Home > Books, Nerd, Reflections > Experiencing books

Experiencing books

Once a quarter during college, I’d receive my financial aid and go on a book-buying binge. I’d vow to spend my remaining money wisely enough that I’d be able to keep the books.

Once a quarter, nearer its end, I’d look at my books and wish they were nutritionally as well as intellectually sustaining. I’d then haul them to Smith Family Bookstore, where I’d trade one form of sustenance (books) for cash for the other (food).

Only a handful of books survived my college days. Fewer still moved overseas and back with me. Twice.

Early last year, my dear friend Sarah started recommending books she knew I’d like. A Brief History of Montmaray didn’t just suck me into its own pages but back into reading. By the end of 2011, thanks to copious readwalking, I’d read 40ish books. Most of those were ones I’d bought myself, which meant I was adding books to my shelves* knowing I really would be able to keep them this time around.

Since my return to reading, most of my books have come from Amazon. With time in short supply, it’s been convenient to click straight from a review to my online shopping cart, having to waste time on nothing more than cutting open a box.

It was all so easy, I forgot how I used to enjoy the book-buying experience. In bygone days, I’d spend hours maneuvering through stacks of books and savor the weight, feel and smell of each book I touched, whether or not any given book came home with me. Being surrounded by books was better than being surrounded by anything else in the entire world, and in the presence of so many books I felt the vastness of the world represented across all those pages.

What reminded me of the cost of “ease”?

Gatsby Books.

I’d driven by it many times before I actually stopped and peeked in a couple of weeks ago. With my little one, Li’l D, close at heel, I picked up books based on a combination of color, title and whimsy before scanning their blurbs and selecting some. Unlike the old days, my perusing time was limited.

Also unlike the old days, I was able to partake of the goodness of sharing the book-buying experience with my own little (pre-)reader. I left with five books; Li’l D, three. Sadly but predictably**, Li’l D’s favorite thing about his books was learning that pop-up books are really fun to demolish. (Li’l D: “Mommy, look! I have a monkey!” Mommy: “Sweetie, the monkey was supposed to stay in the book.”)

I had maybe ten minutes to explore. In ten minutes, with a little help from a little helper, I’d found eight books to take home. Each of those books has its own history, from inception in the writer’s mind to agent to publisher to reader to bookstore . . . and then to me. With each book I touched, I touched more than pages. I touched history. I touched humanity. I touched the words of others who make these things accessible and tangible.

Seeing right side up? Upside down? No matter!

As long as I read, I’m granted the ability to see this world and others through others’ eyes. This is the antithesis to loneliness.

I left the bookstore wondering how much time I’m really saving when I use Amazon. Am I saving minutes? Seconds? Is any “saving” worth the loss of really connecting with the individual books I decide to make part of my home, hopefully forever?

I’m not going to answer this question with a timer. I’m going to rely on intuition as I always used to. My intuition says the loss is greater than the gain, in most caess.

If I’m after a really specific book, I’ll still nab it off Amazon. But I’ll not keep making the mistake of thinking only books recommended by friends and available on Amazon are worth buying. There’s a whole world of books out there, and no matter how behemoth any online bookseller might be, its inventory reflects only a portion of what’s out there.

As for the portion in my own neighborhood? There’s little sweeter than seeing my future reader running through the stacks of knowledge that might someday become his own.

Do you still visit book stores? Libraries? What do books mean to you? Your kids?

* The floor counts as a shelf, right?

** “Curse you and your sudden but inevitable betrayal!” — Oh, man, have I ever been waiting for a chance to quote this! What Wash (Firefly) said.

© 2012 Deborah Bryan. All rights reserved.
Duplication in whole or substantial portion is explicitly forbidden.

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  1. March 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    There’s little I love more in life than books. If I had a child, I can’t imagine how much I would want to share that joy with him or her–the magic that is story!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • March 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      When Li’l D was a baby, I worried he might not share his parents’ love of reading. After he started toddling, I delighted to see him toddling toward books and spending minutes “reading” them to himself. Now he loves to “lie down next to Mommy” (hid words) and read stories, which is one of my life’s greatest joys! Sometimes he even likes me to read him my stories, which is usually OK. Not so much right now, though. :p

  2. Mary Lourcey Jones
    March 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Oh, how I miss picking out unusual, interesting books for my kids! I kept my favorite (I couldn’t bear to part with it) “God Bless The Gargoyles” by Dav Pilkey (yes, he of Captain Underpants). It’s a beautiful book and I loved the art and words so much! One day hopefully I’ll be able to pass it to my grandkids!

