Bringing Back the Book: My Literary Mission
"Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don't abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book." -Patti Smith
As far as New Year's resolutions go, I'm not very determined. In the past few years I've made countless promises to lose weight, go to the gym more often, save money, watch less television, be a better student, keep a journal and do my part to save the ozone layer but it's safe to say I've always fallen short. This year instead of making crazy resolutions about absurd things, not that being healthy, studying or watching out for the earth isn't important, I resolved to do more of the things I enjoy. That's right. In 2014 I would write more often, try new foods and enjoy old favorites (while being health conscious, of course), find another job I love, collect unique items and visit the library more often so I could read more books. Wait, did I just say library? Yes, I did. This year I was going to challenge myself. I wanted to see how many books, actual books, I could read in an entire year. You see, this is how it all began. This is how I founded my mission to bring back the book!
Now, most of you are probably thinking I'm some anti-technology hermit but that's far from the truth. I can't fathom a life without my iPhone and I have an oddly dependent relationship with my tablet, but I have a different opinion about things when it comes to reading. I received a Nook last Christmas and immediately downloaded a dozen or so books with mixed emotions in tow. How was reading going to feel without the actual index to thumb page turning? I decided to set my doubt aside and try it. After a few weeks I came to a conclusion and to be completely honest, I didn't like it. Not one bit.
Unlike people who find convenience and special unique qualities in E-books, I happen to find more reasons to stick with "real" books. Yes, I can fit a whole lot of books on this tiny thing but what about all of things that made me fall in love with books in the first place? What about the smell of new pages or the sound of a cracked spine? What about the satisfaction you get from finishing a 400-paged book and setting it on your shelf to always remind you of the little world it contains? My mission was set. I was going to only stick to bookstores and libraries and convince everyone I came in contact with as to why they should too. Those that are interested of course, I'm not one to be the annoying friend. Here are five reasons why books are amazing.
1. You can't collect E-books
Okay, you can download books and store them in your library but you have to turn on your tablet to see it. You have to swipe from left to right or right to left to see it all and is that really all that satisfying? I love the feeling of finishing a book and setting it down so in the end I have a collection to remind me of the worlds and lives I've visited.
2. You can't get an E-book signed
Imagine running into a bookstore to meet your favorite author and having him/her include a personal message alongside their signature? Not only can you collect stories but you get to have a physical reminder of the amazing mind that created them.
3. When you read a book, you are ONLY reading a book
Everyone knows the real reason they love E-books, it's the ability to multitask! Instead of just reading, people get to switch from one screen to another. The beauty of books is that you can fully dedicate your mind to reading and put aside Candy Crush for the time being.
4. Used books can make a story even better
Imagine walking into a book store and finding an old copy of the book you've always wanted to read? There may be some underlining, notes or names but those unique details may add to the story. There was someone who owned, treasured and passed on this book and now you have the chance to enjoy it and imagine who the previous owners were.
5. You can visit a library and/or bookstore!
I don't know about every one else, but I love going to bookstores and libraries as much as I can! I will never get tired of browsing rows and rows of books and racking my brain with questions about what I want to read next. I love the chance encounters and being able to turn to someone to get their sincere opinion.
Of course E-books make many things convenient but they can also take away the magic of reading. Maybe you don't want books to take up any physical space and that's okay, but what about the satisfying feeling you get when you finish reading? I see every book as a task, obstacle and trophy. You get to keep these books near you and pass them one someday to someone who needs a bit of adventure in their lives. When all of the electronics die down for the day, you'll still have your good old book by your side and the excitement never has to stop. I'm not saying to give up your trusty technology but please, never forget about books or at least give them a chance.
*If you're wondering about my mission, the total number of books I have read as of January 1st is four and I am currently working on my fifth. I will list them below for your chance to read them too. They were all great!
Is there any books that you would like to recommend? What is your favorite book? Let's talk about it!