Monday, May 2, 2011

To Have and To Hold . . .

The other day my husband made the following comment: "So, if I bought you one of those Kindle/Nook things, does that mean we can get rid of your collection of books?" I'm sure the look on my face helped him discern that he had misspoken. ;)

To me, books are a treasure. I've savored books since before I could read. In fact, that was my big complaint following my first day of kindergarten: "I STILL CAN'T READ!!!" I was fortunate in that my parents read to me while I was growing up. When I was about ten years old, my father read "The Hobbit," to my siblings and me for several weeks. When he finished, he held up the trilogy that followed and said, "It's up to you to find out what happens next." I spent the summer reading "The Lord of the Rings" series, and loved every minute of it.

Through the years, I've been given books as gifts by grandparents, parents, sons, and even my husband . . . who considers reading to be a complete waste of time. In his defense, he was raised on a farm where they spent their family vacations hauling rock from the fields. There was no time to read books, and he has a difficult time sitting still long enough to do so now.

So to his way of thinking, buying me a Kindle or a Nook, would be a great way of getting rid of something he doesn't appreciate: my computer room full of books. (I suspect he has plans for that room, like turning it into a man-cave, but I digress.)

While I might enjoy using one of these new-fangled gadgets, I will always want books around. As stated earlier, these are treasured friends. I love my books, and the only time I get rid of anything that contains the printed word, is if the book offends me.

My collection includes classic novels, autographed books, fun favorites, mysteries, historical fiction, biographies, and even a selection of books I've kept since my youth. Among those books are items like the beautifully illustrated version of "The Little Mermaid," my father gave me for Christmas one year. That is a book that will more than likely end up with my oldest granddaughter, when she's old enough to appreciate it. I also still have the copy of "Mama's Bank Account," that my paternal grandmother gave me for my birthday one summer. I've lost track of how many times I've read that favorite tome. So on and so forth.

No matter how advanced computer technology may become, I will always want my books. I will want to caress them fondly, explore their pages, and savor reading favorite paragraphs. This collection will be my legacy to my sons, who all enjoy reading. In fact, this year for a combination, Mother's Day\Birthday gift, my sons are building me new bookcases for my collection of books. I can hardly wait to sort through and organize these treasured friends into their new home when this project is finished.

Am I alone in my love of books? Am I the only one who is mourning the loss of a favorite bookstore that closed its doors in recent weeks because the demand for "real" books is diminishing? I think not. I suspect there are many of you out there who enjoy holding a good book in your hands. We are the diehards who will always enjoy having "real" books in our possession, knowing they are the true wonders of the written word.

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