Saturday, January 28, 2012


I'm feeling sad for books.

With the new technology of devices that you can read books and newspapers and magazines on now, I'm a bit torn. On one hand, there is the reduction of paper production when using these readers... but on the other hand we have the need to make more of these electronic devices as people stray away from books. I recently listened to an episode on This American Life that reminded me (about what I already knew) about the production of these fancy electronic gadgets that make us all so happy. Reminders are good sometimes.

And what about all of the books out there that already exist? We don't need contribute to the production of new paper to buy those. One of my favorite stores to visit in my town is a used bookstore called Yellow House Books. I have been selling some of our good books that we are ready to pass on and receiving store credit. My 5 year old has been really into the Magic Tree House series, so it has been great to go in there and add to his collection from books already in production.

We also love to give books as gifts, so this makes it fun to pick out a "new" book for someone without contributing to the production of something new. And we can support a local business at the same time.

There is something so magical about going into a used bookstore and not being sure what you are going to find until you find it. Not only do you totally miss out on this experience when you read books on an electronic device, but you also completely miss out on any human interaction that a bookstore could offer you.

I know that some sources say that there is absolutely no difference between reading a book on an electronic device and reading a real book, but they seem to have forgotten to consider other things like how light affects our sleep... as I'm sure at least a few you like to read before going to bed.

And then there are libraries... oh, how I love the library. In fact, I was just there yesterday thinking about how wonderful libraries were and much people need them. How could they exist if people stopped reading real books? it was amazing to watch how community formed in the downstairs children's section of my local library. Children were doing homework and browsing the shelves, younger ones with parents and older ones just off the bus killing time before going home. Yes, electronic devices played a role there too - some kids checking their email on the computer and some adults using the wifi to keep themselves busy while their children searched for books to read.

But what would we do without libraries?

The truth is, I feel like I would rather not be getting magazine subscriptions and instead be reading them online or... on something. I know that I could get magazines from the library too, but I haven't quite worked this one out just yet. Maybe if I go in this direction of an electronic device for this, I might be able to get my hands on something second hand... but it's a thought.

And what about when the power goes out? You can only read on a reader so long before the battery dies, but a little candle light and a paperback and maybe a little of this:
and I think you will have one happy (over 21) camper.

Hows that for a quick lead in? I just wanted to add that I have now committed myself to buying local alcohol whenever there is an option... and it just so happens that we have this great local company that seems to make quite a selection of recreational drinks for us grownups. Not that I buy a lot of alcohol... but for some reason I was letting myself slide on the local purchasing when it came to this category. Well, not anymore.

Ok, off to do my homework... which just so happens to involve reading a real life book!

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