I love to read! I find reading to be one of life’s greatest gifts and pleasures. There is nothing comparable to climbing into my over-sized leather chair…with a hot drink & warm blanket in winter, or a cool drink in the summer…getting comfortable and losing myself in a good book. A good book is one that takes me away to another world, another time, another place, another situation. It completely entrances me in its own existence. A good book over-takes my mind to the point that I am unaware of the real world surrounding me…I don’t hear the television, the barking or whining of dogs does not penetrate my mind, the roar of tools or car parts in the garage do not intrude on my thoughts, ringing cell-phones go unanswered, the ding of text-messages become only part of the book I am reading and time passes unnoticed. That is, until I have to pee…then I become disentangled in the world of my book and real life comes crashing back in. Only with a good book am I then amazed at the amount of time that has passed, and I am left wanting only to hurry to the bathroom unnoticed by family and pets, and without thinking of the many “to do’s” left undone so I can get back to the world of my book.
A good book is also one that “feels” good in my hands. Whether paper-back or hard-cover a good book has a special feel. It fits comfortably in my hands. A good reading book is never heavy or cumbersome. In fact, when reading a good book…I get so lost and caught up in the story that I forget I am even holding a book.
The “oh the pages smell so good I have to inhale deeply” aroma of a good book engulfs my senses when I begin reading only to dispense itself into the smells conveyed by the words on the page. Yes, with a good book I can actually smell what I am reading as the writer describes it. I can smell the aroma of the meals or various dishes the characters may be creating….I smell and my mouth waters if the dish is one I am particularly fond of or my stomach flutters if I am not fond of it. I automatically want to pinch my nostrils shut as I smell the stench of death in a good mystery or thriller…okay – I pinch my nostrils at the smell of perfume in a romance too…I hate perfume & “scented” lotions, what can I say? Oh, but the scent of the ocean as the writer mesmerizes my mind with words describing the crashing waves or calm cool waters can make me believe I am on that tropical island, not only inhaling the salty air, but tasting it on my tongue, and feeling the warm sand as it squishes between my toes.
Awww, a good book in my hands can excite all my senses. I see the scenery, I smell the various odors, I taste the story, I hear the voices of the characters, and I feel the emotions…joy, laughter, pain, heartbreak, fear…
Because I am able to get such joy simply by holding a book in my hands and reading the words, I have fought the urge and recommendations to buy an e-reader. My fear being the coldness of an e-reader in my hands would not produce the pleasure of holding the actual book. I did not want to lose all I have described above. I have found myself in book stores looking at the e-readers. I have surfed the web reviewing various e-readers, I have asked others about their experiences, thoughts, and opinions on these devices….and yet I have remained attached to the physical book in my hands. That is until now….
For Christmas, Santa brought me a Kindle. What mixed emotions I had when I opened the box after every one had left and Santa was asleep in his chair! Would I really be able to enjoy an electronic book? As I imagined, it was cool in my hands, and so thin! There were no pages to smell, to flip through. No margins to write in if I felt the urge, as I often do with some books. Instead of licking my finger to turn a page, I simply had to push an arrow button. I began to feel a sense of disappointment; I was not going to like this e-reader and I had already opened it up! What else could I do? I put it in the case that came with it and I turned it on…..
Placing my new Kindle in its case and flipping the “on” button actually transported me to a very familiar place! The case made the e-book feel more like a “real” book, cover and all. By turning the Kindle on, I discovered a whole world of books I could download in an instant and begin reading.
There is even a way to simply write my thoughts in the margins! I can bookmark pages, highlight text, even check the meaning or pronunciation of a word with the included dictionary by the push of a button! But reading how to set up and use my new Kindle was not something than fully took over my senses like a good book. I would have to download a book and attempt to read it with this new electronic device.
So after downloading my first “must haves”, a Bible and daily devotional, I headed for a good thriller. Yes, I am cheap and chose a “free” download to read. I settled into my leather over-sized chair, hot chocolate with Buttershots on the coffee table beside me, the requisite blanket covering me…it was after-all Christmas and snowing outside…and with both dogs snuggled on my lap and Santa snoring loudly, I began reading on my new Kindle. And what did I discover? Another world! It is just like having a “real” book in my hands! It really is! I “hear” the noises of the bombs exploding, and the whistle of bullets flying, I can still “smell” the aroma of grilling chicken or decaying bodies. My feel like I am “touching” the bodies as the medics tend the wounded….I even want to tell them what to do! I can “see” the wounds as they are described, or the emotions on the faces of the characters. I can “taste” the smoke billowing through the air after the explosion as described, or the warm Middle Eastern tea being drank by the woman in the hated headdress.
An hour or so later, Santa awakens wanting supper. I find myself transported from this Iraqi world back to my cozy family room…guess what? Santa snores very loud….seriously!…but his snoring was unheard while I traveled the Middle East, the dogs were off my lap and I had no idea when they had left or where or what they were up to, the television had been left on — but had not disturbed me. My legs were stiff from being curled up beneath me and my hot chocolate was now too cold to drink…wasted the Buttershots, darn it!
One session of using the Kindle was not enough of an experiment to judge using an e-reader. So since Christmas, my experiment has continued and I have found the Kindle in my hands at least for 2 hours every day. I find it very easy to use as I read myself to sleep each night. Although I reserve my rights to make amendments to this post, my decision is that it is not the “feel of the book” in my hands, but the words on the page…paper or electronic…that make for a “good” book.
Jamie Van Becelaere is a middle-aged Christian wife, mother, empty nester, and RN, who enjoys multiple hobbies…yet possesses little to no creativity or productivity with said hobbies. Laughing and sharing a smile and a giggle with her patients and co-workers is a huge part of her day. Some even say she is too happy! Okay! She is also accused of being a little crazy, nutty, silly… But what better way to help improve someone’s day?
Jamie loves to write…about anything…yet most of her works have either been destroyed…or remain in the file cabinets of her mind…due to a lack of self-confidence and an over abundance of self-criticism. Discovering the blogging world on the internet has opened a whole new world for her…after all, once posted, her works remain forever! Now that her writing is “out there”, you can find her at http://vanbinark.blogspot.com/
Stop on by and check out her ramblings…