    • March 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      You know what’s going to happen right after I post this comment, don’t you? I’m going to seek out that book, which I’m hearing of now for the first time. 🙂

      One of my favorite books from younger days was The Rainbow Goblins. It was one of the first books I found when I started building Li’l D’s library. It’s a little more grim than I remembered, but it’s still a delight to see him looking at it.

      Did you ever read any Serendipity books? I bought a few for Li’l D. He hasn’t grown to love them yet, but I love rereading them!

  3. March 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Some of my favourite times in university were the days I didn’t have class and could go hang out in the stacks at either the reference library or the regular on-campus one. Bookstores do the same thing for me, they transport me to a hundred different places and times. And like yourself, with limited time, they have become a luxury not often allowed.

    I have such a hard time parting with books, it’s ridiculous. It’s getting better, but still .. it’s a book. I loved it. I may reread it. Who needs floor space beside the bed, anyway? 🙂

    • March 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Sometimes I debate the merits of continuing my readwalking habit, but if I stopped, I’d lose half my reading time! So readwalk I will, because that time is invaluable to me.

      I remember how I used to read a couple of books a day. Now I’m happy with a couple of books a month, which is still a whole lot of new perspectives over the course of a year!

      Who needs floor space beside the bed, anyway?
      Amen! Mwa! ♥

  4. March 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Your posts always hit very close to home for me and this one hits home and work! I feel fortunate, every single day, to work in a high school library. I am energized by students’ and teachers’ appetite for books. Many students come in looking for fiction and nonfiction–either they have a title or author in mind or they trust serendipity to find them the right book. I love seeing them satisfied after they’ve borrowed books. Most of them return the books only to look for more. This really happens –even in 2012 with all we say about students and technology….they are still reading books! I just added Kindles to the library. I know, they are still not fully accepted by all traditional book lovers, but the kids are so, so excited! I’m hoping that some of the more reluctant readers will be turned on by the Kindle technology. And, for kids who carry home 5 or 6 books for the weekend, carrying one small device will be nice!
    As for myself, Deb, yes, I do love visiting bookstores. Fortunately, my husband and15 year old son love it too. My 18 year old daughter will go, but with less of a desire to wander and discover. My children love reading. My son and I are both now reading the Steve Jobs biography and have great conversations as a result. I wrote about books and reading in one of my blog posts, http://iwishmymom.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/what-book-will-you-read-next . One of my favorite realizations is that my daughter and I share not the same favorite book, but close–the same favorite character. My all-time favorite book is Jane Eyre. Hers, so far, is its prequel, Wide Sargasso Sea.

    So, I feel like my response is not typical–since books, libraries and bookstores are my home and work passion, but I hope the message is clear–books and reading are still very much a passion for so many of us–maybe even more than during your college years!

    As always, thanks for your inspirational and thoughtful words Deb!

    • March 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      I just added Kindles to the library. I know, they are still not fully accepted by all traditional book lovers, but the kids are so, so excited!
      This is exciting even to read! I’m still a little behind the times on e-readers, reading only occasionally on my phone, but it’s definitely not for ideological dislike of them. The possibilities books bring are endless, whether the books are hard copy or electronic . . . even if my preference is still for the hard copy kind!

      I love reading about your experiences as both a librarian and a reader. I often look back on my decision to attend law school and wonder why I didn’t pursue library studies instead, but hey! I still find my way to books, and I get to experience it vicariously through you. 🙂

  5. March 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    A Brief History of Montmaray…oh my gosh, you recommended that book to me last summer. Have I read it yet? No. But that doesn’t mean I won’t. When I get it I will hold myself accountable and let you know I have it (probably on Kindle), that I’m reading it, and share what I know of you and how it touches me. Sigh! I sigh, because I don’t read as much as I should. I am busy with all this consulting work…teaching, reading student work, writing curriculum. I’m doing what I need to…and I’m privileged to be invited to participate in what I’m doing…yet, I will, I will find time to read the recommendation of a friend.
    I love the children’s section of book stores. Half price book stores are economical and they tell the age of readers past. I subscribed to a whole host of magazines when the girls were younger, and yes, I saved them for the grandchildren. I saved them with confidence knowing that their literature would be classic, timeless and not suffer the short life of “best sellers” or trends. Loved this post.

