In recent years, I’ve done most of my reading without an actual book in hand.
I like the physical act of reading a book. I admire the cover, read the dedication, the forward, and never-ever skip ahead to see what happens later.
Books and the word cozy go together so well. We have dozens of pictures of our family snuggled in and reading. Parent to child, child to self, child to other child, one of us trying to read with a cat in the way, and so on. (Cats must love books, too.)
I have old books displayed as decorations, as well as shelves full of loved books I might read or reference again and other books waiting to be read as time allows.
I love books. But most of all, I love reading.
I do not own a Kindle or any of its kin, but I imagine I will some day. The convenience of having so many books so easily at hand is compelling. Already I find that I spend more time reading online than out of an actual book most days.
So here is my guilty secret. I check out three audio books each month from our public library. I listen to them on my commute to work and home again. I listen to amuse myself while I am doing mindless tasks, like cleaning or sorting. But despite the fact that each audio book ends with the words, “Thank you for being a recorded book reader.” I feel a little guilty each time I mention a book I have recently “read” when someone else was doing the reading. After all, I never claimed to have read any of the books read aloud to me by teachers in grade school, though I often later chose to read them on my own.
Without audio books, many of the good books and short stories I have enjoyed “reading” would still be waiting. Reading books is still a priority for me, but the time I have to devote to it is limited. And as much as I love being curled up with a cat on my lap and my nose in a book, that activity doesn’t lend itself well to multitasking.
Listening is not equal to the experience of reading and relishing an actual book for myself. But it is just as engrossing. In a few minutes I will hop in my car and listen to the last chapter on the final cd of this months third book as I drive home with both hands on the wheel, both eyes on the road. I can’t wait to hear how it ends.