Literacy / NaBloPoMo / Social Media

Torn between the pages of my books

I love my books.

I love my books.

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.  ~Author unknown

Part of what makes my life great is that I get to be surrounded by books all the time — at home and work.

Back in the day, my family had this gigantic dictionary on top of the stereo by the entryway growing up. Oh how I hated it when I would ask my parents a question, such as “how long did the dinosaurs live?” or “where does rain come from?” and then I would hear (and sometimes in unison) “Look it up!” I don’t know where that dictionary came from or where it went, but it was an absolute cornucopia of information. It not only had a dictionary, it also had the periodic table of elements, astrology signs and biographies.

Then fast forward to me as a mom and I get a huge box of books for Torie at the baby shower that my co-workers threw for me. It was really one of the best baby gifts that I was given, that box of mostly Dr. Seuss books sprinkled with baby basics, such as bibs and booties.

Yes! Sopostaday2013meone saw my love of books and knew that I would share that with my little one. Throughout most of my pregnancy I read to Torie. I had those special earphones to place on my belly so that I could read the newspaper to her every day. Every night I also read Baby, Oh Baby The Places You’ll Go!, which is a book adapted from Dr. Seuss books. I almost feel as if I could still recite it today after all of these years.

Torie opening up a new book on her 8th birthday in 2012.

Torie opening up a new book on her 8th birthday in 2012.

So from all of this one would gather that I love the printed word. I bought my first tablet in January, a Kindle Fire HD that I have actually named Austen (after my favorite author Jane) Flanagan. I have more than 80 books downloaded so far.

During my trips back and forth between Northern Virginia and Philadelphia, I am never without a book and a magazine. And I usually print out a few articles to read just in case those materials can’t hold my interest.

When I bought Austen, a whole new lightweight world was opened. I’ve also just discovered goodreads.com, where I get to see what’s new in publishing and what many of my friends and colleagues are reading. You can tell a lot about a person by what they read. The site also has tons of book clubs for readers of every genre to join.

This move to digital doesn’t mean an end to reading hard copy materials. They can co-exist and hopefully thrive. Several public libraries now have electronic lending so that those who have tablets don’t have to go broke to keep on reading.

Reading keeps getting promoted through celeb book clubs and initiatives such as the Free Library of Philadelphia‘s One Book, One Philadelphia.

It’s still very sad to see bookstores, both chains and neighborhood storefronts, close their doors. But books and reading shall continue to live.

Washington, D.C. Union Station's former Barnes & Noble bookstore. Photo taken by Sharyn Flanagan on March 3, 2013.

Washington, D.C., Union Station’s former Barnes & Noble bookstore. Photo taken  March 3, 2013.


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