    • March 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      The good thing about books is that they’ll largely be accessible for a long time to come. Whenever it is you get to A Brief History of Montmaray, I’ll delight in hearing your thoughts about it! But of course there’s plenty to keep you busy in the meantime. 🙂

      One thing that was so awesome about visiting the book store was realizing I’d get to experience the kid’s books section with a bona fide kid. I love the books myself, but it’s a whole new dimension of joy to share the books with a little one! It’s a treat to find ones I used to enjoy and share them with him, even if his current Dora kick means he’s not open for new reads just this moment. Hee. With time, with time!

  6. March 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I love to browse in bookstores – and I never know what will intrigue me – that’s the sweetest part.

    • March 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      I was totally missing out on the intrigue part. It’s exciting to have just finished my third of those five books purchased and have loved each one, for very different reasons!

  7. Vina Kent
    March 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Anything about books always draws my attention. Great post!

    • March 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks, Vina! I’m having a great time reconnecting with pages these last several months. Li’l D and I just “organized” the books in my bedroom together. Even that was a treat. 😉

  8. March 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Funny, my mom and I were just talking about Kindles the other day. She asked me if I were going to buy one. I have mixed feelings. I love the idea and technology of a kindle. I love that it can hold several books which is great for travel. But there is something magic about walking into a book store to find your next great read. I’m reminded of the movie “You’ve Got Mail”, and bookstores are the “Shop Around The Corner”. Their sales are slowly declining and some stores closing, and the Kindles are the “Fox Bookstore” growing much to large, beating out their smaller competitors. Just makes me sad to know that book stores aren’t surviving like they use to. For now I will continue to buy my books from a bookstore, not saying that I won’t eventually give in and buy a Kindle for other uses, but I still like to see, and feal, and hold my books. And I love that my kids get excited to buy new books for their collection. Thank you for sharing. This made me happy to see that people are still enjoying the experience of a book store.

    • March 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      I haven’t yet persuaded myself to get an e-reader, either. I like having a book on my phone for when I can’t read a hard copy book, but it’s definitely my fallback position at this point. I love feeling the books’ textures in my hands and the act of turning pages, a feeling that’s not captured by sliding my finger along a screen.

      There might come a time where I invest in an e-reader, too, but every day, I discover another reason why I love hard copy books. Instead of moving further toward the digital end of the spectrum, I thus find myself grateful for access to it . . . but grateful to not be reliant upon it!

      I love reading about your kids and books. Something I’ve discovered in the last month or so is that I love reading about reading and books as much as I love reading fiction, which is to say–a lot!

  9. March 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I recently dropped into a B&N looking for a specific book (that they didn’t have, because why would a downtown big city bookstore have a book on braiding manes and tails? :D) and was sort of staggered when I walked in by the simultaneous joy and despair that there were more books in that one store than I could ever possibly read.

    I’m a big fan of the used bookstore, though, as you know, and I acquire my books mostly through paperbackswap.com … but since I’m so short on space right now I’m more and more seeing the advantage of giving books away as I finish reading them and not acquiring more. I could walk into my local library every single day for years and walk out every day with a new book to read, so I’m not sure why I’m lugging so many around with me. ;D

    • March 19, 2012 at 5:31 am

      I use the library as often as I remember, but that ends up being not so very often at all, what with one evening a week of extended hours. (D’oh!) I’d guess I end up there about once every other month, which still reflects a handful of books I get to read without paying anything for.

      After so long not holding on to books, I’m relishing having the freedom to do so. All the better when they’re from a used shop and thus come to me at half the price! There might come a time where I tire of that and really try to make sure that library trip is weekly, but I can’t imagine it yet . . . although intellectually your last sentence especially is very, very compelling. My heart’s still savoring all the books I don’t have to relinquish upon reading!

      Haha, I just reread your comment and that parenthetical makes me chuckle. 😀

  10. March 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    All the while I read this, I kept thinking, “Yes! Yes! I know exactly what she means!”

    I have always loved books. I devoured them as a kid and since my kids are now young adults, I’m back to devouring them again. Just over a year ago, my husband bought me a gift; a thing I very definitely did not want – a Nook. But despite the fact that I didn’t want it, I loved it. I love being able to read a review and push a button and have the book in my hands in an instant.

