Do you read? I love to read.
My libraries consist of business books, novels, biographies, old books, reference books, non-fiction.
Back on The Bookshelves!
A recent move has provided me the space to bring my umpteen boxes of books out of storage and put them back on bookshelves. It has been quite an adventure.
I have kept my business books nearby for the last two years as they provide insights, incentives and inspiration. I unpacked my novels with a smile as I recollected the adventures I went on and the people I got to know and love even as they deprived me of my sleep with stories I couldn’t desert no matter the hour. Best-seller titles have been impactful if not always enjoyable – they made me think and often kept me humble. The biographies (some auto-) fill me with admiration at lives well- and strongly-lived, role models and guides if my focus or drive should falter. Reference books and non-fiction can be heavier fare but are both thought- and conversation-provoking.
Which brings me to my old books. I came to appreciate old books growing up with my mother’s collection ever-present… even if I wasn’t allowed to touch. I have since collected many of my own, some dating back over a century, some undateable. I haven’t really been discerning with this collection, which is fine as it has allowed me to gift books if a friend showed more appreciation for a title or subject than I did. Some of these books, however, are pretty amazing and I have decided they are going to get read. Read in no particular order, for no particular reason… but read.
The Changing Art of Reading
These recent acts and decisions have had me ponder the changing art of reading.
Books – real, tangible, hold-‘em-in-your-hands books continue to be churned out at an incredible pace.
E-books seem to be offered up at an even faster pace. Apparently writing that was formerly called an article can now be presented as an e-book. The ‘rules’ here seem pretty relaxed.
Audio books have become the go-to resource for many – perhaps because it allows the listener to multi-task (whether driving, doing the laundry or jogging), perhaps because the oral tradition was where it all began.
All Sorts of Pros and Cons
With the variety of formatting available now, all sorts of pros and cons have become subjects for debate.
Hard copy books: can be expensive, can be heavy, can be inconvenient BUT they allow the reader to immerse him/herself into the pages, the characters, the stories, there is a feeling of an old friend when pages become dog-eared or high-lighted or loaned to friends.
E-books are pretty convenient even if you do have to buy a device on which to store them, you can carry dozens of books with you without increasing your load, you can highlight without staining anything else with ink and you can often pick e-books up for a fraction of the price of hard copy books BUT you have to be aware of the EMFs of your device and the blue light that can hinder sleep and affect vision.
Audio books are wonderful for anyone who has good memories of being read to when younger, or anyone who has vision problems BUT if you are multi-tasking you certainly aren’t retaining as much of the story as possible… unless you are engrossed in the storyline at the expense of your attention to your driving or work project.
Full Circle Now…
This brings me full-circle now to my book collection and the passion I have always had for reading.
Audio books have not been a part of my life as I have tried to use them on road trips only to realize I had no recollection of the last half hour of the trip – I was the driver so this was a little scary! That said, they were worth their weight in gold when my children were younger and we had long road trips to get behind us – they gave me a rest from entertaining them or settling sibling bickering, and the children loved them.
I think by now you know how I feel about my hardcopy books. They bring me joy and I can’t imagine anything will replace the lovely feeling of a book in my hands and cosying in to a big easy chair or my bed. There is an intimacy that blocks out the rest of the world and feels not unlike sharing secrets with a close friend by firelight.
That leaves e-books. I have been collecting e-books of interest for several years now. Some were offered as promotions, some were advance sales for a whopping 99¢. Almost all of them are business books. They were stored on my laptop which was not always easy to read from. With my most recent location changes and the options of re-writing my calendar (and implementing some of the habits I know to be beneficial) here are some of the “reading” habits I have decided on developing:
- On my morning and evening walks with my dog, usually 45-60 minutes each, I am plugging into an audio business book. My dog and her nose have their own agenda and she is happy to have me a little distracted. I’ve missed a few words here and there but generally this is proving a success.
- I am forcing myself away from my office at lunch so, in this lovely Summer season, I am settling myself into a comfortable spot in the yard with my newly acquired tablet. It’s easy to ready from, allows me the larger font size I prefer and I can still highlight those important parts of my business books to refer back to later. So far, so good.
- My real books are my love, of course, and I have two always on my bedside table. I will read only one at a time so that the people and their stories stay true in my brain but, if I should finish one before my lights are out, I have another to call on before sleep. This time late at night allows me to wind down away from my business, protect my eyes and my sleep, and cosies me in so sleep does come quickly when I turn out the lights.
What’s Your Attachment to Reading?
This post has become longer than I intended and I would love to hear about your attachment to reading – whether for pleasure or personal improvement – and how you assimilate it into your life.
