A Bookish Plea for the New Year

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Happy New Year.

I have a lot of wishes and dreams for the coming year. Little and big, bold and cautious. Most of them I will hold close to my heart as they are private. Some of them I have already written about here on this blog I love so.

2012 was a challenge. There were the usual ups and downs. There was illness, ongoing stress and worry, and the death of our beloved Riley. There were also good things. There always are.

For better or worse, I don’t make resolutions. I don’t write a ‘year in review’ post. I don’t pick a word for the year. Many of you do all or some of these things and I salute you. I simply try to move forward with a wish that never changes: to grow in mind and spirit.

That being said, I do have something on my mind. Something I pledge to write about more often. Something I vow to encourage in myself and my readers.

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Buy books. Support libraries. Support Independent Booksellers.

And by books, I mean real three-dimensional books. Not virtual.

Now I know many of you use e-readers and I certainly understand the ease of using them. I have one. It was a gift from my sister, sent to me when I was away from home for 6 months. It was meant to give me the convenience of more reading possibilities when I didn’t want to have to ship lots of books back home at the end of my stay. I was very grateful.

I really never use it anymore. The battery has run down. It sits, ironically, on my bookshelf upstairs in the bedroom. I’m not even sure where the charging cord is. Because, try as I might, I can’t get into a book on a computer. A virtual book.

I just can’t.

We are living in a world where technological advances seem to move at the speed of light. More and more we are bound to a computer screen. Soon, your old fashioned television will become a computer console – it already has. You will be encouraged to use it for everything. eCards flourish. The greeting card industry is suffering. People walk around, heads down, focused on their smartphone. Text messages seem to be the preferred method of communication nowadays. I could go on and on.

Do you want to live in a world where a book that you can hold in your hand is a dim memory? Where older people wax nostalgic about the days where “we read books that we could actually touch and see and where we could turn the pages and write in the margins and feel the texture of the paper and read the book jacket.” Where libraries have gradually disappeared due to lack of funding because who needs a library when you can get anything you want on the computer? Where independent book stores are no more?

I don’t.

Look at the book in the photo above – at the way the edges of the paper are cut in such a way as to create a wonderful texture. Someone decided that a book entitled My Bookstore should be beautifully designed. I love that. I love the way the words on the page look. I love the dust jacket. I love the design of the book minus the book jacket. I love those irregular page edges. I love that I can pick the book up and find my way to a new chapter, that I can turn the pages for real, that I can even write in the margins if I want to.

I have a lot of books. But, I can’t always afford to buy new books, so I use my local library. They need me. They need me to check out lots of books. And, in a nice sort of full circle experience, I also donate real books to my library. If I had unlimited space here, I would keep every book I buy. But sometimes I don’t need to keep a book. It may be that I know I won’t be re-reading it and want to pass it on to someone else who might appreciate it. It may be donated for the used book sales that are conducted by the library as fund-raisers. I use my local library. So should you. If you don’t, budgets will be cut, funds will dry up and someday your local library will be a thing of the past.

Buy real books. Please. And, if you can, buy them from an independent bookseller. They need our business. They are performing a valuable service and bravely fight to keep going in a world of online booksellers, big chain stores and a virtual eBooks. Help them.

One of my fondest memories of an independent book store was a store called Sessler’s on Walnut Street in Philadelphia. When I was in graduate school in the eighties, I frequently spent time there. It was packed to the gills with wonderful books and the man that was the manager and book buyer – Hayes Hibberd – was unbelievably knowledgeable. I can still hear his voice. He always had a suggestion for everyone. He put books aside for his customers that he thought they might like. He introduced us to new authors. He had a deep, resonant voice and I found myself listening in on his conversations with fellow customers because I knew I would gain some knowledge and be led to a new reading adventure. Sessler’s closed while I was still living in Philadelphia – in 1986. That many years ago. You can read about it here. I was heartbroken. I bought a big atlas for a song during the closing sale. I still mourn the demise of the book store. Think how much the book selling world has changed since 1986. eBooks were not in existence then. Think how many book shops have had to close in the intervening years. I vow to buy from local, independent book stores this year.

I’m tired of a world of big chain book stores that carry less and less actual books, that have their primary display of eReaders front and center as you walk in the store. I’m tired of a world where public libraries have to beg for support. I’m tired of seeing small, independent book shops struggle and go down for the count.

