Top 10 Reasons for Book Lovers' Hardcover Passion
For the Love of Books: A Lasting Love Affair With Reading
"Don't give up on the power of books to change lives and the world. As everything goes digital, book formats will morph, but their profound influence will endure." - David Marshall
There's Nothing Like a Really Good Book
Regardless of the technological advancements made in the realm of reading for leisure, real book lovers will always cherish the experience gained from reading a real, hard copy book. Handling a book is as much a part of the experience as reading it.
Since the dawn of the original Kindle Reader, the way people read their favorite books has changed tremendously across generations. Carrying a hundred books and having a choice of what one will read has been compacted into a light and lean device that could fit in a handbag or large pocket of a coat.
But still, for those readers who actually develop relationships with each book they read, one at a time, carrying around a portable library just doesn't feel authentic. It almost seems sacrilegious to the art of literature and literary engagement.
No matter how convenient technology makes it for the avid reader to have his favorite book at his fingertips, a bound book, made of cloth, trees, and ink will forever be the first choice for the voracious reader and book lover.
Below is a list of reasons why a real book will outlast any device that claims to provide convenience and compact efficiency.
The Favorite Way to Read
"I never understood people who don't have bookshelves." - George Plimpton
Top 10 List for Book Lover's Passion
1. Building up a personal library you can actually see and admire - It's fun to watch one's book collection grow as each colored spine and title gives a unique character to one's den or office. No two bookcases are alike, embodying each individual's journey through stories, characters, plots, and outcomes.
The bookcase becomes a conversation piece. Whether it contains college textbooks, novels, journals, self-help, poetry, or tomes, the building of a personal collection of favorite books is something a book lover cherishes and displays with pride.
2. Having a personal relationship with a book - There's something special about carrying around the book you're currently reading until you finish it. On an airplane, a subway, or a long cab ride, taking it with you everywhere you go creates a connection with a book which becomes a part of your life, even if only for a brief time.
Treasures to Behold
"There's no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It's like falling in love." - Christopher Morley
3. Finding an old treasure in a shop, clearance bin, flea market, bookstore, or basement - When I was a graduate school assistant in a college dormitory in the late 1980s, one of the odd jobs we were tasked with was to straighten out the basement of this off-campus building to make space. This basement housed thousands of books from hardcover texts to small paperbacks on any subject you could imagine.
I would love going through these books to see what I could use. One day I found a treasure I cherish to this day entitled, "The Finding of the Third Eye," by Vera Stanley Alder. First published in 1938, this find was the 1975 sixth printing.
There is no pleasure like finding an old book, tattered with yellowed pages, which still holds value to the reader.
Another treasure I found on a bookshelf of an apartment I moved into in the early 1990s made me feel as if I had struck gold.
The book, "T.S. Eliot Collected Poems 1909 -1935," was just sitting there, tucked away at the back of the shelf. The inside cover reads, "Copyright, 1930, by T.S. Eliot, Copyright, 1934, 1936, by Harcourt, Brace and Company." I'm not certain what my copy is worth but I urge you to Google it yourself to get an idea of how much this book is worth if it meets certain criteria. Pretty exciting.
"There is nothing like the smell of books, both new and old. If someone ever bottled the smell, I would be all over it." - Tiffany King, Meant to Be
4. Experiencing the touch, feel, and smell of an old, bound book - There is something sacred about having a real book you can engage using all of your senses. It holds the history of those who's senses graced its cover and read its pages before you.
The shared enjoyment the book gives provides an unspoken connection among a community of readers past, present, and future.
5. Sharing and exchanging books with friends and family - Sharing or lending to friends, family, or colleagues is part of the culture of having books, whether they are returned or not.
Exchanging books and sharing critiques create a social activity and lasting friendships revolving around the love of books.
Old Hardcovers Add Character to Home Decor
"A blessed companion is a book—a book that, fitly chosen, is a lifelong friend—a book that, at a touch, pours its heart into your own." - Douglass William Jerrold
6. Buying a new book and turning a page - A book purchase comes with an excitement and rush as you crack it open and read it for the first time. With each page you physically turn, it's a reminder of the anticipation of getting to the next plot development, the next twist, or that unexpected surprise. It is part of the process of getting through each chapter and eventually to the end, with each turn of a page.
7. Bookmarks - A huge part of the process of saving a page comes with a uniquely made, sometimes jeweled bookmark. Bookmarks hold a special place in the heart of the reader who uses them. They also make great gifts.
We can become attached to these tasseled, artful pieces and the quotes or prayers they display. What would become of these assorted gems of page holders if we had no books?
"All good and true book-lovers practice the pleasing and improving avocation of reading in bed... No book can be appreciated until it has been slept with and dreamed over." - Eugene Field, The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac
8. The Perfect Gift - Not many gift ideas are as practical and perfect as books. With an endless assortment of topics, you can always find the right book for a special person.
Books are easy, no-hassle, inexpensive gifts that make the best stocking stuffers for the holidays or token for any occasion.
9. The "Natural" way to read - How natural does it feel to hold a hand-held device or laptop that sometimes overheats as you read your favorite book on a screen?
I tried to read a few items I downloaded to my Kindle Fire and found it awkward. I missed the feel of a real, hand-held book with pages I could touch and turn.
Yes, we kill trees to make paper for books which is not very green. But recycled paper works, right? An avid lover of real books will always appreciate the natural feel of a book in the palm of the hand.
10. The Cuddle Factor - To cuddle and caress a real book made of paper and cloth versus an electronic device, is the ultimate in possessing books. Reading a good book in bed, for the book lover, involves a real book. Whether you're curled up on a sofa, in a big chair, or wrapped in a fuzzy bed blanket, the cuddle factor goes hand-in-hand with the reading experience.
An Extreme Case From a Classic Story
"If you cannot read them, any rate... fondle them. Peer into them... let them fall open where they will... Set them back on the shelf with your own hands... If they cannot be your friends, let them at any rate be your acquaintances." - Winston Churchill
Salute to Book Lovers
If you haven't completely shifted to reading your favorite books on E-Book readers, Kindles, and the like, you will appreciate this salute to the real book lover.
In celebration of lovers of real books, the "Top Ten" list underscores the love for and staying power of hard copy books for years to come, regardless of technological advancements in available options for leisure reading for pleasure.
The next time you find yourself sitting on a train or an airplane with your latest book, look around with appreciation and see the number of fellow book lovers. Silently announce your love of real books with your public reading of your latest find. Proudly display the title so another might lean slightly with neck stretched to see and wonder, "What's she reading?"
Old and Tattered but Still Valuable
Source for Quotes
- Quotes About Book Lovers (85 quotes)
85 quotes have been tagged as book-lovers: Umberto Eco: ‘We live for books.’, Saul Bellow: ‘People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be wa...
Types of Real Book Lovers
To what degree are you a lover of real books?
Questions & Answers
© 2014 Janis Leslie Evans