Coming Home, or In Praise Of The Physical

red border limited cropI love my iPad for so many, many reasons, one of which being that I can have an entire library of kindle books in a few measly pounds of electronic device. Especially since one of my goals in life is to travel, it’s a blessing–I can read my favorite books, wherever I am. I wouldn’t have survived a year abroad without it. But I also missed, really missed, being able to really hold a book.

I got back from my time abroad this past week, and one of the first things I did was say ‘hello’ to my books. I stroked their spines, smiled again at the signatures in some of them, cooed over a shipment of new books I’d forgotten I’d ordered. I don’t have many–nowhere near as many as Emily–but I have a few good shelves full of YA books.

Emily and I both have our Kindles/devices with Kindle apps, but we agree unanimously about how wonderful it is to have a real copy. Especially considering our desire for signed copies, we’re mad about them. When we’re not talking blog ideas, we’re talking about our book collections–how Emily’s necessitated a reorganization of her room, how best to attractively display all of those Classics I want to show off that I’ve read and how they can live in harmony with my YA books.

Long story short, I find that coming back to a good book is like coming back to an old friend. Sometimes better–books can’t get new, awkward haircuts, or new, awkward political opinions. They tend to bring me back to good memories, as well. I have a strong memory of ‘Cinder’ being associated with a flight from Nevada to Charlotte, when I had a two-hour layover in Salt Lake City and nothing to read. I fondly remember my now-stolen copy of American Gods, which I epically finished as I flew into Berlin.

My goal now is to have a bookshelf that is both beautiful and full of beauty. I want to have books which inspire me, make me happy. I want to prune out all of the odds-and-ends books which have accumulated, in the manner of ‘why do I have that freaky Star Wars sequel book? When did it come into my possession?’ and make sure that everything fits harmoniously.

But it’s one of the best things about being back home, is having a whole shelf full of books, rather than a whole Kindle full of books (although both is really just the best of both worlds).

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