    Before Christmas, I found myself in a book store, looking for a gift. And I was reminded how much I love the covers, the feel of the pages, and shelf after shelf of new stories and new worlds in which to get lost.

    When I go to Target for my weekly necessities, I still love to wander through the book section. As much as I love the electronic versions, I will always love the real thing.

    • March 19, 2012 at 5:37 am

      But despite the fact that I didn’t want it, I loved it.
      Ba.D. keeps asking if I’d like one, but I can’t bring myself to say “yes.” This makes me wonder how it’d be to actually have one versus just reading e-books on my phone. (I suspect the answer would have to come in the form of Ba.D. surprising me with one, instead of asking if I want it. Hee.) Even with a phone, I so love the feeling you describe of being able to find a book immediately. With travel looming nearer, it’s good to know I’ll have no shortage of reading even if I misplace or forget my books.

      I’ve bought one book from Target some time ago, but I usually cruise past anything that doesn’t have items on my list. You’ve jarred me–in a very good way!–to remember that I can stop ad savor books there once in a while, too. What a treat!

  11. March 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    LOVE. I just bought a bunch of used books at a thrift store the other day! One can never have too many books!

    • March 19, 2012 at 5:39 am

      I second that! It’s so awesome to be adding books to my own shelves, not just Li’l D’s, right now. Of course, with about a dozen books purchased but still unread, I oughtn’t add anything else for at least a few months! 😀

      • March 19, 2012 at 8:04 am

        I have a stack of 58 books in front of me on this desk, that I’ve bought over the last several months at thrift stores and such. I’ve only read 2 of them! haha!
        And I’ll probably continue buying used books, no matter how many my unread stacks have in them! 🙂

  12. March 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    About two weeks ago my youngest, Callie, and I ran out to the Dollar Tree for some things she wanted to buy “with my [her] own money”. I accidentally went the wrong way to get out of the parking lot, taking me the long way out… Which happened to take me right by what I thought was a small used bookstore. Callie and I had a few extra minutes, so I thought I’d run in quickly and see if I could find a few used embroidery books.

    I literally stopped in my tracks the moment I stepped in the door. The book store seemed to have three different rooms, filled with shelves of books. It had a cozy atmosphere, and there were several overstuffed chairs with afghans hanging over the arms that invited you to sit “awhile” and read. Oh if only… I didn’t have much time to peruse the shelves, but quickly found the section I was looking for. There were no books for me that day, but I left the store with the intention of going back as soon as I have an hour (or two) to look through it sans pressure to leave quickly.

    On another note, I went to pick up Megan who was walking home from school last week. As I drove down the road I saw her lone figure slowly walking up… Her had was bowed down and as I neared her I saw she was intently reading a book. When she got into the car she started laughing and said I had just missed seeing her walk into a mailbox. I told her she should read your blog on “read-walking”, because you do that too. She loved the thought that the author of The Monster’s Daughter does the same thing…

    • March 19, 2012 at 5:59 am

      Aaaaaah, the delight of imagining this bookstore encounter! I hope when you revisit the bookstore, you’ll consider sharing a few words about the experience. Reading what you wrote here was magic enough that I want more. Mwa! (I surf the WordPress reading tag so much these days; just the same as reading fiction, reading about peoples’ experiences with books and reading transports me. Like here, where I imagined myself in your shoes, both here and when you visit the shop again later.)

      And that bt about readwalking? Priceless! I smiled so wide when I read this last night, and again this morning. ♥

  13. March 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Books are my muse. And regardless of technological advances, that will never change.

  14. March 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    I frequent the stacks of libraries and whenever I drop my kids off at their dads for the weekend, usually the first stop on the way home is Barnes and Noble. I don’t always buy something, I roam, browse, and relax!

    • March 19, 2012 at 6:00 am

      Ooooh! You’ve just given me an idea what to do with some of my unfilled time away this weekend! Even imagining it is bliss. 🙂

      • March 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

        I actually prefer just about any book store besides B&N but the fact that the starbucks is inside, sucks me in a bit. That’s the other thing my book stores need – coffee! Hope you have fun!!

  15. March 19, 2012 at 3:46 am

    When I was in nursing school I worked in our local library…I nearly changed my career choice it was such a wonderful job…All those books!!! All those readers!!! What was there not to love (besides the pittance of a paycheck?)