Buy actual books. Support libraries. Support Independent Booksellers. Or they will be a thing of the past.

Happy New Year,

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Comments

  1. Tana says

    I feel the same way. I majored in English and History in college over 40 years ago. You should see the books in my house! I love them so and mourn that they are being read less and less. I know change is inevitable, and books on computers do have many good points, but still….

  2. says

    Happy New Year Claudia. This post was so well written and I agree with you 100 percent! I admit that I love my laptop and tablet for reading blogs, but there is NOTHING like curling up with a new book. I adore the smell of new books, and love visiting book stores just for the combination of the smell of the books and freshly brewed coffee. Nirvana!!
    xoxo

  3. says

    I so agree Claudia. I’m tired of big box stores of any kind. The small independents struggle to succeed, so I always encourage folks to shop small business and shop local.

    I wish you a happy, peaceful, strong and prosperous new year. Thank you for your faithfulness to your blog ~ it’s on my “must read” list. xo

  4. says

    My cousin is a library director..and amazingly the library is very busy these days. Probably the economy.
    I know with myself I have to touch the book to read it..just the way my mind works. Even if I get a long email etc I have to print it and hold it in my hand to read it.
    Thanks for reminding people of what a book is.

  5. says

    I agree. I’ll never have an e-reader. I hate them. I love the book in my hand, feeling the pages. I have 3 local used bookstores I use here. One has hundreds of thousands in their 2 story store. It’s a treat just to go in there. The owners are a bit eccentric but they know where every book is and walk me to the category I want. I buy used books when I can. I read so much that I can’t possibly afford new books. I buy ten or twelve at a time. My nose is always stuck in a book. I wouldn’t have it any other way, sugar!!! Nope, not me.
    xoo,
    Connie

    • Claudia says

      Connie, you’re really lucky that you have those local bookstores! I buy used and new. Depends on the book.

  6. Regena Fickes says

    I say “Amen”! I am fortunate enough to have a room set aside to house my books and magazines. I only buy real books and give real books. I am preaching real books, board games, etc .to my grandchildren. I also cook from scratch and sew. You can tell I am from the past century. I am hopeful when I read all the craft and homesteading blogs written by those who aren’t in such a rush to do and move on. There are still a few of use raising our voices. Thanks for your blog.

  7. says

    Claudia, I’m forwarding this post on to one of my daughters and my sister who are both avid readers. All of the bookstores from our area have shut down. We used to have one right in our little downtown, but it’s been long gone. (So are about half the stores in our little downtown, but that’s another story completely.) It’s funny/sad how the large chain bookstores forced the small independents out of business, and now it’s the chain bookstores (like Borders) that have been forced to close their doors because of the large internet sites (i.e. Amanzon, etc.). It will soon be a society where everything is bought and sold online and there are no brick and mortar stores of any kind, I fear.

    Happy New Year to you, Claudia. A great, thought-provoking post to start the year :)

    Donna

    • Claudia says

      You are so right, Donna. The independents are sucked up by the chains which are now being sucked up by Amazon. Terrible.

  8. says

    You know I agree with you 100 percent on this. I love REAL books. And my sister is a Librarian, whose job was lost in the latest round of budget cuts where she lives.

    • Claudia says

      I’m so sorry to hear about your sister’s job loss. A terrible sign of the times, I fear. I hope she can find another job soon.

  9. Donnamae says

    Keep on writing about this Claudia….maybe you can change things. I sincerely hope so! Books are a treasure! I’ve bought a couple of books for my iPad, and can’t get into them…I miss the feel of the pages, the smell of the paper, the cracking of the spine….

    Keep writing about this Claudia! ;)

    • Claudia says

      Me too! I miss those same things. I will definitely keep on writing about this, Donnamae.

  10. Vanessa bower says

    Hi Claudia,
    The one thing you didn’t mention about books is their wonderful “smell”. I received three books as birthday-Christmas gifts. When I opened the covers I took a long deep breath and inhaled the wonderful smells of a good book. It just can’t be beat.
    Have a great and prosperous New Year,
    Vanessa
    P.S. I live in Brookside, a quaint area of Kansas City, that has numerous little coffee shops, clothing stores, book stores and a “Dime Store”. (Yep, that’s the name) I support these independent shops as much as possible because if we don’t they will disappear and the big box stores will take their place.

