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Will E-Readers Replace Books and Libraries?

Sep 12, 2011

Call me an old lady (I’m the ripe old age of 33) but my e-reader will never replace my personal book collection, unless of course they stop printing books.  Even then, I think I would browse antique stores looking for a good book to add to my collection.  I love flipping pages of a book, I love getting lost in the story, anxiously scanning the pages.  I love the smell of books, especially old books.  I love letting my friends borrow books (even though I occasionally, never get them back).  I love picking up the copy of my copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales from 1973 which was written to me from my now deceased grandmother whom I adored.  It brings tears to my eyes and good memories every time I pick it up.   I hunted online once for my favorite childhood book, Lamont the Lonely Monster, published by Hallmark in 1970, which is now a rare collectable, and purchased it just for sentimental value.  I handed down my Strawberry Shortcake Cooking Cookbook to my son, and I loved looking though the pages and seeing my handwriting in it from when I was 6 (his age now). Books hold valuable memories, something that an e-reader will never be able to replace.

I have been known to go to my nearest Barnes and Noble, grab a cup of Starbucks and spend hours browsing the shelves looking for a good book.  Recently, I was in BN and staring at the “Spiritual Romance” section.  What was a “Spiritual Romance” exactly? I had no idea, but as I browsed the shelves a woman approached me also looking in the same section.  “Did you ever read any of Karen Kingsbury?” she asked me.  “No I haven’t,” I responded.  But we had a 20 minute conversation about her books.   It was a very serendipitous moment, and I wound up purchasing her book, Redemption. This type of interaction is also something that an e-reader will never be able to replace.

I always wanted a home library like the one in Beauty in the Beast, or the ones from Victorian Times, but since I do lean toward the modern and the contemporary, a library like the one above, in color or alphabetical order, filled with a comfy couch, blanket, my dogs, a cup of tea (and hopefully a fireplace) would be heaven to me.  There is just something so cozy and inviting about curling up to a good book.  I am sure I am not the first one to say this, and probably not the last.  Imagine a library room with no books, just a lonely e-reader on the side table.  Where is the character?

However, I do have an e-reader.  They are great to carry a few books at a time with you on vacation – especially now days when airlines have such strict weight regulations.  And of course they do cut down on the clutter of having books all over your home.  But you can’t take an e-reader with you while you are enjoying a candle-lit bubble bath, or at the beach (if you are concerned about the heat and sand), a hot tub, or pool.  While e-readers have their advantages, they still don’t stack up to a real book!

If you are a book lover like me, I’m sure you devour several books at once.  The one thing I can never get enough of are bookmarks.  If I was to get married again, I would definitely consider giving out a favorite book with a bookmark attached to a favorite passage.  Or I would use one of our bookmark favors to attach a favorite recipe or use them to hold my seating assignments.  Bookmarks are just as collectible as books, especially for bibliophiles.  Even those on your list who aren’t voracious readers will be sure to get use out of this practical and memorable favor.  I will continue to read my books and one day I hope to have my own little library in my house complete with my favorite reads, multiple bookmarks and my e-reader.

Happy reading!

- Erica

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