    I listen to books on CD or little electronic playback devices (called Play-Away) on my hour long commute to and from work. It takes a little getting used to, being read to instead of reading on your own, but I couldn’t endure the drive without them.

    I love bookstores, libraries, even the book tables at garage sales. Once after a move I had boxes and boxes of books still packed and stored in the basement – which flooded horribly. What a sad, sad sight – soggy books, some I had owned since childhood (there was never any question as to what sort of gift I wanted for birthdays or Christmas).

    I read to my boys, and my grandchildren. We Skype and little Stephanie will read to me over the computer, turning the books so that I can see the pictures, as well. It is very precious.

    • March 19, 2012 at 6:05 am

      Audio books are also Ba.D.’s help through a long commute! He’s listened to so many Star Wars audio books, I’d have a hard time counting ’em all. His enthusiasm for them has made me wonder once or twice whether I ought try an audio book or two myself. I actually have one a girlfriend gave me a couple of years ago, so I could start there.

      Even listening to talk on radios took me a little while getting used to, but I’ve finally jumped that hurdle. So now really is perhaps the time to give those a shot!

      the book tables at garage sales
      Oh! Oh! How did I forget this? Such a fabulous source of books, all the way through life!

      The image of so many flooded books is a sad one indeed. We lost a great deal of our perishable possessions when our own basement flooded, but never any of our books. We did part with a great many through garage sales of our own, but picturing all of this is bringing me back to many childhood favorites I’ve not had a chance to revisit. Until now.

      And, aaaaw! To reading over Skype! It’s precious even to imagine this. ♥

      • March 21, 2012 at 2:45 am

        I just downloaded 2 e-audio books to my digital recorder from the library – in my pajamas!!! Now I have something to listen to on that commute and I didn’t have to worry about getting to the library before they closed. Although I miss books (holding them, re-reading my favorite parts, jut the feel of the book) I enjoy filling up those 2 hours a day spent behind the wheel with good stories.

  16. March 19, 2012 at 5:08 am

    I hope we don’t lose book shops. It’s lovely to browse and spot a hidden treasure you probably won’t find online as you weren’t looking for it! However, Amazon does stock EVERYTHING and is usually a lot cheaper so it’s my go-to for books I know I want.

    • March 19, 2012 at 6:08 am

      Ditto for the books I know I want! Two of the books I picked up at the bookstore were (unbeknownst to me at the time) trilogies, which means I’ve since procured their sequels via Amazon. It’s a much safer bet for those certainly sought books!

  17. March 19, 2012 at 6:41 am

    You went to the U of Oregon? Or, I suppose there could be more than one Smith Family Books. If it’s the same place, I love how they just stack books everywhere. It does feel lazy or chaotic, it just feels like an abundance that’s burst from the shelves themselves.

    • March 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      I did! I grew up a couple of miles down the street, so that there was never a question of which university I’d attend if I opted to attend it at all. You are in fact picturing exactly the Smith Family Books that sold and bought so very many of my books.

      I love your description of it. 🙂

  18. March 19, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I definitely have that same special place in my heart for the ‘real’ book store experience (my first job, from ages 16-18, was at a local, independent book store, which I’m happy to say is still in existence). Sure a Kindle takes up less space, and I suppose saves trees, but what if the battery runs out? A book is like a savior in those moments when you’re stuck somewhere; as long as you don’t drop it in a puddle, you’re good to go! Right now I’m reading and loving “The Help” (and then will finally watch the movie!); after that, I think I’m going to see what this Hunger Games stuff is all about… 🙂

    • March 19, 2012 at 7:13 am

      Oh and apparently I need to read “Something Borrowed” since my new favorite movie is based on it (I hadn’t realized it was a book)!

      • March 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm

        I saw your reference to this movie in your blog. I have a horrible tendency of listening to movies more than actually watching them, but I really enjoyed listening to that movie. Hee.

    • March 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Oooh! My 16- to 18-year-old self would have been very jealous of yours! I always wanted to work at a bookstore, but was told repeatedly to find the end of the line a few miles back. (D’oh!)

      I’m glad that bookstore is still around. I’m also excited to hear that you’re reading The Help! It took me a couple of starts to get into the groove of the book, but after I found it, it was smooth riding. 🙂

  19. March 19, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Used bookstores are my favorite, because I almost always find treasures there. As much as I love the internet and my Kindle, there’s just something about browsing a physical bookstore that can’t be replaced.