    • Claudia says

      I forgot about the smell. Yes, absolutely, it’s the best!. I am so jealous that you have a dime store near you. I grew up with dime stores (that’s what we called them, too) and I miss them.

  11. says

    I love REAL books, too! I love the feel,, the looks and the smell of REAL books. We have a few little Mom & Pop bookstores that I love to patronize. Blessings- xo Diana

  12. Annette Tracy says

    We are a family of three, and we all love real books. We have the best used book store up in Ventura, Bank of Books. The owner is amazing, and he and his wife have another used book store up the road which is also wonderful. And they have just opened another small one in Malibu! Very exciting times for them. They bring in the community and do so many things. It’s wonderful to see them thriving in light of what is happening with stores today. They will find you anything you want. As I mentioned yesterday, the nearest Barnes and Noble to us just closed its doors yesterday! Now we’d have to travel about 35 mins to even get to one! I’ve noticed even Target and WalMart have both reduced the amount of books they carry. It’s such a shame as you can’t have the fun of taking little ones to a book store. Happy New Year to you, Don and Scout!

    • Claudia says

      Those book stores in Ventura and Malibu sound wonderful, Annette! I’m a wee bit jealous.

  13. Francine says

    Claudia – thanks for writing such a great post! I am with you 100%. I too own a rarely used e-reader. My husband has stopped asking why I dont use it more often – I just prefer the real book in my hands. I love the ease of it and being able to cozy up wth it. I have been discouraged lately when shopping at Barnes & Noble. It seems they are cutting down on real books every time I go there. Wish we had more independents in the area and I would gladly shop there. They provide great assistance. All of us should support our local libraries in whatever way we can – borrow books, donate books, attend classes, patronize them. Thanks, Claudia – love this post! Francine

    • Claudia says

      You’re welcome, Francine. You’re right – there are less and less real books in Barnes & Noble every time I go in there.

  14. Julie Shaw says

    Happy New Year Claudia! One of my goals for 2013 is to read more so your post was very timely. I’ll be reading real books too. I cannot read e-books and I never will! Your post reminded of the movie “84 Charing Cross Road”. I’ll have to make a point of watching that again.

    I’ll be using my public library more as I, too, don’t have all the space or the money to buy the books I would want to read. We were talking about the library over Christmas. We have a very nice, modern library that opened in 1980 but we still miss the old one. It was a grand, imposing old building. Your little legs scaled a long set of steps up to the massive front door. You walked in and smelled the books and the dust motes caught in slants of sunshine. There was a librarian who would read the little ones stories. The book shelves reached to a ceiling that felt many stories high. You could sit on the old wood floors, lean against the shelves and dip into books. They had the old card catalogues with thousands of little cream coloured cards telling you where the book was and your name was printed on the card when you borrowed it. Sometimes I’d sit in the wide window sills reading one of my chosen books until it was time to go home with my treasures. At first, Mom or one of my older sisters would take me downtown but soon enough, I was getting on the bus every Saturday to go and return my 3 books and get 3 more for the coming week. Such happy memories that most kids never get to experience these days. J

  15. says

    This is a post that is very near and dear to my heart. In my cottage, books live everywhere. They are in bookshelves, on table tops in every room. Books from childhood (my dear grandmother sent me books for every occasion). Beatrix Potter has her own shelf. My daddy’s high school and college text books as well as my own. Vintage cookbooks, vintage house plan books, vintage decorating books. Philosophy, ancient history, novels, poetry tucked everywhere. I love libraries and have both worked and volunteered at my local one. In Boise the library is so important that a benefactor donated the money for a sign that reads ~ Library! The exclamation point has been criticized by some, but never by me. We have three independent book shops within walking distance of my house. I am also very proud that the little town where we are building their cabin has a population of 490 and they have a library. And if you ever get to Portland, Oregon, you must visit Powell’s Books. It’s my Mecca!! Happy New Year Claudia.
    Wishing you all the best in 2013.

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    • Claudia says

      A sign that says Library! sounds perfect to me, Susan. I have Powell’s on my list of bookstores I want to visit. I bet it’s like the Strand on NYC.

