What is happening to the book? With the recent closing of one of the two major bookstores in the area, I feel like the book is becoming a thing of the past, a historic relic as it were. With all these new technologies emerging from just plain books in PDF format to the various eBook readers like the kindle, nook or even the iPad it seems we are quickly becoming accustomed to electronic books. Many people will claim they are extremely convenient and I suppose you cannot deny that fact with having the ability to store hundreds of books in a thin electronic device ready at a moment’s notice but there is just something about a good old fashion book in my hands that keeps me traditional.
For me books have always been a huge part of my life as growing up I would spend the summer months scouring the library for more books to read as I usually participated in the library’s summer reading program and boy did I log some serious page time! As I got older, I started to become very familiar with all the libraries in the area almost to a point where I could do the librarian’s job and find any book. When I started college and officially declared myself a history major naturally, that came with the caveat of a lot of reading. Of course, with history generally books that are pertinent to research are not the most commonly checked out books. so often times I would go off searching for this old book in the upper floors of the library that hadn’t been checked out in 30 years and there is just something about that old book smell that just creates a sense of curiosity.
With the recent passing of Borders from our world that leaves, only one bookstore left to us in this area, Barnes and Noble. B&N holds a similar place in heart like the library only in a slightly different format as anything I walk out of there is mine to keep and unfortunately as I would like to own so many of the books gracing the store’s shelves my wallet will not comply. I can easily walk into a bookstore and lose myself for a solid hour walking through the various aisles and checking out countless books that I honestly know I will never get to reading. My bookshelf at home is evidence of my love of books as the 5 shelves of an 8 foot bookcase are completely full but in truth I’ve probably only read about 25% of the works that lay on the shelves.
There is just something about being able to hold a book in your hands and turn the pages as you progress through the text that makes the experience feel more alive, as if somehow I am truly experiencing what I am reading. Over this past summer, I took the time to reread the entire Harry Potter series in preparation for the final movie to come out. When I went to pick up each succeeding book and felt and saw the wear, they had accumulated over the countless years and readings it created a sense of nostalgia. Not only did it bring back the story in full color to me but brought back a younger version of me opening up the book for the first time unaware of what magical saga was about to unfold right in front of my 5th grade eyes.