Friday, January 15, 2010

Down hill since the Bookmobile....

I was listening to a program about a week ago and the topic was this new Kindle. The latest gadget that one can download a ba-zillion books onto....this was kinda bothersome to me.

Let's start with I love books, I collect them, I read them and some I treasure. The first book I remember reading (not counting See Spot Run kinda thing) was in the second grade at Franklin Elementary School. I was proud to have a library card and couldn't wait to use it. I don't know why I chose "Stewart Little" by E.B. White, but I did and I loved it! Charlotte's Web, my second!

A couple years later the "Bookmobile" started coming to our school at a scheduled date and time. This to me was so cool, a library on wheels? It was a big empty bus or motor home I don't recall which, with it's sides lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves! Eventually I think around the 5th grade, for reasons unknown to me the Bookmobile quit coming to our school. I don't recall reading a book for enjoyment after that until my Senior year of High School.

That first book I read was "The Kennedy Curse". I had/have a fascination with the Kennedy family so it was a great, though sad read. Fast forward to age twenty-five, that would be the next time I would read for enjoyment. I received an insert to my TV Guide....the only book ever in my hands back then....the insert was an ad to sign up for the Literary Guild book club. One of those offers where you received the first seven books for pennies with the agreement to purchase four more books in the following year. Seemed easy enough. Here is the truth as to why I signed up, I thought I would appear more mature if I had books on display, especially if I had read them!

How to choose seven books? I don't know of any authors by name. I know, I would pick the book by the title or the picture on the cover, problem solved. Kinda like picking a jockey by the color of his jersey, his horse's name or picking a football team by the Quarterback's butt....yes, it's how I became a Niner fan...I digress...

I have to tell you I loved everyone of those seven books and was hooked again as a reader. One of the seven was a Stephen King book so he became my favorite author. I felt so mature name dropping an author's name, let a lone the title of a book :-)
The Thorn Birds took me over the top as far as my love for was the book that took me into prescription glasses by the time I finished.

Flash forward to 1999, avid Oprah watcher at the time (no more). I was always telling the gals at work about her book club selection. One of the gals thought it would be great to have our own book club, so the Gal Pal book club meetings began to meet every other month. I suggested Tuesday with Morrie as their first read. Wait a minute, "their" first read? Yep, I was in love and wanted to spend all my free time with my man. Wouldn't even consider one night out of sixty away! About five or six months later, I joined....same man....just needed a night away with the gals :-0.

The Gal Pals book club has now been together for eleven years. The same 14 or so gals, with an ongoing rule, we take on no new gals. Of the 14 of us only two remain working at that company. We, review books pizza and wine, and have formed a bond of friendship that is so awesome it is beyond words.

My first book related injury was when the "Left Behind" series came out. I spent a weekend sitting on the floor by my fireplace and read three of those books. Thus creating the cyst on my tailbone that was so painful I still have a sore tailbone some eleven years later! Those were some great books, I took the bullet for the marathon read.

Every other Friday I can be found at the local Barnes and Noble bookstore. I purchase a Starbucks coffee which is within the store itself, and I begin my time walking up and down the isles looking at book covers, reading the reviews on their jackets, right down to looking at the picture of the author, where he or she lives and how many children or pets they have. No explanation for that... This is my walk on the beach, my hour massage, my cup of tea by the roaring fire.....just let me in a book store!

Now, back to these Kindle things. Why??? I saw someone on the train reading a book on one and I made a mental note, it was the same size as an average size book. As I looked at it I thought, but you can't feel the book, you can't look or feel the nice book jacket. No more opening the book to look at the paper its printed on, smooth edges or jagged recycled paper? What do you do with all those book markers you have purchased through the years?

Libraries may become a thing of the past and I shiver at the thought my bookstores may become a thing of the past? Is it not enough you can get books on tape, now you can buy them online, what is happening here ?

I ran in to my "love her to bits" girlfriend Melissa at Barnes and Noble today. The instant I saw her my first thought was, and the first thing out of my mouth....."I have a zit above my lip". Here's why I love her. Melissa quickly replied, "ya well you have no makeup on and braces too" as we exchanged hugs. I briefly discussed my feelings on the Kendall's, in fact she had to tell me what they were called. She listened to me go on, like she always has, another reason I love her. I have to admit at one point I thought she looked at me as though my head zipped up the back!

At that point I ended my share time with, "Kendall's will end up in landfills, books will not! We give books away, we donate them", heck we even take them to consignment stores to make money to buy the new ones. I shared with Melissa that I was going to blog about this and "oh, by the way have you read my blog"? "No", she replied....I still love her. I told her I would even mention my meeting with her in it. She suggested I use a pseudo name, I believe it was Martha she wanted me to use. Come on, Martha? I told her she could be anonymous in a future story.

My fellow friends, don't stop reading books....I mean the real books. Why must everything change, can't we continue to be happy with bound books, holding them in our hands,getting sun screen on the cover, spilling drinks on them, gazing at the Jacket? I will be part of a protest if need be.

By the way, I check out my books to my friends, but I never allow them to take the book jacket with them, ever! They look so nice in my bookcases........

As a side note, I am more mature now, though not because of any given book.. I married the man I leave at home every other month for book club and if I ever give Melissa (far right in the photo) a pseudo name in a future blog, it's gonna be Martha, take note of that.

This is what echos from my heart today!


  1. I remember falling in love with books when I was in 5th grade. I too purchased from those book road shows that came around to the school... and then turned my summers into read-a-thons. Hmm... what else do we have in common?!

  2. Oh sista, I love my books, too, but, I love them in any form...the CDs in the car are wonderful to pass the time as I drive to and from work, the hard backs, the paper backs and even the new electronic versions. I actually am starting to warm up to the idea. They are light and when you travel you could have multiple books on one device. That could lighten my suitcase dramatically. The only think I do NOT like is that I like to mark up my books...highlighting stuff I love. So, the Bible must remain an actual book. The rest, not so much for me. I now give many away...By the way, I have a friend named Martha.