  16. says

    Claudia, you are right on the money with this post. There is nothing like a book in ones hands. I just cannot get used to reading a book on the ipad. Spending an hour or two in a lovely book shop is heavenly. I am going to link to your post in my next post and share on facebook as well. Oh and magazines too, so many shelter mags are gone. Looking at photos on a computer cannot compare to pouring over glossy photos in a magazine. We are a family of book lovers always trying to find space for another bookshelf.
    I hope your new year is sunny and bright. I have been following along with your Christmas posts and wish better days for us all.
    Pam
    P.S. I got a dollhouse kit from Santa this year, somewhat inspired by yours. Daughter and I already are making big plans to slowly decorate each room.

  17. says

    It is so sad to see the independent booksellers going out of business. We frequent a shop near the lake; hubby loves historical books and I love old cookbooks. Right now this shop is one of the few still open on this once bustling main street I also have good memories of school libraries where I learned to love and respect books. We used to have a Borders nearby and I loved to spend and hour or two browsing for books and then having coffee and a scone while looking through my purchases. Well, we know what happened to Borders and the closet Barnes and Noble is 45 minutes away. That said…I received a Nook for Christmas last year. I didn’t think I could adjust to it, I’m not a gadget person by any means. Long story short, I do love it. I alternate it with “real books”. The best part is being able to order a book when you have nothing to read or are anxious to read something new. So I guess I am middle of the road on this topic.

    I hope you are enjoying your new book. Let us know how you like it.

    XO,
    Jane

  18. says

    Happy New Year, Claudia. I’ve been away from the computer for awhile and need to catch up on how your Christmas went, but just wanted to leave a quick comment. I love that you have written this in support of books, book stores and libraries. There will always be “real” books, I believe. Although I have an e-reader, which I find so convenient, especially when on the move or at night – doesn’t disturb my husband when I read, I love to hold and read “real” books and just go into bookstores in general. I hope we never lose them or our libraries which are so important to our society, especially our young, growing minds.

    Best wishes for the new year. Last night we saw “Jack Reacher”, since we all had low expectations, we found we enjoyed it and felt that Tom Cruise performed with the essence of Jack. He didn’t “Tom Cruise” it as we like to say. I have hope for the future of the movie versions of these books, although they won’t be as good as the books, they are entertaining and will perhaps draw more people to enjoy Lee Child’s terrific suspenseful stories with a man who is almost indestructible! Ann

    • Claudia says

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Ann. But I just can’t go there! I’m going to stay with the Jack Reacher who is in my imagination! I just don’t want to see Tom Cruise every time I read a new Lee Child and I’m very susceptible…if I saw him it would ruin my future reads!

  19. says

    Amen! I was just having this same conversation with my best friend days ago. I can spend hours in a book store and it saddens me that more and more are closing. We need books…real books in this “unreal” world!
    Blessings, Joanne

  20. tracy says

    Last year I bought a Kindle from Amazon, but by the time it arrived, I’d returned to my senses and returned it unopened. I worry bookstores and libraries will go the way of the old record stores. I want to Feel the book, touch the pages. But right now I have to go stir some crazy collard greens…I got some bug to give it a go and now they are stinking up my kitchen. Supposedly they give you good luck…..I’ll be lucky if I get the courage to try them. Happy New Year!
    ~tracy

    • Claudia says

      Collard greens are good luck, Tracy? I know that black eye peas are good luck on New Year’s Day but I didn’t know about collard greens.

  21. says

    I love this post. I can live with new technology, but I think E-book purchasers are being hoodwinked. How many realize that they are not purchasing a book, but instead are renting it? E-books are licensed, not sold, yet the price does not reflect that reality. My children all have e-readers, and I’m tempted to get one for the next time I go on a trip – lugging books around gets tiring. But I’ve decided to NEVER get rid of the books I have. I’m judicious about which ones I purchase, preferring to borrow (in real form) from the library. The sensation of holding a book, the ability to quickly flip around to find favourite passages, to smell the paper and ink – reading a real book is full of sensory enjoyment beyond the words on the page. I do not want to deprive my senses.

    • Claudia says

      What a great point, Lorrie. I forget that they are licensed.
      Sensory enjoyment is a beautiful way to describe it.

