We have iPads in the Dana house, even an old Kindle somewhere. Good gadgets, all of them. Yet our preferred medium for reading books remains print. It’s even true for our college-age son. Only the dog doesn’t read.
Since I always give books as gifts during the holidays, I thought I’d share with you these 33 reasons why I like my books in print. Some of these ideas were offered by my sisters – avid readers, one and all:
- A book bounces when you drop it. It doesn’t easily break. Months ago my iPad slid off the bed in a hotel room, and the end of the cable snapped off.
- A book can be autographed by the author. What a treasure!
- Any book can be shared or given away – with ease. It’s a perfect and always welcome object to re-gift.
- Near the top of my list have to be my favorite cookbooks, accessorized with splatters of a favorite sauce, hints of chocolate, and penciled-in notes that add commentary or adjust a recipe.
- A public library is a restful, inspiring haven. And I love the smell of books.
- A personal library is a place of pride. Visit our home bookshelves and you’ll be able to tell who’s reading spy novels and nonfiction and who’s reading contemporary fiction (that would be me).
- A book can be read easily on a sunny beach. Sand can’t harm a book.
- A book doesn’t have a battery that dies.
- A book doesn’t need to be tethered to an outlet from time to time.
10. A book is nicer to give as a gift. It’s a real ‘thing,’ not an e-notice announcing you got a digital gift.
11. A wrapped book is one of the most-welcome gifts any time, anywhere, by people of all ages.
12. A shelf full of books that you’ve read conjures up all sorts of memories when you scan the spines – where you were when you read a title, who gave it to you, who you read it to, or which professor recommended it, being a few examples.
13. You can cherish a book for any number of reasons. You cannot cherish an ebook.
14. A book can be read at any time on a plane.
15. Browsing through the selection at a local bookstore is at once a fun, educational, inspirational and social pastime.
16. Pressed flowers between the pages of a book remain there forever, evoking powerful memories of weddings, proms, funerals, or other meaningful personal events.
17. A book, balanced on the head, is the perfect tool to help young girls practice good posture.
18. Holding a book in your hands is a unique tactile experience. Moving your bookmark along as you read is an instant sign of progress.
19. It’s very easy to flip back and forth in a book, especially when you want to reread a passage or refresh your memory.
20. A lot of times in e-books, photos and/or images aren’t placed exactly where they appear in printed books. Many times they’re lumped together at the beginning or end – which is not the same as seeing them placed where they are meant to be seen.
21. Getting a hastily written note in a classroom from (or about) a new admirer, to be hidden between the pages of a book forever? Priceless.
22. Reading a printed book to a child is a favorite experience. A timeworn children’s book that has been read over and over again is like no other.
23. Books can remind me of a favorite time or place and are signed by friends or loved ones.
24. An e-book has no smell. Those books from your childhood, like Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins, do.
25. When you linger over the last few pages to make a good story last, you balance the heft of the read-already with the almost-done. You can’t do that with an e-book.
26. In a pinch, use a big book or two to bolster a small child at the dinner table so he can reach his plate.
27. How can you find the special lines of a favorite poet with an e-book? You have to Google and swipe. It’s not as wonderful as rifling through pages you’ve known and loved to reach the treasure.
28. From time to time, I’ve squashed a mosquito or fly with a paperback book. No harm was done to the book. Can’t say the same for the bug.
29. You won’t get an e-book with an index card or a newspaper clipping slid into its cover, bearing a note, a favorite recipe, or an event to remember.
30. Books given to me by friends or family remind me of them. Memories live through these books.
31. I don’t want a coffee table e-book. Is there even such a thing? I thought not.
32. There’s a sense of pride when I look over the shelves of books in my office and in my home. “Wow, Margie,” I think, “you did good!” Seeing them can inspire me to read more of an author or reread one I read long ago.
33. The act of reading a printed book is unlike anything else. If the book’s that good, I daresay you are one with the book.
This holiday season, be one with a book. Read it, linger over it, dog-ear it…then pass it on.
(c) 2013 Margie Dana.