by Sherrell Dorsey of Books Just Do it Better
Don’t judge me. I’m still that bag lady hopping on the train or bus with a purse and heavier-than-life tote bag filled with books. Have I contemplated getting a kindle? Of course! Even the thought of dropping 500 dollars post-paying my student loans has crossed my mind, but as a last resort I’ve still opted for ordering cheap used books from Amazon for pennies on the dollar.
There’s something about the smell, texture and literary euphoria I sill get when I open and discover the pages of a book. In college toting books and staying on top of reading assignments was a tremendous hassle but now, reading and indulging my brain in something other than Facebook messages and fashion magazines is a luxury.
Last week I journeyed into Barnes and Nobles. The day was wet (of course Seattle you would play into your stereotype) and I found myself hanging downtown waiting on a client to finish their meeting. With the recent number of book store closures throughout the country I’d thought it to be rather odd that B & N was still vibrant and rampant with freeloaders and homeless men looking for a warm place to stay and a great book to gain inspiration.
Reluctantly, I strolled into my typical sections: African American literature, business, entrepreneurship, health and fitness. Off in the distance I spotted the children’s section and immediately I was five years old again. Sweet memories of dates with me and my mom taking trips to the book store on the weekends became familiar once more. She’d leave me in the children’s section to revel in my love affair with the American Girl collection and Babysitter’s Club series while she brushed up on some Terry McMillan.
We spent a few hours amongst our favorite authors but for me there was never enough time to journey throughout each story. Mom and I would come out of B & N with huge smiles smeared across our faces, carrying our cherished green bags filled with our latest little pieces of adventure.
I say all of this to say that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up my love affair with physical books. I don’t need a power cord to get to know the power behind Zora Neal Hurston’s greatest works. I don’t have to have a back up source just in case my Jorge Louis Borges gets deleted.
How do you inscribe a thoughtful message when you give a book as a gift via an electronic download? I still remember my mom sending me a copy of Hill Harper’s “Letter’s To A Young Sister” with a note behind the front cover telling me to soar when I found myself feeling a little defeated my first semester in college.
Yeah. I don’t think I’m ready to give up my precious books to technology just yet…
What’s on my reading list for those that want to know…
Currently Drooling Over:
What’s on your reading list?
Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating OrganicBeautyVixen.com, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks’s beauty and fashion site TypeF.com, Jones Magazine, MySalonScoop.com and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at www.twitter.com/organicvixen
THANK YOUUUUU!!! I thought it was just me. A library full of colorful books >>>>>> A tablet. I love the feel of a book, flipping through the pages, folding them, highlighting them…I stare at a screen all day at work and that's where it ends lol.
I really appreciate this story because I felt this exact same way until I actually got a Kindle – which I love! But I also still like to read physical books and if I find one I want that is cheaper than the Kindle version, I buy it. So I think if you love to read, you will do so by any means whether turning pages or pushing buttons – as long as I get my fix, i'm good!
I swore I wouldn't buy an e-reader and then my dad bought me one for my birthday. I get addicted to it then I'll stop and hang out in barnes and noble reading books.
The Alchemist was an excellent book. I was kind of sad when I finished it. Outliers is sitting on my bookshelf and is in the reading queue.
I love my kindle and I still buy books. For my family its a matter of space and convenience. We all love to read and with 4 of us getting books all the time we found space getting limited. Plus we move a lot being military family and the weight of all our books counts against us. It also makes it a bit easy since our neighborhood book store has closed down (miss you borders) .
Fyi I was against them too until I played with one. Its addictive.
I'm a life long reader. I was totally against e-readers until one of my friends brought her Kindle Fire on a road-trip. I had to carry 3 bulky books, and she had unlimited books at her fingertips. I have to say, it made me reconsider…
This month, I read "11/22/63" by Stephen King and the Hunger Games trilogy. I would recommend them all!
I forgot my book list:
The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
In my line up:
I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl
For some reason, I just can't get with the e-readers :-/. I've tried on my husband's iPad and on my android phone, but my attention just isnt held the same when reading the actual book/flipping through the pages. All of my friends rave about the Nook, but I'll stick with my live books and overflowing bookcase! (=
So love this post because I too have been a life long reader. Among ny childhood faves were the Katy series – my mum and aunties read them – and the Famous Five. I knew I was hooked on reading as a past time when I stayed up all night to read "The Thorn Birds" as a teen; and yes the eye were bloodshot the next day.