  22. Shasha says

    Claudia, I agree with you 100%. The last two times I have walked into Books A Million I am bombarded with novelties and junk. I walked out without purchasing anything. In Fact, the last several books I have purchased have been through independent booksellers and from amazon. We have a wonderful bookstore called Coldwater Books in Tuscumbia Alabama (home of Helen Keller). It is in an old building and is so cozy with an upstairs gallery. I’ve also noticed the quality of new books cannot begin to compare with the sold literature, from even the 1970’s and 80’s. I guess I’m getting too old! I wish you a blessed and happy new year. P. S. Was Scout glad to see you? I have a 17 year old dog, so I know how torn you were to leave her with the kennel.
    Shasha

    • Claudia says

      Scout was glad to see me, but she didn’t do very well with boarding. She was so agitated and nervous and upset when I got her home, it took hours to calm her down. And she’d chewed on one of her legs, I’m sure it was due to anxiety. So I’m not going to do it again. I’m going to take her with me next time.

  23. mary jane brown says

    Happy 2013 to you Claudia!!!

    I received a NOOK from my son last Christmas. It is sitting in the den. I too, LOVE the FEEL of a book in my hands. And I can spend HOURS in a book store or a library just wandering around. So calming to me. I dont think I will ever give up my books vs the ereaders. They seem so “cold” to me.

    I hope you and Scout are warm, happy and content on this first day of 2013. It is VERY cold here in Indiana, but it is gorgeous out!!! Sun is shining and lots of pretty snow!! Snow is pretty when we dont have to shovel the stuff!!! LOL!!

    Mary jane

  24. rizzi says

    BRAVO….CLAUDIA….I’M WITH YOU, THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A NEW OR OLD (REAL) BOOK…….AND I AGREE ABOUT THE SMELL OF A REAL BOOK…….HOPE SCOUT IS FEELING BETTER, MY DOGS WERE THE SAME WAY………THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME…….RIZZI

    • Claudia says

      She didn’t do well at all. It’s just too stressful for her, Rizzi. She’s 14 and she’s never been boarded before so I guess it was too hard on her. I feel badly about it. So she’s going with me next time!

  25. says

    You will never find me wandering aimlessly and mindlessly with my head bent down staring at a tiny little screen forgetting the world around me. Last week when I had coffee with a friend, there were two guys sitting next to us who didn’t speak the entire time. They both were on their iPhones, drinking their coffee for about an hour and then they left. What’s up with that? I for one love books and any kind of bookstore I can find since there aren’t any here in Kuwait due to censorship. Technology is great but way too many people have lost all common sense when it comes to reasonable use. Everyone keeps telling me I just need to go with the flow, but I for one do not need to do something just because everyone else is. I think they all need to just slow it down. Wishing you a wonderful new year. Tammy

  26. Nola says

    Great post Claudia. I have been a lover of books since I got my first library card so many years ago at the age of 6; and I still have that card! The scent of a library is one of my favorite memories. When we moved, even before I registered my car or had my drivers license changed, I found my local library. Luckily, it is on “our” side of the county! I’m proud to say I spend more time there than at the department store or coffee shop.
    Unfortunately, there are. I independant bookstores near us. I’ll have to search and see if I can find one in any of the surrounding communities. Thanks for inspiring me! Hope you have a happy and blessed new year.

  27. says

    I do not read as much as I should, but I do buy alot of magazines. I try to always support a local book store. It’s small, has a soda fountain and very cozy. But, it always has the latest things and lots of good, new magazines.

    Was Scout overly excited to see you? I imagine so. Enjoy the holiday with him. How is Don doing in sunny California? That really doesn’t seem fair! LOL

    Judy

    • Claudia says

      Scout was happy to see me. She didn’t do well with boarding. I could tell when I brought her home that she was highly stressed and agitated. She couldn’t settle down and didn’t settle down for hours. It’s too hard on her at this age, so I will take her with me when I go back next week. Don’s hanging in there but he has good days and bad days. The weather sure is nicer, though! Happy New Year, Judy!

  28. Karen H. says

    A lovely thoughtfully written post…
    As the old saying goes”so many books, so little time’.
    As for me, I will always be a ‘real’ book reader. I derive so much satisfaction for all the tactile sensations of a bound book. The font, the heft, the pleasure of simply turning the page.

