By Book Or By Nook

As you may know, I love not only reading, but I love the books themselves.  I love the glossy covers, the cracking of new pages and all the possibilities held within.  I love broken spines and dog eared corners.  The comfort of old friends lined up on a shelf, the well known character of my memory.  The musty smell of books that live in damp houses.  Tables of new releases in well-lit places. I love the feel, the weight, the uniqueness, of each story in my hands.

So when Craig surprised me with a Nook for my birthday, I was not entirely sure I wanted to keep it.  That's a terrible thing to feel about a very thoughtful and generous gift, but it is true.  Reading on an e-reader is not the tactile experience that reading a real book, with real pages to turn is, and I was not sure I would enjoy it.  I would truly miss the scratch of a turned page across the comforter as I lay in bed reading at night.

In the end I kept the Nook and while there are differences in the overall reading experience, it turns out that for me, a good book is still a good book, no matter how I read it.  I've read really great books and guilty pleasure books and books I didn't care to finish on my e-reader, which is exactly what happens when I read "real" books.

No doubt Wolf Hall and Telegraph Avenue were more enjoyable to read in a light e-reader, without the sore writs that accompany 500 + page books.  And although these books never physically entered my house (only their words traveling from a computer at the library to my computer at home to my Nook and back again), their stories are still impressed upon my memory.  In the bookshelf of my mind, Telegraph Avenue, its cover red and yellow like an Oakland sunset, sits next to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (geographically).  Wolf Hall, in scarlet, is found between A Man For All Seasons and The Other Boleyn Girl (morally).

I'm reading Truth & Beauty right now and at 200 pages, I imagine it is a pleasure to hold this slim, blue memoir of friendship in hand, to see it sitting on a bedside table.  Maybe when I finish it, I'll take my copy Pride and Prejudice with soft pages and the pink and green cover down from the shelf.  Because it look really nice on my bedside table too.

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