Back in the Stacks


I love reading books on my Kindle. I can’t explain the math on this, but I have found – time and again – that I’m able to read eBooks much faster than regular books. And faster reading means more reading, which is a good thing!

However, I recently discovered that I tend to go in circles on my Kindle. I’ll look through my Goodreads app to see what others have read recently, and what they recommend. I’ll surf through the Amazon book store to read reviews and browse best-sellers. Then I’ll look to see what eBooks might be available through my local library. All this time spent looking for my next great read…and I often turn off my Kindle without even choosing a book.

My 8yo son is still all about paper books; he may spend way too much time on digital devices, but when it comes to reading, he prefers the tactile experience of flipping back and forth through pages.

Yesterday, I went to pick up some of his holds at the library and decided to take a quick detour through the Young Adult section. That tends to be my genre of choice, and I wondered if anything would catch my eye.

It was only while I was back in the stacks that I realized how much I used to love these moments – standing with my head tipped to the side, perusing book titles, looking for a book cover with that “special something.” The nostalgia of it carried me back to a part of myself that I had forgotten, and didn’t realize I missed.

In just a few minutes I had gathered four books, scanning the jacket descriptions and first pages. No reviews or recommendations, no rankings on a seller’s list. Just me and the books.

I will never be one to bemoan the dawn of the digital age; I believe technology has done too much good to wish us back to purely analog days. But my experience this week reminded me of who I was, personally, before so much information was at my fingertips. How “connected” was never originally a digital term, and how I might re-define it for myself in this 21st century.

What about you: what real-world, non-digital things do you enjoy (or have rediscovered)?