0240F: The Beauty of Books

These days, most of my reading material is digital. My Kindle holds a ridiculously large library of ebooks and my phone links me to my comiXology digital comics so I always have something to read. So it has actually become a challenge to find time to read any of the physical books given the extra requirements of needing enough light to read them with, wanting to make sure the pages don't get folded or the book doesn't get wet or otherwise stained. It's a good and a bad thing but that's the reading experience for you.

So when most "casual" reading and related book purchases have shifted over to digital platforms, what reasons are left to go to brick and mortar book stores, right?

Well, I still buy books. Now my purchases are more focused on things that digital can't do well like rich color experiences or special editions with lovely covers and exquisite pages. Or I get books from beloved authors, hence the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett sections of our shelves.

Most pocketbook experiences are best diverted to digital and thus I've promised not to buy any more physical Star Wars novels since it's almost more responsible to focus on digital. I may even one day convert my entire book collection to digital to save on shelf space but that's a longer term project that will only make sense if I re-read each book in digital as part of the process. All the little things you end up thinking about.

For the physical books that I do buy, it's easy to get lost in the experience of it. A nice hardcover has more to share with you that the words on its pages. There's the comfort that comes with the very weight of the book. There's the distinct texture of the cover that is different depending on the dust jacket, the material used, whether or not it has some sort of wax or plastic coating and all that good stuff. There's the feel of the pages and how your fingers measure the quality of the paper. There's the smell of the book that is a mix of the paper and he binding material and who knows what else that went into the printing and binding process. It's all part of the magic of books that I will never get tired of no matter how many digital books I end up "collecting" as far as virtual ownership and DRM will allow me to.

Reading is too much a part of my life and I'm always going to be proud of this fact. I just need to make sure I make enough money to pay for all my book purchases.