Reading. A pleasurable pursuit for the Everyman, that can be done nearly anywhere, thanks to our technological age. But I can’t seem to let go of the paper versions.
I do a lot of reading, most of it online. Emails, websites, blogs and posts from various Social Media outlets consume much of my time and attention. I don't think I'm alone. Work and what has become mainstream culture, dictates this medium for my personal use as well. I feel perfectly comfortable using this format, and indeed it's quite enjoyable.
But when I really want to read, I always mean a book. There is something about a book that means substance to me, that brings a kind of nourishment. The wonderment of being able to live another life through the words of another, my shock and delight to access of whole other worlds, of passionate souls and brilliant minds, revealed through that magic door, that only writers are wardens to.
Then, there are the physical and ritualistic pleasures I experience from a book. The weight of it in my hands, sometimes light and airy, sometimes heavy enough that I can feel the slight strain on my wrists after a while. Seeing where my tattered bookmark is, its placement either mocking my sluggish pace, or torturing me by holding all of its secrets hostage, as I count the minutes until I can pick it up again.
Curling up with a good book on a winter day, white with cold, nested in a crocheted afghan of off-colors, the sound of turning pages that is a pleasant blend of a crinkle and a flip, and the dark scent of coffee steaming in a cup nearby. Why, this is comfort in all its' entirety.
I have been known to enter into used book stores, and gaze and wander for very long stretches of time. Admiring leather bound covers with worn gold lettering, beautiful with illustrations and lithographs, inhaling the smell of the pages; musty, slightly sweet, steeped with age. And if I am lucky, I will find a handwritten sentiment from someone long ago, my own little discovery of a book turned time capsule.
Enjoyable nuances that only paper can bring.
I have yet to read an e-book.
I am behind the times, I know. Technology is improving all the time to make it easier to access and share, easier to read on the eyes, easier to carry. Easier. But I haven't been able to bring myself to convert yet.
I recognize that my refusal to switch over to an e-version is illogical. The writing's on the wall, books will one day become obsolete, or at least be rare.
I realize I will get the same information reading great literature on a screen, that I do on paper.
But it won't be the same experience.