A friend here in México posted on Facebook that she was excited to receive a book – a hard copy – of Francisco Goldman’s new book Monkey Boy. I’ve read his books before and have been planning on reading this one, too. But that’s not why I bring it up. It’s that she bought a book – a hardback book – and made a bit of an anti- ebook comment.
I do miss books once in a while but I am mostly on the ebook team these days. I love the immediacy of them. I love changing the type size, and bookmarking, and sharing snippets just by copy and paste.
I have always been a big reader and most years read around 75-100 books. I can’t imagine anything better than an afternoon in a hammock reading while the dogs chill nearby. I used to buy a lot of books but also made good use of our local library. I still do use the library a lot but it’s all ebooks for me now.
I do remember fondly the feeling of contentment that a big stack of books on the bedside table gave me. But I feel the same way looking at my library on my ipad, truly. See my first screen of books, below? Really, it feels the same.
I remember how great it was in the past to peruse a new friend’s bookshelves and finding out that we loved many of the same books – or find unknown and interesting ones to lead me in new directions. It was a fast track to friendship for me.
It was the same with music, remember? Paul and I got to know each other so much better by exploring each other’s book and music shelves. How do young people do it now? These days I make do with “friends” on Goodreads and the Goodreads algorithms suggest new reads I might like. (And of course my real friends suggest books too!)
Before we moved to México I ripped all our hundreds of cd’s to my computer and I am glad I still have them. But most of the time I listen to Spotify on our Sonos speakers, which I love. I can play the music in the garden, in our sala fresca, on our tv bars, anywhere. I can hear new music easily, and Spotify has gotten to know us and makes music mixes that are really fabulous. But our lazy Sunday mornings of the past with one of us playing DJ and our breakfast of waffles and the New York Times are long gone. The news is online and the music is too. Thank goodness the waffle is still the same.
A few months ago I decided that we needed a few more real books on our shelves. I had an Amazon gift certificate burning a hole in my (electronic) wallet, so I started shopping. I had never read The Brothers Karamazov and I thought that would be a great choice because I knew I would want to flip back and forth to refer to the character list. I bought a larger sized paperback but UGH! I can’t even read it. The type is way too small and the paper is dull and beige, not white. I like a bit larger type and a bright page. I also like pressing on a word to look it up. What a failure that purchase was! (see above) The rest of my choices didn’t work out any better.
The picture at the top is our main bookshelves these days. We do have a different shelf for oversized books (yes, Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art!) and another upstairs for our Spanish schoolbooks. But basically everything is electronic for us these day.
Where do you fall on the electronic or paper debate? Some like both but I fall hard on the electronic side.
I hope you are having a lovely Sunday. It’s time for me to mix up some waffle batter, put on some tunes and get back to my book!