Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Comfort of Real Books

When I feel stressed at night, I lay in bed and just look beside me. A wall of books is in my room. They're there for now because of a lack of space in my cute little home. But, you know, I like them there.

Books on feng shui will tell you not to have books lined up in your bedroom. They say you want a minimalist approach to keep your life clear and stress-free. That probably works fine for some people, but not for me. My books are comforting to me and my mind. I don't see a mish-mash of colors or sizes (believe me, with my interior design background, my eye is usually drawn to that). I see feelings and memories.

Memories of where I was when I got each book or who gave it to me or of something I enjoyed reading in it. Or, how I was feeling at that time in my life. Many of my books are reference books of sorts. Go-to books where I can look things up. Maybe it's just the knowledge of having information so close at hand that is also comforting to me?

Yes, looking things up on the internet via our computers and phones is handy but nothing beats the feel of a book in your hands. Glossy or textured paper and covers. The different sizes and physical weight of the book. Even the smell invokes sensations within us. At least within me.

When I opted to self-publish my book, I decided to not only do it in e-format (like was suggested by published fellow authors. Some suggesting only doing an e-book for cost purposes), but to also have it printed on real paper. I know I'm still a few months off before I can hold my novel in my hands in that actual book format that I so love. But, knowing that perhaps it will someday be added to the shelves of others to bring comfort to them, is comforting to me.


  1. I agree. I've read E-books and I can deal with them... and better for the environment for sure. But I can't see taking an e-book reader to the beach... one of the joys of a paperback is that one doesn't care if one loses it or spills a cocktail on it! Anyway...

  2. I've always wanted a library as large as my bedroom, every wall filled with shelves, filled with books, with a desk covered in books, and a couch, a chair, a chaise lounge surrounded by piles of books (without the smell of mildew and mold - ughh). Instead, I make do with my modest library and office book shelves and books cached in the bathroom, and under the bed, and behind the leather chair, behind the seats of both the cars, hidden in most bags in the house, and the island in the kitchen, a few in each of the guest bedrooms and a couple in a friend's car trunk (grrr) not to mention the paperbacks in my heavy winter coats and the bins still out the garage and the storage unit filled with books that if I don't pay them soon they'll burn. Somehow I make do...


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