Nothing feels like a book in your hands

Paper vs technology, 1-0. At least for me, because I could never give up on the great feeling to hold a book in my hands.


Think about those winter days, even better, winter weekends. It’s snowing outside and you are getting ready to relax with you favorite cup of tea, the armchair where you could spend days , and yes, your book.

I grow up with books all around me, literally.

My mother used to read all the time, as well as my grandmother, and when they didn’t have anything new to read, they would read an old one, and then another, without stopping. Growing up, I noticed the bookshelves were the first thing I was looking for when I was invited over to a friend, because it was an infallible way to better understand their personalities.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but please, do not touch my books. I know my grandmother probably thought the same about email vs. letters written by hand, and my children and grandchildren  will look at me one day like an old dinosaurs.

It’s ok, call me “old school”, I’ll take it. But I am the one who had hard time buying second-hand books at school, or rent them from the library. Not all of them, but those that I knew I was going to look for in few years, and that I felt closer to me and to who I wanted to become as a person.

Books are personal, and I found myself selfish sometimes, not wanting to borrow those that I really couldn’t live without, because you never know if you are going to see them again!

My family’s love for books taught me also that they are the most precious gifts, but you should ALWAYS write an inscription.

I used to love when my Mum lent me one of the books she used to read in her teens. All of them have the date and inscription from my grandmother, my grandfather, friends or other members of the family.  I knew exactly when she had that book, from who and why. Some were actually my grandmother’s which made them little family’s treasure for me.
Sometimes there were notes on the side of the page, or I could find little pieces of paper and underlined sentences. Some pages were more yellow than others because she was coming back to read them over and over again. If it was a poem book, I could see signs of dried off tears. I knew what she was thinking when she was reading it, and learning about the story and the message from the author I was learning also about my family.

Now, try to do all this with a Kobo eReadr.

Yes, I’m sure there are good reasons to switch to one of those technological gadget, but it’s just not the same. Not for me.

It’s happening for newspaper, pictures, and lots of other things. I know, I’m aware of that and I actually like most of this techno-revolution. But about books… not in my life time, not in my house.

Writing an email it’s not the same as writing a letter by hand, but we do it anyway. So I know eReaders will become our new….. well, it’s fine, but please don’t call them “books”!.

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25 responses to “Nothing feels like a book in your hands”

  1. Fragolina says :

    I also love books, used to work in a bookstore. I feel more relaxed and peaceful when I read a book, it’s been long time now… but I think of a time in the future when books will be on my side all the time and not just cookbooks like nowadays. My mom tells me to throw away the old torn children books we used to read in school, but I refuse, books are precious in whatever conditions they were. For me, they are a treasure.

    • piankeu says :

      I’m a camerronian, my English it too bad! but the one of my passion in the live is reading; when I am reading I fee l well.all I have in me live the precious are my books.
      Like your for books are the treasure,my familly is very poor but to bay a book we are already fund the maney

  2. alex says :

    I’ve recently read an article about the same argument; it was a research made by a US university. In brief, the result was: ebooks are more easy to be read, but less effective if you need to study.
    I think that there will be new functionalities (still in development) that will change our approach with books and even more with magazine or newspapers.
    However, I agree with you that paper-books give a special feeling. Love them too.

  3. nataliejoan says :

    I got a Kobo for Christmas. Yet I mostly still agree with you. I read a lot. Often for school or work. The Kobo is more portable, and I can buy books that I’m not super excited about at a reduced price – and borrow ebooks from the local library.
    That said, I have bought 4 actual paper-and-ink nice-smelling keep-em-forever books since Christmas. Books that I want to add to my collection. Books I don’t want on my Kobo.
    I think maybe there’s a place for both.

  4. raven says :

    Paper for me as well. Though I do read quite a bit on the laptop as well as my NexusOne. But, given a choice, it’s always paper for me :)

  5. Circe says :

    I too love the feel of book in my hands, just this week I reopened an old favourite, I read it (the same copy) for the first time when I was 13, I reread it several times in university, I’ve shared it with friends, and now, since I feel like I need a little pep, I’m rereading it. It sounds totally corny, and kind of materialistic, just as you described, we have relationships, sort of, with some stories, and it’s nice to see that history displayed in worn pages, and fraying spines.

  6. jay @ bethegospel says :

    I agree. I gotta have books in my hands. Turn the corner of the page, mark in it, highlight a sentence. I think a Kindle would be cool to have…so I could sell it on Craigslist, but not to use. Books all the way.

