Friday, October 4, 2013


I still read books. I read articles on the Internet, and messages and blogs and poems and reviews and columns etc. And I can see how the convenience of some kind of e book reader makes sense and maybe saves trees etc. But, I still read books.

On my night table next to my bed, or end table or whatever it's called, in its two deep shelves are books, and on top there are three piles of books—poetry books, fiction books and nonfiction books—over sixty in all, and I like to read in several before I go to sleep.

Sometimes I get caught up in one or two books and for a few days and/or nights I read only those until I finish them. But most of the time, I'm reading several books at a time, and at one time or another I've read a few pages out of each of those over sixty books.

I will finish them all eventually, some sooner than others. I don't think there would be any way for me to do that with an e book reader. Especially since these books are mostly ones I've been sent by the writers or their publishers, with a few I picked up in my local bookstore on a whim or because I wanted to read them (like Alice McDermott's latest novel, SOMEONE, one of my favorite authors and a really nice woman I got to read with once many years ago).

So, I'm not gonna get an e reader yet. Cause I still like reading books.


richard lopez said...

hi michael:

i still read books too. like you i read lots of poems, blogs, articles, emails onscreen but i love books and do not want an e-reader. not yet, anyway. but my family, wife and kid, read with a kindle and a nook.

besides i love the thinginess of books. their weight and smell, books possess magic by their presence. i have shelves bulging with books and being near them gives me great good comfort. and i love pulling a volume at random off the shelf, read a poem or a page or two and then pull another book off the shelf. i am a bibliophile in all its meaning.

Bob said...

Just last night I was laying in bed reading a recent book called HAIKU IN ENGLISH, The First Hundred Years. As I was laying there it crossed my mind how less enjoyable the book would be reading it on an electonic device. How I can open the book at any random page, flip to the back for a quick author note, and so on. And just holding the book and flipping to whatever page (like navigating on a device but much quicker and more spontaneous), I felt a more human connection and warmth.

The vast majority of my reading is found at the public library. All those thousands of books at your fingertips where one can browse at random without looking for anything in particular, which is how I ran across the haiku collection.

And with libraries and (dwindling) bookstores there is the pleasure of getting out among people and the intimacy of such places. A feeling of . . . groundedness.

- Bob

Lally said...

I didn't even mention the pleasure I get in marking my books up as well, so that I can return to favorite passages and find quotes etc. If I ever do get into e books I'll still have to be surrounded with books to survive.

JenW said...

Books are like delicious homemade foods, simple to gourmet-such a joy to the palate. E readers are like microwave meals- fast and easy but they have an artificial/factory taste so I dont fancy them much at all.
Give me books and a pot of tea made from a kettle of rolling, boiling water- that's heaven to me even if it is old fashioned. I still love letters and postcards too....something about the handwriting and breath of the paper- each uniquely beautiful.

Lally said...

Yeah, all that to Jen.

Anonymous said...

I got a Kindle as a gift, and find myself not picking it up.
--Robert Slater

Lally said...

Jen, I meant all that TOO. And Slater, I've yet to pick one up so have no clue, just see others with them.

Robert Berner said...

Lal--A couple of years ago, my wife got a Kindle as a Christmas present from her niece. I read one book on it and found it ridiculously difficult: if you didn't hold it just right, the screen was not adequately back-lit and you couldn't read the text at all; it was awkward and time consuming to flip pages forwards or backwards; and it shut itself off if you didn't advance the page within a certain time. I never read another book on it, and my wife eventually gave up on it too.
Bob B.