So, it's happy memories like those that prevent me from investing in any digital type reader. I understand the convenience aspect as many posters make valid points, but I am not persuaded. Ever so often I need to get "lost" in the book store and library.
Okay, on my waiting list to be read are: "How the Garcia girls lost their accents" Julia Alvarez and "The year of living Biblically" A.J. Jacobs. I recommend "When she was white" Judith Stone and "The color of water" James McBride – both all night reads when I read them a few years ago.
To most people the Kindle for iPhone sounds counterintuitive but I use it to read free e-books from Project Gutenberg and elsewhere. Currently I'm reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time since high school…! 🙂
For serious reading, though, you can have my paper books when you pry them from my cold dead hands. 🙂
I just finished reading Makeda, by Randall Robinson. It's a REALLY well-written book by a black author who's had a long history of activism and scholarship. I'm also reading the third book in the Song of Ice and Fire series in preparation for season 2 of Game of Thrones. I'm lucky to live in a town that has both an awesome public library and several great independent bookstores.
i'm a reader – a lifelong reader.
i got a kindle for christmas, and i'm a little torn. i now have tons of books to read on the kindle, but the kindle does not provide the same emotional warmth as curling up with a book.
Because i'm also frugal (i.e. cheap) i had a hard time buying books that i liked for the kindle, so in turn i've found lots of free e-reader sites. the downside is some of the books i like may not be free.
the medium matters to me.
audio books are good if you have a long commute or spend alot of time in a car but its still not the same as turning pages.
but i think its good to read, not just on the computer
Thank you so much ladies!!!!!! I am a devoted book lover and I always have been. To me there is nothing better than curling up (or riding in a car, or laying on the beach, or anything else) with a book. I have more than I can count, and I'm always buying more. But I can't do e-readers. I need to feel my pages turn, and it's awfully hard to draw comfort from the feel of a screen in your hand. Amazon, Half Price, indie bookstores, they are ALL my friends. Hopefully we will be able to keep them alive. Too much looking at a screen damages your eyes anyway. Lol. Give me a good ole pair of covers anytime, paperback or hard! Currently reading several Golden Age Mysteries ( written in the 30's – 50's).
All I can say is I hear you girl. It really saddens me to see paper books going away though I am an avid techie. I have been reading since I was 3 yo and joined the library at 9. I couldn't even bring myself to buy the goBible when I needed a new Bible to read on the train.
P.S. can someone tell me how to create a user name on this site? I do not want to be anonymous. thanks
I do not own an e-reader yet. I'm not saying I'll never get one, but for the same size, I'm actually jonesing for a tablet, so I figure that will take care of the e-reader matter. I do have a lot of printed books, however.
My most recent reads were Changes That Heal by Henry Cloud, The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel, Total Forgiveness by R. T. Kendall, and Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey. Currently, I'm slowly working on The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel and None of These Diseases by S. I. McMillen. Wanted for future reading are Wired That Way by Marita Litauer and a book by Dick Witherow that I think is called The Modern Day Leper.
My plan is to by my book in print, then if I get a tablet and decide I want an electronic copy, I'll buy it. That way, they can back each other up. I already do this for music: I buy the CD, then I copy it over to my phone if it's something I know I'll listen to repeatedly.
@Cece, I just recently picked up a few talking books on CD from a friend at work who brought them in to get rid of them. I've listened to talking books off and on since I was a child, and one of my sisterfriends listens to them constantly. The thing about talking books is that you want to be sure to get ones narrated by good voice actors, because a good book can be ruined or raised to something quite fine by a narrator who either reads without inflection or who knows how to bring a story to life.
I'm finding this to be the case with the Bible on YouVersion, which I downloaded to my phone not long after I bought it. It's my first android phone, and I'm enjoying it. I've wanted to try the Bible on audio for awhile now, and I wanted something other than the King James Version as narrated by the late but excellent Alexander Scorby (sp). I tend to memorize in KJV or NKJV, but I like to study across multiple versions, because of the enrichment of meaning I can get that way. Of the ones I've so far listened to in YouVersion, the New Living Translation is the best narrated, although if I were simply reading it, I would probably not pick that version, preferring the Amplified, because I feel that the NLV is a little too modernized. However, the quality of the narration makes it first choice when I'm listening on my commute.
