Are you a reader or a page-turner?

Real books are sexy

This appeared on iwastesomuchtime.com (my life in a hyperlink nutshell) and it made me angry. Why, you ask? Because it’s stark monochrome in its opinion, and to quote an old teacher of mine: “When you are with people seeing in black and white, see red”.

I love books. I love reading. I have a lot of books. I also have a Kindle. Last Christmas I realised that I no longer had space in my room for any more books, that there was an expanding list of books that I wanted to read, and that it’s actually quite expensive to indulge a good reading habit.

So I asked for a Kindle. I’m not likely to fill it up in my lifetime, I have most of the published world at my fingertips, much of which is free and it makes my life a hell of a lot easier.

When I travel to France, I am squashed in the back of a car for which I am patently too large. I also know that I there is a limit to how much I can stare at the scenery and paint things, so I bring books. As a child, I would bring upwards of fifteen books at a time, and read them all. This was uncomfortable to say the least (have you ever sat with a small library wedged into any available gap between you and the door of a car for eighteen hours?) and so it’s much, much nicer to know that my entire reading list for the holiday is on one device, which conveniently comes with a lit screen so I don’t have to read by the light of street lamps on the autoroute.

I was a strange child, OK.

Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing I love more than shelves of books that are all mine, with their own scars to show how avidly I read them (I’m mean to books). One of my goals is to have a house with a library; one of the awesome ones you see on BuzzFeed. But until I have the space to keep all of my books, I’ll read from whatever I want.

I don’t read books, I read stories. If those stories are in a book, fine. If I have to use an electronic device, equally fine. So many people want a library to call their own, but I get the feeling they want it so they can sit and drink brandy and show people that they have a room full of books because they;re just so cultured. I have a library; it’s growing and it’s all hidden on one tiny device which I can read wherever I want because snobbishness is not going to stop me from reading, dammit!

Sorry. Rant over. This is probably less than coherent as it’s late and I’m ill and illness makes me anxious and my anxiety is eased by writing whatever comes into my head extremely fast. Point I’m trying to convey: before we all bash e-readers, can we just check that we still enjoy reading itself or if we just like the feeling of being readers.

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