    Happy New Year to a fellow bibliophile !!
    xoxo

  29. says

    My Dec. 29th post was about my love of books…the real books. I totally agree with you. I have access to two libraries…a book club at one keeps me reading short stories. Love the lively discussions. Librarys used to have hush rules…now days they are full of activity…hardly a hushed atmosphere. It’s one of the first things I have checked on when moving….does the town have a library?
    Balisha

  30. Chris k in Wisconsin says

    Oh, Claudia….. YAY! Real books!! The feel, the smell, just seeing it where you last left it with the bookmark in it. I have a Kindle that was given to me by my son-in-law last Christmas. I have read a few books on it, but I seriously do not feel the joy of holding a book when I have used it. I want to know where I am in the book. Do I have half left to read, or just a few pages. W/ the Kindle, I get percentages which mean nothing to me. Guess I am a visual learner…. and reader. My minor in college was Library Science (back when you could still actually GET a “minor” in LS). The professors I had shared my love of books and reading. That is what it really was all about. The classifications, etc. were something that had to be done and learned, but the true love was the books and the reading. Now, it is ALL about technology. Everything in the library is driven by the technology. It makes me sad. I appreciate technology but I don’t love it when it comes to the library. I frequent our little library very often. I also love to browse books at our local St. Vincent’s and other Thrift stores. So many still in their pretty jackets, and many, I fear, may have never been read, but just sent to recycle. But I appreciate them. I bring them home. Some I keep and some I return to be recycled yet again. I love the idea of supporting local and independent book stores, and ALL local and independent stores and restaurants instead of the Big Box and Chain monsters.
    I think you could leave home on a vacation, and stop at Wal-Marts, Targets, Best Buys, Applebees, Chilis, and McDonalds and never ever “see” or taste or try something new. I guess we go to the familiar. Even a road trip is sadly no longer an adventure to shop somewhere new or try a new meal at an unfamiliar diner, or get off the Interstate system. So here is to trying to truly focus on LOCAL merchants in our travels and our daily lives in 2013. (Along with several trips a month to our local library!!) Thanks for this great post today!!

  31. says

    Oh, baby! I’m so with you on this!

    LOVE books and can’t part with them once I’ve read them; they become old friends I can’t part with. I bought To Kill a Mockingbird in Florida and will read it as soon as I get home. I’m writing from Chattanooga, TN – on the way back to Ontario, Canada!

    S
    xo

  32. says

    So true Claudia!!

    I worked in an Elementary Library for years…and I also worked for Barnes & Noble part time for 3 years (to help pay for my daughters’ wedding – that was 8 1/2 years ago)…I now buy my books at a local used bookstore, and we go to our local public library…I am trying to establish the love for a true book in my granddaughters by taking them weekly to the public library and we read to them every day. (I was sad that my grandsons were given a Kindle this year for Christmas from their parents – the boys are 17 and 14). They still read books though and are avid readers!!

    We shop with local merchants when at all possible.

    Thank you for sharing this post…I am still friends with many school librarians who work so hard to instill the love of reading books in so many children…

    I too love the book jackets on books…reading about the author and illustrator…handling the book…seeing the text and illustrations…
    Caldecotts, Newberry, Blue Bonnet Award Books, etc…oh….I love books…especially Children’s books! :)

  33. Lori says

    I’m behind you 100%…..well…..maybe 90% because I just can’t pass up a good deal on Amazon (shame on me but I have to budget!) I also have an e-reader, the first Nook to hit the virtual shelves…but mine, as well, is on the “book shelf” in our living room, battery dead, unloved, unused. I love the feel of a real, honest to goodness book in my hand. Although I struggle to hold a trade paper in my hand while reading in bed (a nightly must!) and usually drop it and lose my place, I I am a stickler for the paper page. I have loved books all my life and have instilled in my children as well as my young grandchildren the joy and treasure of books. We always had a rule that once our kids were tucked into bed, they could read for as long as they wished, even on school nights (we hoped they would fall asleep eventually). Reading has always been one of life’s greatest joys and hopefully, the e-reader will remain a “book” of convenience, and the real, beautiful, hard or paper cover book will remain on our shelves and in our stores.
    Thank you for sharing :)

    • Claudia says

      I hope so, Lori! Reading has been a passion of mine all my life – I can tell it has been for you, too.

  34. Linden Townhouse says

    Yes, I love to read and I love the public library too. However, I really cannot afford to buy new books, but I pick up many of them at garage sales. You are probably not surprised at what is out there in the used market! I’m sorry that I am not supporting the independent bookseller this way, but at least I am doing my part in keeping the paper page alive. I also have a large collection of children’s books in my home for our grandchildren. There is nothing they love more than being read to.

