Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Do You Physically Love Books?

(If You Want to Write...)

In this day & age where we do much of our reading on a computer and now some of us have e-readers, what's there to a physical book? Is a book in any other form still as sweet?

I've been pondering this as I catalog books for a community service project. These books range from "Harold and the Purple Crayon" to Scooby Doo mysteries and upper level books. The feel of a 300-page middle-grade read surprised me.

I have so many memories-- or one giant blurred memory-- of reading books while in elementary school. Just feeling this particular book made me remember the excitement of starting something new, a good book... the feeling that prompted me and many others to write books of our own.

Remembering this is important. I still read quite a bit now, but often it's a means to an end. King Henry IV for summer work. Under the Tuscan Sky to learn about travel writing. Morgaux with an X because I'm bored. All of these are wonderful pieces of literature, but something is lost when I don't just read to read. Reading is its own reward.

Right! Physicality. I'm pretty anti-progress when it comes to technology (i.e., stubborn, old-fashioned, lazy) but honestly, I love the feel of books. I love that you can hold something abstract.

Other people have been blogging about children's books and the physical love of books: Shannon Hale (www.squeetus.com), Nathan Bransford (www.nathanbransford.blogspot.com) and Jessica Faust (www.bookendslitagency.blogspot.com).

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