Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Ritual of Reading

I've been slow to embrace e-books. My first exposure came late: it was the textbooks I received as pdfs when, in 2009, I enrolled in prerequisite classes for sommelier certification. (I can't say I greeted the innovation with enthusiasm. Nor did the other students, all of whom printed out the whole dang thing to put in a 3-ring binder. There's something ludicrous about the sight of cloth-covered tables bearing wine glasses, spit buckets, and 3-ring binders.)

For someone who doesn't read e-books much, I sure do have a bunch of them. I blame the free section at Amazon's Kindle store.

My disinclination to read e-books isn't based in Luddite ideology; I love the concept. Whatever brings good is good, to my way of thinking. E-books make it easy for people to acquire and carry books. That I could carry my entire stock on an iPad is a great and wonderful thing.

I don't, though. Instead, I have stacks. Because, like probably everyone who loves to read, I have too many books for my bookshelves. How appetite often exceeds capacity, eh.

I like books. I like to look at the covers. I like pages, and I like how books are printed in different type. And even though the weight of books can become a burden, I like that weight.

And there's a ritual in reading an actual book.

Last night (or very early this morning), the dog and I made our rounds of the house. We checked on the sleeping girls and the sleeping lovebird, and we made sure the windows were locked and drapes drawn. During the rounds, I picked up a book I'd been meaning to start. We turned off all the lights except the lamp by my bed, and then the dog curled up at the foot of the bed and I got under the covers. It was dark, and the moon was high and bright, and the lamplight golden, and I read a few pages, then turned off the light and went to sleep.

More on this topic of How We Will Read here. Some really wonderful interviews.

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