  35. says

    Spot on as usual, Claudia! I was blessed with a mother who read to me daily and instilled my love of books. I’ve done the same with my kids, and in turn, their babies. I’ve even been dubbed “the grandmother who buys all those books”! My favorite book from my childhood is A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson….I have it to this day (LOTS of years later!) Whenever I go to used bookstores, antique shops and flea markets, I search for old editions of this title. I’ve lucked up a few times, but it’s rare! Recently, when I stumbled upon a copy that was beautifully illustrated by Jesse Wilcox Wheeler, I jumped up and down like a NUT! You’d have thought I found a diamond in those bookcases….but to me it was! Can you ever imagine getting that excited about something you see on a NOOK? Love the library too….I especially love their book sales and the audio books that I get to take with me on work-related road trips.

  36. says

    Ahhh, a post after my own heart. How I love the smell of books, the frayed decal edges of pages pushed together, the sight of colorful spines in a stack. How I love my library.

  37. says

    (((Claudia))) Great post! I agree with everything that you addressed. Although Borders was a chain bookstore I miss it and was very sad when they went out of buisness. Our local library (that was built only 10 years ago) may close it’s doors (I love our library) Two little towns near me had beautiful independent bookstores with coffee and tea and they both closed their doors last year. Norville opened an adorable bookstore a year ago (I hope and pray that they stay open). There is nothing like the look and feel of a real book in my hands. I have shelfs loaded with books (thanks for reminding me to donate a few) I worry about magazines as well. I love the printed page! You’re right about televisions. We just bought a smart tv and all we need is a wireless keyboard and it will operate like a computer (great for seeing how your blog looks presentation style)

    I don’t like big box stores and I certainly don’t want to shop for everything online (including books). Thank god for blogs but I still want to have printed books. Look what has happened to newspapers. Have you seen the Denzel Washington movie called “The Book of Eli” It’s really about the loss of the bible but I also saw the correlation to a society that has lost all of it’s printed material and every book. The ending of the movie is great! It will be a sad world without actual printed books and magazines. What will be left for the generations after us when they try to archive history? Everything will be virtual and in a cloud and how can it be retrieved? Technology is good but we need balance so let’s all go out and visit and independent little bookseller and buy a couple of books this month!

  38. Tina says

    I know what you mean, Claudia, but I can’t always oblige. My family loves books and we have and have had many over the years. We’ve hauled them thousands of miles north and south and east and west. What I’ve realized is that physical books aren’t always a blessing to us. When you have to haul them around and store them in damp basements where they will likely be damaged, they can be more of a curse. I’m opting more and more for books on Kindle, plus, at my age, the Kindle screen is so gentle on the eyes and I find I can read more when I use it.

    In somewhat the spirit of your post, I do support small business whenever possible and it is most always preferable!

  39. says

    Love, love, love this post! I so agree with with you on everything you said. I have no desire for an e-reader. I love “real” books and nothing can replace that. While I get most of my books from library book sales, used book stores, Goodwill, and paperbackswap.com. I do buy some new ones from amazon though, as their prices are so good. There’s two independent bookshops, that when I’m in their area, I always buy one book from – just to support the bookshop. One is in Chicago and it’s called Women and Children First. When I visit my friend who lives in Chicago, we always take a walk up to this bookstore. The other bookstore is Read Between the Lynes in Woodstock, IL – yes, the town where Bill Murray filmed Groundhog Day. I used to work in this quaint town. :-)

  40. says

    I so agree. A real book is so comforting in my hand. I still read one or two per week. I read Gone Girl recently in one day because I had to know the ending. That is the thrill of books for me. I love small book stores and libraries. We support them when ever we can. I have no desire for an e-reader.

  41. says

    Completely with you on this Claudia! I’m in Los Angeles and I can only think of maybe four remaining independent bookstores in town – we used to have so many. Even our local Barnes and Noble closed down! (I’m not a fan of B&N, at all, but good gosh when they are the only game in town, one even grows to care about them and misses them, wonder of wonders.) My husband teaches elementary school so we are frequent visitors/shoppers, at a wonderful childrens bookstore here, which I gather is just making it by the hair of their chinny chin chins. We love them so much that we now have them order our “grown up” books for us, as well as childrens literature. I can’t stand reading articles, let alone books, on my iPad – not pleasurable to me at all. But I guess the young whippersnappers are different in their outlook.

