Books. Where would I be without them?
Ever since I can recall, I've been a voracious reader. One of my earliest memories is getting a Noggin The Nog book from my local children's library, and my mum is always proud of the fact that I used to read the newspaper to my grandad when he'd left his glasses at home. I can always seem to find solace in a library or bookshop, away from the madness of crowded streets and in-your-face consumerism.
I keep a list of books I've read each year, and when I look back, I can recall certain moments, where I was when I read it, even feelings. Those read abroad are few and far between, but always memorable. Yet, for some reason, I can't bring myself to purchase an e-reader. I know the benefits - there can't be a person who uses the internet that isn't aware of how light they are, how small and portable, even how much better they are for the environment, but I can't take myself away from a book.
Why? Well, for starters it's the whole tactile naure of a book. You hold it, feel it's weight in your hands, turn the page. Bend the spine if you want, by all means, but I like to keep mine as neat as possible; whatever I'm reading may find its way onto my 'keeper' shelves, become a book that I may return to in years to come. Those shelves aren't as big as they used to be, for I would hold onto everything I read, but now the local charity shop or friends or family benefit instead. On the other side of that, there's something wonderful about browsing a second-hand bookshop to find the exact book you're looking for, or one you'd read years ago, re-appearing like an old friend.
Covers, too. Bright and vivid - gaudy, even - yet they serve their purpose and attract potential readers like moths to a flame. Just as you shouldn't judge a person by how they look, you shouldn't judge a book by the cover, but both inevitably happen; there's something incredibly eyecatching about a table full of books waiting to be picked up, the pages flicked through, the author's writing analysed and judgement made based on that first page. I'm old-fashioned, I know, a veritable Luddite, but books don't have to be plugged in to charge, they don't crash, their batteries won't run out on you when you're just about to find that the killer is...
Yet, here I am, blogging, moving with the times. I'll get an e-reader one day, it's inevitable, but I'll still purchase a physical book now and again. Even ordering on-line, there's still that great feeling when it drops through the letterbox, that anticipation during the three-day-or-so wait for it to arrive. Strangely, I'd miss that, although the thought of something arriving instantly is very appealing.
So, I'll end up walking the line between both one day, a happy medium. As long as I'm reading, that's the main thing. I guess a book is still a book regardless of format, it's still someone telling a story, painting pictures with letters and words. In the end, isn't that all that matters?