This post involves another quote from Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin, but it brings up a different topic and I wanted it to be a separate post.
While reading Home Cooking, I came to this paragraph and realized that it’s such a perfect example of why I will never stop reading and buying traditional books, and never adopt digital books into my own life:
These wafers come from The Settlement Cook Book by Mrs. Simon Kander (copyright 1926). I have my mother’s copy, which is falling to pieces and has written on the endpaper the telephone number for Charlie’s vegetable truck service from 1947.”
That example pretty much sums up my reasons for sticking to traditional copies of books. My books have a history. Some are a recent history that so far only involves me. Some belonged to my parents and have their name and the year they purchased the book written in their own handwriting inside the book. Some are from used bookstores and have a history I’m less familiar with, but that I’m happy to be adding to. One belonged to Allen V. Miller. I make notes inside my book with a pencil. In my cookbooks I write the date I first made the recipe, for what occasion it was made, and how it turned out. I’m aware you can make notes in digital books, but it is far from the same.
I have no problem with people reading digital books. It’s just not my preference. I’m not the sort of reader that benefits from digital books. I don’t often purchase books knowing I’ll only read it once and then not need anymore. Every book I buy with the hopes it will become a favorite and beg to be read again. It doesn’t always turn out that way, but I don’t buy it unless I think I have a chance of really enjoying it.
I also don’t travel so much that I need gobs of books with me. The amount of time I’ll be away is reflected in the size of my bag/luggage and thus the number of books I can carry. I’ve never run out of books to read in my life.
All this, and I haven’t even touched on the other main 50% of my reason I don’t like digital books – there’s nothing that can replace the feeling and experience of reading an actual book in my hands. I love technology and my computer, iPhone, etc, but it will never replace a physical book for me. I also feel a need to not be staring a screen every waking hour of the day. This is the main reason many people cite when declaring that they wont adopt e-books, but I guess I wanted to point out that while it’s a major reason for me too, it’s only part of the experience of owning a book.
I also know I complain about buying too many books, and that I’m running out of bookshelves for them – but truthfully there’s no other material possession I’d rather have in my apartment. Someday they will all have shelves, but for now some of them will be fine stacked on the floor.
A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
(This post was brought over from emilyw.vox.com. Click here for the original post and comments.)