Hubby and I went on our big annual date yesterday. There is a huge used book sale, which is a fundraiser for a local symphony – it runs for a week or ten days, has the selection of a mid-sized bookstore (though often older stuff), and, best of all, the books typically cost a dollar or two. We used to drive in from Alberta to get our year’s worth of reading material; luckily, it’s a much shorter drive, now.
Fortunately, Hubby gets at least as excited about the book sale as I do. He marks it on the calendar months in advance. We’re a good match, that way. We usually buy a big box of books. Each.
People tease us about our books. We do have quite a collection.
“Get an e-reader,” they say. “You can fit a million books on it, and take it anywhere…”
While I’ll admit that shelf space is sometimes (usually) an issue, I have no desire to get rid of any of my books. I could see an e-reader for fiction and ‘fun’ reading, but I can’t imagine taking one out to the barn to check a goat symptom, like I have done with a book. I don’t think it would be all that easy to read in a sunny garden, either, when I’m trying to decide whether to run the rows east-west or north-south. You couldn’t leave one on the dash of the car with the doors unlocked, and I don’t know how long the batteries would last, but I would hazard a guess that they wouldn’t make it through an entire camping trip. I’d hate to try to figure out what I needed to download again if the thing crashed, too.
I love having a big reference library. We have books about just about everything we do or want to do, from astronomy and anthropology to butchering, canning, gardening, physics, home design, weaving, and travel…and more.
“Just google it,” friends say.
Except that half the time, again, I need to take the information to the barn, or the orchard, or get some details when I am up to my elbows in blood, dirt, or goo; places I don’t want to take my laptop. Or, I have to figure something out during a power outage, like whether or not the cistern pump needs re-priming after the power has gone off. Google is pretty amazing, but it’s not always that convenient. The internet out here is sometimes sketchy, too, so I wouldn’t want to have to rely on it being available when I needed to know some critical detail, like how long to process peaches at 1400 feet.
I want our kid to grow up surrounded by books, and to be able to have the same sense of discovery and wonder I got when I got bored and picked up some random text off Mom’s shelf and learned about anatomy or China or mythology. I want him to be able to escape into other worlds with broad horizons. I want him to stretch his imagination, and I want him to learn how to teach himself things. An e-reader is just not the same as running your fingertips along a shelf of books, and picking one up because the cover looks cool.
Yup, it’s a fact. I love books.