  42. Sarah says

    Claudia,
    I agree tthat we need to support our libraries with our money. In my town our library is very heavily used, more heavily every year! Yet our elected officials keep cutting the funding every year!! I don’t understand why when the public needs and uses the services, and they have the statistics to prove the library usage is way up over the last five years, that it continues to be a very low priority with our goverrnment. I guess we all need to commit to supporting our libraries privately, with our own money. And we need to do it! Our communities need libraries as much as they need schools, police and fire departments. Thanks for discussing this topic.

  43. says

    I completely agree wtih this, Claudia. I love actual books, and I refuse to get a Kindle. Someone gave Fred one for Christmas, and I’m not sure if he will use it. Probably, but we shall see. I, on the other hand, intend to buy books as long as they are sold. How sad to think they woulnd’t be, but you are hitting close to home with this.

    My SIL and BIL are librarians. My BFF from here is a media specialist. She and I have discussed the changes that have taken place, and she sees the train coming. Sigh. I have had this conversation with an author as well. In my hometown there is a FABULOUS independent bookstore, and everyone loves it, particularly authors. And in the twon where we lived prior to that, I grew up going to the library and can still remember the ancient building, quiet as a church, where I loved to go check out books. The librarian was a friend of my parents. My father LOVED books. I have two cherished books my father gave me and inscribed. Reading was SO important to him, and he wanted me to love to read as much as he did. The one thing I can remember that my maternal grrandmother gave me, aside from love and thiings she made for me, was a copy of the King James Bible. And I still have many of my Little Golden Books along with a lot of cherished classics and some family books that were saved from a fire around 1860. No, I can’t imagnie a world without books.

    Unfortunately in St. Augustine we only have antique book sellers and B&N. I was in the latter when they came up to me pushing the Nook (?), and I said, “Sorry, I like real books.” They do have a nice selection of local authors and histories, but the little library branch I frequent has a great history section, too. They kept me going this summer when I was marrooned by that respiratory infection, and I read about 30 books total. So I “get” this post, and I’m glad you wrote it. Let’s hope books continue because I, too, can’t imagine a world wtihout them.

    XO,

    Sheila

  44. says

    I just left B&N (so much like a toy shop now) after debating a NOOK Glow-Lite reader (#1 according to Consumer Reports).
    This was actually my second attempt at requesting to be ‘talked into’ buying an e-reader and, once again, there was nothing exciting about it. The clerk actually walked away from me to assist someone ‘with a question’, as if mine were irrelevant. A woman came in with several complaints about her reader (the one I was contemplating) received for Xmas, and said she hated it and wanted to return it and would be purchasing a Kindle! I walked out of the store, my mind was made up, and now I’m here having a coffee in an independent coffee shop in celebration of real books!

    I love real books – I always have since a young girl. I spent all my b’day and Xmas money on books from a very young age. If I have to, I will leave several articles of clothing behind in order to take my real books all the way to the bottom of the world. Yes Claudia, I will not give in to technology 100% – I plan to have a life with real paper books, independent book shops and used book shops – we have a few grand ones nearby – the library etc.

    Hugs Mary X

  45. Suzan says

    Hi Claudia,
    I love your thoughts on this. I got my Kindle last year for Christmas. I love it but I really miss holding a book in my hands. last Summer my husband and I were in Sister’s Oregon, we went into a wonderful used book store there. It was for sale and I began to spin this yarn in my head about moving to Sisters buying the store and living in a cottage. If I ever run away from home that is what I am going to do. I loved this shop it just felt comfortable and it was filled with the things that I love most. Of course right after my family and the dogs.
    Suzan Ladybug Cottage

  46. says

    I love books, Claudia. They are my downfall, I’m afraid, as I tend to have to OWN books I read and love, and so I’m surrounded by them everywhere in the house. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I admit I don’t use the library as much as I should but I do go there several times a year… mostly to check out pattern books for knitting or crafts (and if I find one I truly like I end up purchasing it at a store) or to look over their sale table. I always give books to friends and family as gifts. It’s my small way of trying to perpetuate the love affair I have with them myself.

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