Home is where my books are, I used to say. I’ve been the most avid book reader and buyer. Books have accompanied me everywhere, they have been my friends, my sanity, my comfort, my safe harbor. I owe more to books than to anything else. They are an integral part of me. I love to page thru them, the sound of turning a page, the smell of paper and ink, the slight cracking of the spine of a new book, the feeling of holding a weighty tome. I don’t remember my life before I could read and I’ve slept with books since I was four.
As much as I cherish my 3500 books surrounding me in my den, I have surrendered. Since I got my iPad, I haven’t bought one book. As of today, I carry 47 books with me around the World in my iPad and the number is growing. Undoubtedly, for a globetrotter like me, the e-book is a gift from the gods. Packing my bag, I will have no more the dilemma of choosing which books to take with me and which ones to leave back home (and miss later on). Gone are the days of heavy bags full of new book acquisitions. My backpack is amazingly light now.
And yet, I miss them, the books. I miss them terribly, I have daily withdrawal symptoms. My hands search desperately for that comforting feeling of printed and bound paper. I could fall asleep with my iPad on my chest, but it’s not the same as letting the book, like a safety blanket, gently rest on my breast as I close my eyes and depart to dreamland.
For all the advantages of the e-book, I will never dispose of my books. Like testimonials of a time past, reminders of a overwhelming present and admonitions of a future to come, they will stay with me until my eyes close and I depart once more, this time on a one-way ticket to another dreamland of which I know nothing. My books, though, will survive me and the iPad, like papery ghosts they will alert the consciousness of all readers, like and ode to life, they will inspire generations to come.
It is with a bleeding heart and shaky voice that today I pronounce the words “The paper book is dead, long live the e-book!”
Keep reading, life is an open and unread book!