By Lillian Dinkins, owner of “Locust Grove Emporium, Purveyor of Resale and other Fine Goods”
I love books. And I am a confirmed book snob. I believe that only a book printed on paper is a real book. I have read – or attempted to read – exactly one digital book. My son once tried to buy me a kindle, but I returned it and dared him to do that again.
I have read books my entire life. I live alone, and I rarely eat a meal without a book on hand, propped open with the sugar bowl. And I’m kinda glad there’s no one there wanting me to make conversation while I’m reading to my meal.
My husband was not much of a reader – initially. My son, on the other hand, always loved books. After the obligatory bedtime story and lights-out, he’d say “read me a story without a book” before he’d let me leave the room. To this day, he still reads…a lot. Good boy.
As a confirmed book snob, I look askance at people who only read on digital devices. They tell me about “having hundreds of books on hand,” and “how portable a kindle is,” and “the books are cheap,” and “the built-in light is wonderful for reading in the dark,” and “font sizes can be real big.”
All of these statements may be true. But only a book is a book. And I need to feel it, to smell it, to heft its weight in my hand, to (gasp!) dog-ear the page when I don’t have a bookmark, to hold it to my breast and exhale dramatically when I‘ve reached the satisfying conclusion. I need to keep my favorites around so I can go back to the good parts as often as I want to. I need to be able to pass the book on to others with a stern admonishment to return it when they finish, or at least to let me know when they’ve passed it on to someone else. I need to keep a secret stash of my favorites under the bed, to be pulled out when I’m cleaning so I can run my hand over the book covers and remember the joy of reading those words for the first time. And so I can reread them.
But I have to be honest: If others – especially children and young people – will only read via electronic devices – then I say, “okay.” Okay. Because reading in any format is better than not reading at all. And as the world gets smaller and closer and seemingly less real, if this is the only way some will keep up with what’s going on, then so be it. And if my peers have become addicted to these devices as well, that’s okay, too. For them. But I will remain a bibliophile who only reads real books, with a magnifying glass if necessary. Because I’m old school – and that’s the way I roll…er, read.
Got books? If not, come to Locust Grove Emporium and buy a whole box for $2! All book sales benefit the Jackson-Butts County Friends of the Library.