    • March 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Hear, hear! I feel a bit forlorn at all the years of used bookstore browsing I missed, but I’m glad to have put an end to that (personal) era.

  20. March 19, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I love, loVE, LOVE my books!!! I have a huge floor to ceiling library in my house and still the books spill into every other room in the house. I believe the only room that doesn’t have at least one book in it is the laundry room. And that’s only cuz I don’t spend much time in there!
    I love everything about books (though not electronic books) – the smell, feel, weight, colors… I do all my travelling vicariously through the wonderful travels of each character in every book I read. I think I may have read a thousand books in my lifetime (as long as you count the ones I’ve read multiple times too). I’ve been fortunate enough to have my whole family love books, from my family growing up to my husband and four kids! Yay books! ❤ ❤ ❤

  21. SSS other Deb
    March 19, 2012 at 10:34 am

    first thing I check out at a thrift store is the book section and nothing beats being able to spend time in a second hand bookstore… I love my books!!!! but most recently my books have come from amazon and of late they are more mental health related to help the healing process… I also have one that I recieved from a truly special, beautiful & amazingly talented woman, whom I am honoured to call my friend, Deb!!!♥ ♥ much luv 2 ya …the other Deb ♥ ♥

  22. March 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I am a book store junkie! Like SSS other Deb above, it’s the first place I check out in a thrift store. I have a particular passion for used book stores or independent book stores. In the house I grew up in, the den was converted into the “family library” and it was my favorite room in the house–the place I felt safest. We’ve semi-recreated one in our house–comfy reading chair, filled book shelves on both sides and my father’s desk under the window. As for the library, I call that our second home, In the last 17+ years, I don’t think a week has gone by that I don’t land there at least once during the week, and for the last 6 years my older daughter has volunteered on the teen advisory board and in the children’s department. (My younger one has been at it for 3 years now.) I felt it very important that they give back to the place that has given them so much.

  23. March 20, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Sarah Harris :
    I actually prefer just about any book store besides B&N but the fact that the starbucks is inside, sucks me in a bit. That’s the other thing my book stores need – coffee! Hope you have fun!!

    There’s an independent bookstore that I love in the DC area that also has a bar. Book shopping after happy hour is dangerous. 😀

  24. March 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I do all of the above, i.e. bookstore, library and amazon but I agree that I am doing a lot more Amazon than the other two. Sometimes I am not keen on library books especially when I become like Hughes, germ conscious, and I know that it is a crazy thing. I am currently reading a library book that I almost bought on Amazon but then I thought that I would not because I don’t want to accumulate any more than I have to. It is sad that many bookstores have closed but encouraging that some small ones are opening, at least in our area. Enjoy your books with your little one!

  25. March 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I have a kindle, but I also buy books here and there. There are some that I just would not prefer to read electronically. I have such fond memories of going to the library every week with my mom. It was one of our favorite things. I want to continue that with my son.

  26. March 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Not only do I still visit bookstores, but I can sniff out a used book store even when I’m on vacation in a place I’ve never visited before! A couple of years ago, my boyfriend and I went on a New England cruise. We found bookstores in every single place we stopped, and we both came home with probably 10 new books. Well, “new” to us 😉 Oh, how I love a used book store!

    What do books mean to me? They’re escape, companionship, magic, knowledge, comfort. In grad school, they were furniture. They’re touchstones and old friends. They’re wonderful rainy afternoons with tea and sleepy cats and my mind so far away that I suddenly look up in amazement that it’s already nighttime, and how was I reading in the dark?

    Love ’em. Just love ’em.

  27. March 21, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I often stare at the bookshelf next to my bed and marvel at the fact that those shelves hold all those stories and those book hold all those stories within. It’s stunning and amazing and wondrous!! Then I walk into a bookstore – Toadstool Books in NH in my case – and whoa, my head goes dizzy with the delight of possibility!! Sounds like your li’l D had his first experience of really bringing the character to life – jumping off the page, so to speak!! Ah, the love of books – there is nothing like it!

  28. March 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I love the library, and visit a cadre of them in my area. But I’m not reading as much as I used to because I’m using the time to write. With a job, a little guy and as many writing projects as you have going, I’m frankly amazed you have time to read at all!

  29. March 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    You spoke for me in this post… I still love the touch of a book cover and turning the pages of a great read still gets me excited. I love the world of books and I remain confident that the Library would never become obsolete.

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