To understand my relationship with books, there are a few key points that we need to establish:
- There is a difference between loving books and loving to read. Some people, like myself, are devoted to both; but, based on the success of Kindle and Nook, I believe that there are many more voracious readers who are not strongly moved by the physical existence of the printed page. Even when I don’t have time to read, however, I still want to be surrounded by books. I need them in my environment like I need food, water and air.
- Books are not great “stress relievers.” Well…they are great stress relievers, but that implies that I don’t need to read if I don’t have stress. The fact is, there is little that causes me more stress than not having books around.
- I do not imagine I am the hero or heroine of the story, or the hero’s beautiful and much beloved girlfriend/wife/mother. When I was much younger, I did. I read my favorite biography of Elizabeth I of England and imagined that I was a beautiful and powerful queen, greatly loved by her loyal subjects. Now, not so much. I have my own happily ever after with my own Prince Charming, and I do not care to give it up. What does happen, however, is that I disappear altogether, so that I’m a little surprised to discover the real world is not the book’s world.
- When I read, I do not hear. If you are trying to talk to me and I am caught up in the story, consider me as though I have headphones on. If you need my attention, touch me on the arm or shoulder, but don’t assume I am listening just because I have looked up from my book.
- Can we talk about picture books? Picture books exist at two levels. One is the classic children’s books, most of which contain illustrations as opposed to photographs. Children need to climb into your lap and exist in that cozy, four-sided space measured out by your body, your arms and the book. I’m sorry, but the iPad just does not create the same space.
- The picture book is the non-fiction book filled with amazing photographs of amazing people, places and things that I may never see in my lifetime. When I look at the picture on my computer screen, I love it. When I look at it in a book, hold it in my lap, run my fingers over its glossy surface and see it in context with other pictures on a similar theme, I own it.
You get the picture. Aside from my family and friends, books are my life. I read them, I write them, I hoard them. I say if you think you don’t like books, you just haven’t found the right one. If my romantic tales are not for you, check out my suggested reading list. You might find something that will be exactly what you need.