I'd be curious to hear from e-reader users how easy it is for them to use their Kindles and Nooks in various lights. One of the advantages of a print book is that you have to be in some pretty low light to not be able to see it, but if the e-readers are anything like cellphones and computers, there's nothing like sunlight to wash images right off the screen, and if I can't see it, that defeats the purpose of having it to read. Even the talking books have the advantage in that case; you don't have to look at anything, just listen.
This post made me laugh because I just read about the same thing on a blog for my job. I have a Kindle and I really didn't purchase it for books. It's more entertainment for my year old daughter. I am torn because while the Kindle does offer less bulk than traveling with books, I do enjoy the touch of a book. This day in age as long as my children are reading I don't care if it's a Kindle, Nook or book. Just pick up something.
Denise, totally agree, the medium isn't important, read what you like best, just READ!!
I've had people tell me that I've encouraged them to start reading because they've seen me so engrossed in a book. So it makes an impression on others.
Anybody have thoughts on audio books? In addition to my love of ebooks, I've also started a collection of audio books. They make my commute to and from work so much more pleasant. Instead to fretting that traffic isn't moving, I get annoyed when traffic is light. I have actually been late to work because I was sitting in my car trying to finish listening to a chapter.
It's especially great because I find reading non-fiction harder and more of a chore than reading my beloved fiction. But with audio books its been great.
I'm with you there, i highlight and take too many notes in my books, i'll skip the digital versions for now. There's something about having your own little library with books you can see on a book shelf.
I received a Kindle touch for Christmas from my parents. Love it!!!
But I must say, I still read real books. obviously, one reason for that is because not everything is available as an e-book. but my other reason for still reading real books is that some books I just want to have as a real book. its hard to explain, but some things I just like to see on the bookshelf when I'm done with it. ( my next real book purchase is Aint Too Proud to Beg – the story of the Temptations. I MUST have this as a real book, esp since the last Temtpations book I read, the one by Otis Williams, is a real book)
Anywho, the Kindle has helped me with my love of books–storage that is. I've never liked libraries, really. I dont like giving them back. and it was once my own dream to have my own "library" because as a kid I loved finding old books at my grandmothers house that my mom, aunts and uncles read growing up. especially if they were good books. and truthfully some of them are out of print now. I'd like that my my kid someday. but, unfortunately, my tiny little apartment does not allow me room to hoard books like that. but my Kindle does!
I'm in the middle of The Child Theif, by Brom. Its a Peter Pan-esque slash fantasy novel.
My sister and I were talking about this very thing yesterday. It's just something about having a visible bookmark for me..lol reading on the Ipad is cool and all but I just love having a book in hand.
And p.s. I miss Borders
CeCe, I thought I had written your post! I've loved reading all of my life, always had a book or magazine in my hand, or in piles in my bedroom and home. My daughter bought me a Kindle for Christmas a couple of years ago. My first thought? "I don't want this!" It only took a few days to realize I was in love with my new toy! Today, I have over 1200 titles in my Kindle, and I LOVE being able to read and download anything I want, at any time. Don't get me wrong; I still purchase books (plus I work in the library of a community college), so I don't knock anyone who prefers a physical book over an e-reader. The bottom line is that the medium in which we read isn't important, only that we actually DO read! And who says we can't do both? Oh, and one more thing: never say never!
I love both worlds. I love my Nook.
I thought nothing could replace my dear physical books. then came the kindle touch. **insert violin music***. I absolutely love my kindle although I still read physical books from time to time.
Funny that this post appeared today as I too love to read and will never buy a nook. But the problem is that I am remodeling my book room and have about 300 books that are in the way. I am having a book sale next Thursday and Friday for $1.00 per book. My current reads are Retire with a mission and Resurrecting midnight.
I enjoy both –ebooks and dead tree books.
I purchase about 50/50. For traveling or keeping books in my purse, ereaders simply can not be beat. It's also easier to read and eat with an ereader. Don't have to fight with turning pages or keeping the book open while I snack.
However, when I'm relaxing at home I still enjoy a physical book. While browsing book stores I enjoy looking at beautiful book covers.