And… what is your favourite genre?
Great post! I, sad to say, have been letdown by most books of late. Outside of a few good ones, many are filled with dangling participles (a personal pet peeve), incorrect grammar, the usual typos (‘there’ versus ‘their’), or just plain disappointing tales. As a result, most of my ‘reading’ has been me editing my own short stories. Heh… As for genre, there is little I dislike. Rock and roll memoirs were an obsession a few years ago. Maybe I should see if anyone interesting wrote one lately. Thanks for the reminder. And Happy Reading!
I hear you, Darla, when it comes to sentence structure and grammar. I am truly appreciating my old books as the plots and their twists are captivating and seem different than modern ones – it’s hard to explain. I heard an interesting theory about one’s own writing this morning – to remain true to one’s own style, to not respond to every suggestion or expectation of an editor, as one’s own voice can be lost. I’m not a fan of rock and roll memoirs either, although I will admit to appreciating documentaries about some of the icons. Tastes – so… Read more »
Hi Agnes, I have a home library and thousands of books despite having donated thousands more. I ended up donating my huge professional collection to a faculty of education which felt great that they were all going to be housed in one spot as the Karen Hume Collection. I choose not to think about the fact that many student teachers aren’t readers and a lot of the books will never be touched. I’ll do an audio book on a long trip, but am generally not a fan because I’m a visual learner. E-books are okay and I’ll go for them… Read more »
WoW! that’s amazing, Karen. and what a lovely gift to a faculty of education and if only a handful of student teachers are readers they will no doubt be voracious readers and it will all be worthwhile.
I am currently reading a 1941 edition of H. Rider Haggard’s SHE – quite a unique story from an author who stayed under my radar but was required reading for a British friend!
So many books so available now – we are living in amazing times!
I still prefer “real” books. I love the feel of them in my hand. But I also use an ereader. They are great for traveling and for reading in bed without turning on the light and disturbing my hubby. I haven’t tried audio books, but I did manage to download the audible app. So I guess that’s next.
I often see “one free book” with Audible – did you get one? “Real” books seem the unanymous favourite here… although we’re all bright people and see the benefit of e-readers! Thanks for stopping by, Leah!
I’ve been an avid reader all my life. During many of my professional work years, I had to stop reading because I had a hard time putting a book down. I still read on planes (and waiting for planes), but had to stop bedtime reading or I found myself up all night. Fast forward to 2012 when I started writing (flash fiction, mysteries, childrens books, romances), and the reading now is done only when I am on hiatus from writing (like right now). On a 10 day cruise in 2010, I brought 4 paperbacks (all long books), hubby brought 2… Read more »
Oh, Donna! I completely identifywith having to not read! I’d take books on vacations but, like you, I’d be up all night finishing a story and couldn’t afford that habit during work years!! I’ll have to check the storage capacity of my tablet!!! 🙂
I’m not a fan of audio books – I tried one once and didn’t like how the characters were voiced. I’m a huge fan of our local library and they will order in books for me which saves me a lot of $$. I also have a Kindle Paperwhite – smaller than the old Kindle and I love that I can tuck it into my bag and take it anywhere – I’ve downloaded heaps of free books over time and will get around to reading them eventually. My husband is the book buyer in our family and we have two… Read more »
Oh, Leanna, I am envious of your bookcases!! A home library, to me, helps define the word ‘home’. You reminded me that I once listened to an audio book and didn’t find the voices appropriate too! I’m using mine for business motivation so there’s straight narration with no characters. I love my local library for the books I’m not prepared to spend money on.
I do prefer hardback books … there is nothing like holding the tangible book in my hands and smelling the distinct aroma of the printed page. BUT… I do have a place in my heart for ebooks. I tend to download non-fiction books more than fiction – and I appreciate the fact that I can carry my entire library of writing craft books with me at all times. I struggle with audiobooks – but mostly because I am such a visual learner.
I too love hard-copy books, Molly, and so far my new tablet and it’s e-reader are working out well. I can see ‘volume’ would be so much easier to keep close with an e-reader than hard-copy! 🙂
I adore reading and can’t get enough of it. As we are downsizing we had to make the difficult decision of donating our books to the Lifeline Book Charity. I think there is a place for all versions of books. I love the feel of a book but I also like my E-reader when I travel. My cousin loves audio books although I haven’t tried them yet. Thanks for joining us at #MLSTL and have a beautiful week.
Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
Hi, Sue! I don’t think I could donate all my books at once – I started a couple of years ago when I started my down-sizing but I think I’ve done all the paring I care to do just now. Good luck with yours! I can see that an e-reader would be an ideal tool for a down-sizer. You have a wonderful week too!