Friday 19 June 2015

Warm, Fuzzy

Let’s see…how to start?

I once dated this girl that was several levels of intellect above me. I know what you are thinking, “Gee, that isn’t too hard to believe, in fact I would be surprised if there was anyone less intelligent than you.” You might be right, but I am attracted to women who are smarter than I am. “Gee, that isn’t too hard to believe; in fact I would be surprised if there was anyone less intelligent than you.” Okay, I get the joke.

So this girl was a voracious reader, burning through at least two paperbacks a day and retaining a large portion of everything she read. I lost track of her (she came to her senses), but I would imagine she has made a mark on the world in some way. I always envied her reading ability. I was no slouch, but she was just amazing. I imagine that by now she has read every book ever printed.

Enough about her, she doesn’t want anything to do with me and I should respect her wishes. I started to enjoy reading in Mrs. Cunningham’s grade six class. I read before, but for some reason I discovered all of the new worlds that were available to me in grade six. I just love to read, sometimes getting lost in a story for days. There was a time when I would go without eating and without sleep until I finished a particularly good book. Now I may go without sleep but I rarely will go without eating. The book can wait while I have a sandwich.

I keep hearing people talk about how books printed on paper are so much better than the electronic books that Kindle, Kobo, and iPads give us. They say that ebooks will never replace the printed book; people like to hold a book in their hands, feeling the texture of the paper and the weight of the book itself. They say that there is nothing like walking into a particularly good book store and spending hours just browsing up and down the stacks. To have several shelves of your favourite books in your home says a lot about you. The first thing I do when I am in someone’s home is to look at the books that they have on display. I can tell at a glance if we are kindred spirits.

There will always be a place in my home and in my heart for those books that have special meaning to me. My wife suggested a month or two ago that we have to thin out our collection of books, at least those that have been residing in boxes for the past decade or two. I really didn’t know what to say! If you knew me that would be very telling. I just looked at her and wondered if she was serious or not. The kids can get rid of the books when I die, but not before.

Just so there is no doubt, I LOVE BOOKS!

I am switching over to using an eReader more and more often and I read the paper online. I find that it is much more convenient to carry an ereader with me on vacation or the doctor’s office. I could make the argument that paper books have an environmental cost that ebooks simply don’t have. In the US, in one year two billion books are produced which uses 32 million trees to manufacture. That doesn’t take into account the number of trees that newspapers consumed, 95 million trees in 2009 and 126 billion gallons of waste water. The numbers are staggering, but in the end they are just numbers. We want what we want.

Until the next generation takes over with their tech savvy lives, we will continue to read books. We will chop down trees at an alarming rate so that we can wander the aisles of charming, nice smelling stores. We will line our walls with hundreds of books that will only be read once or twice for the most part. I am slowly drifting towards a digital reading life, but until ereading develops the warm, fuzzy comfort level that a book has, we (I) will continue to read books.

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