing me well, hubby didn’t pursue the topic.

Since then, I’ve checked out the Kindle on the internet (as hubby knew I would) and am trying to work up some enthusiasm. I know it’s practical. I know it’s a good idea for traveling. I know I’ll be able to read more books when I’m on holiday. I know all that.

But I can’t do it. I’m just not there and am not sure I’ll ever be. I’m trying to keep an open mind but the thought of “reading” a Kindle instead of being able to feel, smell and ultimately delve into the pages of a book is pure anathema to me.

So for now, I’m just going to sit back and let those of you who have Kindles convince me of its merits. But be warned – I won’t succumb easily!
[tags]kindle, amazon kindle, save the trees, reading books, my favorite books, ipad[/tags]

2 Responses to “So Many Books, So Little Time”

  1. deborah says:

    I could not agree with you more!! A few friends and relatives rave about Kindle and I know they’re practical etc etc but I love books–the way they look, feel, smell. I’d rather leave something *practical* out of my suitcase and haul my books around. Or go to bookstore and get more while I travel.

  2. segovia says:

    You see, had he just gone out and picked up an iPad, I’m sure he could have casually leaned over and lent it to you during your long flight. But the Kindle? Who wants to treck a soon to be paper weight around with them as they travel about the country.

Leave a Reply