Monday, April 16, 2012

Readers: An Endangered Species?

Pin It Do people read anymore?

I'm not talking about Facebook statuses, I mean actual books. A couple hundred pages of imagination wedged between two covers. Used to be if you took any kind of mass transit you would see a dozen or so people with their noses shoved in a book, killing time on their daily commute. Now everyone seems too busy playing Angry Birds to cart around a book. How is a book supposed to compete with The App Store and its 500,000 distractions? Some of them are reading. Kindle and Kobo both have apps for smartphones. It still feels strange to me. I have a Kobo and I have the app on my phone but when I read on either I feel like I'm cheating on the book.

Books aren't supposed to be slim tablets with buttons and touchscreens. Books are supposed to be broken in. Worn covers with dog eared pages. Maybe even a chocolate smudge here or there. The more creases in the spine the better (that much easier to hold one handed). Books are supposed to have that almost undefinable smell (I don't know what it is...dust maybe) that is reminiscent of school libraries and used bookstores.

Some of my earliest and happiest memories involve me reading, either to myself or to my daughter. I remember being three or four and getting sent a big box of books from my mom, who was living in London at they time. These weren't baby books either, try Roald Dahl and Rudyard Kipling. I felt like I had won the lottery. Hubby was never much of a reader until he met me, it just wasn't a big part of his family growing up. Even now there are probably only a half a dozen books in his parents house. I can't imagine that. I have two giant bookshelves in my living room and both are double stacked PLUS another medium sized bookshelf in our bedroom AND a ladder bookcase in CeeCees room full of children's books I have been collecting for her. When we moved into this house last year I unpacked fifteen large boxes of books. Hubby suggested selling a bunch at our next yard sale, he might as well have suggested selling the children. I am deeply attached to all of my books. Most women want a house with a walk in closet...I want a house with a library and floor to ceiling shelves on every wall, you know, the kind that has ladders on tracks that slide from one end to the other so you can reach the top shelves easily.

Of all the things I hope CeeCee gets from me, my love of books is right up near the top. We read together all the time. When she is having one of her spirited days (which is pretty much every day), reading seems to center her and makes her temper a little more manageable. Redirecting her away from her frustration and temper seems to be the best way to handle it and there is nothing more distracting than a colorful book. Her language skills are also developing nicely which can only help. I think most of her frustration comes from not being able to express herself and also from a little boredom. Books are the cure for both of those issues. Yes, I hope she is a reader when she grows up.

Of course by then E-books, tablets and smartphones will be obsolete. I wonder how everyone will play Angry Birds then? Pin It

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