Writing Challenge: Books and Nooks

This week’s Mind the Gap: How do you prefer to read, with an eReader like a Kindle or Nook, or with an old school paperback in hand? Take the poll (below) and then explain your opinion by blogging about it on your site. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/weekly-writing-challenge-mind-the-gap-2/

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books in a bedI literally grew up with books and magazines and figuratively lived my early years in the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, where I grew up. Books also inhabited my bedside and bed.

One of my favorite activities was to sample the aisles of music stores and bookstores. I love flipping through the pages of books, reading the copyright pages, savoring the cover art. I knew the layout of bookstores that I frequented by heart. That being said, I went over to the “dark” side about four years ago by purchasing a Nook.

At the time, I believed that my choice was more utilitarian: the e-reader accommodates one-handedness – it’s easier to hold and read while I’m standing on the subway (not to mention proceeding from one page to the next); I had carpal tunnel surgery, so holding the e-reader was easier on my hands; I lost most of my extensive collection in a fire and, subsequently, moved into a MUCH smaller apartment that will never accommodate a large book collection. I am also a multiple-book reader; in other words, I read two, sometimes three, books at a time (usually two nonfiction and one fiction selection) and like the idea of having a them at my fingertips, especially when traveling or in transit. Am I in the mood for the nonfiction reading? Or perhaps fiction? I have the freedom of this type of reading experience without the weight in my backpack. And sometimes one of those selections is an actual book.Books under a bed

I surprised myself by taking to the Nook right away…and loving it.

There are certain types of books, though, that I still buy. I prefer to have anything about animals as books instead of Nook selections. Anything that is chart- or illustration- or photography-heavy, I will purchase in book form because the e-readers don’t do visual justice to these kinds of books.

I have cuddled up with books. Have I cuddled with my e-reader. I have, though it’s a different kind of cuddling. No thumb to hold my place while I change positions.

I am an allergic person, always have been, and as we all know, books collect and hold on to dust. My allergist is happy about my nook.

dust

Now, I have to say, I enjoy being released from lending books to people who never return them. Sometimes I mention a really good book to a friend, and she or he will say, “I want to read that when you are finished,” and it’s a guilty pleasure for me to reply, “Oh, it’s on my Nook.” Ha!

Here’s what Marcus Tullius Cicero said about books: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Probably would not have said this about e-readers.

Emily Dickinson wrote a poem, about, yes, a book:

A Book

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

NookIf you substitute “book” for “Nook” in the poem — ultimately, I think, the reading experience is the same.

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I Am NOT My Books…or My Nook

Cover of a Dick and Jane reader I have been a voracious reader since — well, I don’t have a memory of not being able to read. I don’t even have a memory of learning to read Dick and Jane. I was, as my mother might say, a “reading fool.”

I remember reading my mother’s books:

The Bobbsey Twins "The Secret At the Seashore" book coverLittle Women bookcover

(I used to have a Polaroid that my father had  taken of me: I’m about six month old. Someone has put me on a bench covered with newspaper.  I’m on my stomach and have managed to prop myself up on my forearms, but my face is downward. I look to be reading the paper. That photo used to make me laugh and think, Even then, even then. No wonder I’m so nearsighted!) Anyway, I read everything. I  cried for David Copperfield. I read my mother and stepfather’s sex textbook with the acetate overlays of the external and internal human body. Death Be Not Proud scared me. Continue reading