  7. eloradaphne says :

    I love books too – I’ve grown up with books too – and am just like you – I love buying them. I can spend hours browsing through a second hand book store, discovering all the books that people have looked through and loved, it’s like insight into someone’s life!

    • ElenaSC says :

      OMG! You are right! This is something I should have mentioned!
      I do love book stores. There is not another place that can make me fell like it! It’s true, I could spend hours, days there!
      Could you imagine… no more book stores???!!! :(( No, Thanks!

  8. Christina says :

    Bookstores and libraries are two of my favorite places to be. As I mentioned in my post (thanks for stopping by!), There is something so comforting about sitting in an over sized chair with a sunbeam warming you up as you turn the pages of a good book. I am so completely addicted to technology otherwise that I purposefully created a reading corner in my house to keep me away from my laptop or iphone when I want to read. I am so afraid that an ereader would trigger my “internet induced ADD’ and instead of focusing on one book I would just browse through anything else available on it every five minutes. No, I think we need a balance between old and new and, at least for me, books are my much needed ‘old’.

  9. jnduncan says :

    Honestly, I like the ereaders. They’re very convenient. As an author, I like them because people do more impulse buying with them which can mean more sales. As a reader, well, nothing love the tactile sensations of a book. I love the way they smell, but more importantly, bookstores are really cool places, and if everyone was reading digital, they would start going away, which would be a sad state of affairs. The tech has it’s purpose and place, and will only get more useful as time goes on, but I sure don’t want physical books to go away. Also, maybe I’m weird, but I actually love having shelves full of books in my house. I don’t need to get rid of them for space. I love the ambience of a room full of books. A room with an ereader on the coffee table just isn’t the same. Not even close.

  10. Antonella says :

    There are 2500 books in our home, more or less … more, I think … The oldest is five centuries old, the youngest arrived this morning … and we agree with you: not in our lifetime, not in our house … not in our favourite bookstore!
    Antonella & Daniele

    • Joseph says :

      On the whole, I agree with you – there’s no way an eReader can replicate the look and feel of an actual book, no matter how much the screen looks like an actual page. Having said that, I’m still planning to buy a Kindle in the near future, particularly for travel. I’ll be spending a year in Europe, and it’s easier and more affordable to take a little device than to transport a whole library. Still, if anyone tries it, they’ll have to take my books away from my cold dead hands. :)

  11. Aidyl says :

    I loved books when I was a kid, and I still do. I have carried that love through the years and now I am a writer. E-readers have their plusses, but none can match a book!

  12. gianni Lovato says :

    On the other hand…
    One can also become a slave to books. I have hundreds of them and I simply cannot separate myself from them. I often wonder if they own me, instead of the other way around. Many of them have costed me much more than their original price in moving them from one house to another, even across the Atlantic.
    Their carbon footprint grows bigger and bigger. And yet, despite being aware of this, I struggle with the idea of getting rid of even the ones I did not like or never finished reading.
    I don’t have any problem giving away or throwing out other material possessions, but books and letters? My kids will have to deal with them after I am gone. In a way I hope that they will be able to do it more cynically than I did with my Parents’ books, but then again I wouldn’t be so upset or surprised if they didn’t…

  13. honeybeeluvsjackfruit says :

    I feel the same way! I dont think I could get into the E-readers and kindle. My hubby doesnt understand. Even though I prefer foodblogs because they are more ‘personal’ and have great pics… I still love to flip through a cookbook sometimes.

    Though I do prefer to get my books from the library, or at least used… Want to do my part to save the trees!

  14. heidit says :

    What a beautiful post, and so evocative. I completely agree with you on this. There’s something wonderful about books that have been passed down through the generations. Like you, I sneak peeks at people’s bookshelves to get a better idea of who they are and what’s important to them. Pretty much impossible to do with an e-reader.

    Plus, I love going to book stores and browsing. I’d hate to lose that experience.

    Thanks for stopping by thehappyfreelancer.com. I appreciate your comments and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Heidi

  15. Cheryl Andrews says :

    I was purely pro-paper-book until I realized I didn’t need to choose between the two. Yes, nothing feels as good as paper, the weight, the warmth. Then I received a Kindle3G for Christmas from a loved one, so I tried to be fair. To my surprise it opens up many, many more reading opportunities without strapping my extensive library around on my back. I can carry a purse-sized library of hundred’s of books wherever I go, coffee shop, subway, doctor’s office. In 2011 room is being made in my library for ebooks. I don’t sit on the fence – paper will always be first preference; kindle second for its ability to expand my portable library.

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