I’m a big reader, as my friends and family well know. Growing up, the comment “get your nose out of that book and (insert chore here)” was the most common form of communication between Mom and me. Now that I’m an adult, I still hear that same phrase coming from my conscience whenever I sneak a few minutes on a weekend or evening after work to read a few chapters.
EXCEPT while on vacation. The voices are silent on Maui. It’s one of the things that keeps me going back every other year to rest, recharge and generally get ready to survive another busy year.
With 8 hours of uninterrupted reading time, I can plow through at least one book a day and sometimes two. I emerge from the glorious day in the shade of the banyan tree or pool umbrella with a mind that is either wiped clean from a mindless piece of fluff, or enriched by something I’ve learned. Either way, I’m refreshed and ready to take on life again.
This trip was no exception. For 13 days on the beach of reading bliss, I ordered 15 mostly used books from Amazon. They’re a carefully selected mix of biographies (I still believe that if I can’t learn from my own life, maybe I can learn from someone else’s), historical novels, and the obligatory beachfluff. I mentioned that on my Facebook status page, and had good friends and colleagues razz me for not having moved to a Kindle, Nook or iPad. They all had various recommendations for me on the best e-reader for my needs. Nope. I’m not ready for that yet.
There are 5 very salient reasons why I’m resisting the urge to go digital.
1. It’s very difficult to read electronic books in the sun or where there is a lot of glare. Yes, I’ve tested it. Until the technology is a bit better, I’m sticking with my anachronistic books.
2. This may sound silly, but I like the smell of books. Especially old books. It reminds me of the library where as a kid I spent so many hours on foggy summer days .
3. I love seeing all my books on the shelves in my library, and knowing I can walk up and choose the one I want. Yes, I do have a library at home, with shelves covering the walls. It’s my favorite room in the house.
4. I re-read books. Over and over, depending on what I’m in the mood for. If I had to search through a menu, it would drive me crazy.
But the most important reason –
5. I’m a klutz. I drop my books all the time – into water, off tables, desks, whatever. If I ever had an electronic book in my hands at the beach or pool, the next sound you would hear would be bzzzzzz as it fries in some form of water. Books eventually dry out.
Therefore, I can’t take a Kindle into the pool. But, I CAN take my book in with me. If you were on Maui over Labor Day, you couldn’t miss me – I was the one in the jacuzzi with my nose in a book that was still a bit wet from having been dropped a few times.