Books vs. Reading

I have written a few posts on reading and books. I don’t consider myself a bibliophile. I just love books. I grew up with a love of books and from the time I could read I wanted to collect as many books as possible.

If you promise to keep a secret I will tell you a story. I lived in Germany and I started Kindergarten at the age of four. I knew how to read and the class I was in had a very small bookcase with about twenty or so books on it. Most of the other kids in my class were more interested in finger painting and playing on the jungle gym outside. Me? I wanted to find my carpet square and sit in front of that bookshelf and read every book over and over again. My teacher had to pry me away from my books to participate with the other children. So engrossed in the books was I that I didn’t want to go home without them. I asked the teacher if I might take one home with me and bring it back the next day. She sweetly told me that she couldn’t do that because those were all the books she had and if I did it, everyone else would want to. Well, the rebel that I was at the ripe old age of four thought ‘those other kids never read, and I want them, so I will take them anyway.’ I commenced to sneaking one of my favorites into my bag and when I pulled it out in front of my mom I told her that I was borrowing it. I refused to believe that I had actually STOLEN it. Yes, my love of books started at a very young age, but so also did my  disdain for rules about when and where I would be able to.

Fast-forward several years and I found myself wanting to constantly be in the library. So much so that when I had the choice of having a free period in high school, I chose to work for an hour in the library. Yeah, I had the book-bug bad.

But here is the funny thing. I wasn’t a HUGE reader. Well, sure, I read books, but only the fun ones. I still hated being told in my college prep class what books I was supposed to read. Same thing in college. I was supposed to read certain books for English class, but I bucked it every time. Of course, I did end up reading them, but that didn’t mean I had to like it!

Now I feel as if I have enough books to fill a mobile library. Every time I find myself in a bookstore I just HAVE to buy another book. Maybe one to add to a collection. Maybe one because that cover is intriguing. Many have been purchased just because they were cheap. And there they all sit on my bookshelf, collecting dust. Yes, they look great and I have actually read a good seventy percent of them, but for some reason I just can’t part with them. I am a book hoarder. Wow. I just put that out there, didn’t I?

So, that brings me to the title of this post. Books vs. reading. What makes a book read-able? Is it the format? Is it the fact that is has short chapters? Or long descriptive sections? I really can’t say. I know what I have liked in the past. I have some of those. I know what is popular with many readers, and I have some of those too. But then I have lots of stuff that people might snub their noses up at me – that I actually love to read. I hate to even mention them for fear of being judged as a ‘light-weight’. But nevertheless I do actually love to read.

Which brings me to another debate that is consistently brought up – digital versus hard copy. I will bare my soul right now. I prefer digital. Yup…the die-hard library fan admits to preferring digital. Well, I can’t help it. I love techie stuff and if I can flip from one book to another with a swipe or a touch and not have to worry about replacing a book on to that dust-covered shelf, well…

So, bottom line, I am a book hoarder that loves to read digital books.


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