I was reading this article E-Books and the Personal Library and it made me think about my first bookshelf.
I grew up in a house that had a living room with two walls lined up with bookshelves. A fireplace sat in the middle. My dad had lined up the shelves with books, magazines, cassette tapes, figurines, etc. but I had one shelf all to myself. It was on the left wall, the second one up from the ground. I lined up my Sweet Valley High books, my Fear Street books, Christopher Pike…I remember sitting in front of the heater vents during the winter right in front of my shelf, reading my books. It was also close enough for me to grab a book and sit in front of the fire or jump on the couch. During the summer, I would wiggle my way behind the standing fan since the outlet was in my usual sitting spot, just so I could read next to my bookshelf.
The article asks if personal libraries are a thing of the past. As more readers turn to electronic devices, more homes may no longer line up their shelves with books. I can’t say I’m there yet. I just moved to a new apartment and four of my boxes were just for my books. I own a bookcase with shelves and I still use it to line up books.
I also can’t say if I will ever make the change and start reading E-books. I understand the convenience and the cost savings, but for me, it’s about comfort. I already sit in front of a computer all day at work and when I’m writing. When I’m reading, I want to escape into a new world without getting eye strain or a neck cramp. Holding an actual book in my hands also brings me comfort. The ink, the paper, the cover art, the smell—they’re all a warm blanket for my imagination.
But who knows? When I move into another place and I’m lugging around my four (plus) boxes of books, I may look into buying that Kindle!