I LOVE physical books too! I do use the nook and enjoy it for convenience for traveling/commuting but nothing compares to curling up to an actual book….:)
I LOVE reading too, and for a long time, I struggled w/ whether or not to buy a Nook (#TeamBarnes&Noble), but I finally bought one–for travel purposes only.
I LOVE my Nook!!
I still curl up w/ my real books @ home, but for travel, it's so much easier to have the Nook. I've also read a lot more non-fiction books than I normally would since I have the Nook–whenever I go to B&N, I head straight to the Fiction section and don't really consider anything else.
I still have, love, and buy real books, but, for travel, the Nook is sooo much better than stuffing a bunch of books into my carry-on bag.
Oh…and to ease the guilt I felt with "cheating" on real books, I bought a super cute Kate Spade Nook cover–it helped tremendously 🙂
My recent reading list is:
The Dead Zone (Stephen King) – Currently Reading
These are the books I read in the last month and all are highly recommended.
Fledgling (Octavia Butler)
Perfect Peace (Daniel Black)
Passing (Nella Larsen)
Kindred (Octavia Butler)
My "treat" reading list (when I don't have required reading for school)
– The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
– White Guilt by Shelby Steele
– Good Is Not Enough by Keith Wyche
– Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry
– A Peculiar Imbalance by William Green
and whatever interesting journal articles I come across related to my major
I thought I was the only person who felt this way. I love the way pages feel as they slip through my fingers, and not worrying about techno malfunctions. Books can be cheap and when one really inspires me I can pass it on as a gift. You can't do that with a Kindle!
I have always loved to read. I used to be a book store junkie. I'd spend a couple of hours on the weekend just browsing the shelves and I'd come home with at least five books. I would bring a few books with me everywhere I went. Which meant I could never buy those cute tiny purses. It was usually a huge backpack. My house was cluttered with books that I couldn't jam onto my bookshelves because they were already packed. Books were piled on the floor all around because I just could not part with my books because I wanted to read most of them a second and third time.
Then came the Kindle.
Like you, I said, no way. I love my books and could never part with them. I turned my nose up at all advertisement for ebooks and readers. You'll have to pry my books from my cold dead hands, I thought.
Then came the Kindle2.
I broke down and bought one. My life is now almost completely bookless (hard copies that is). I donated most of my books, only keeping the ones I could not find in the Kindle store. I have over 1,500 books on my Kindle and I carry them with the notes and highlighted sections that I can pull up in a minute, all in my tiny little cute purse.
I love my Kindle Fire, I actually read more now.
I don't have much time to read anymore as I;m in grad school. I also love physical books but I think e-readers are great especially for those who travel or commute. The fact that they are getting more people to read is also a good thing. What I find disturbing is the closure of bookstores. Where I live Borders closed down and there is nothing left that compares. Sure you can buy books in Target, a thriftstore but the selections are limited. Ordering on Amazon is great but I think there is something wonderful about being able to browse in a dedicated bookstore. Some argue that bookstores are a cultural resource and if they all close down we all lose. E-readers sprang from someone's imagination, so I guess the survival of brick and mortar bookstores will depend on people's innovation in finding ways for them to survive. Maybe there will be a resurgence of indie bookstores. Borders is no more and now Barnes & Noble is in the fight of it's life according to this NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/business/barnes-noble-taking-on-amazon-in-the-fight-of-its-life.html?pagewanted=all
i love this post…i am STILL anti e-readers and every last one of my friends has a kindle or ipad..when we meet up on our girl trips i have about 3 books tucked in my suitcase and carryon. and they laugh and laugh and laugh…i mean on the beach w/ my ipad or kindle…big NOT (for me)…i stare at the computer ALL day..when is it enough?
…and i don't EVEN buy books anymore. i have library cards in MD, NC, DC, and NYC. i don't play around…books smell good..even shared ones :)..I'm going to check out Poser and love all of Adichie's books.
I love my physical books too. I don't own any of the e-readers because I enjoy holding a book in hands while I read it. I like to write thoughts in my books and really engage in what I am reading. I don't see myself doing that with an e-reader. Plus, I have always wanted to have an out of this world library in my house…E-readers can't do that!
I love old fashion books. I think kindle would work best for students. so instead of lugging all those books around you have that one little device.
I am a voracious reader and I love the Kindle Fire. I didn't think I would because I love the look and feel of books but really the Kindle enhances and streamlines my book addiction. I use the library and the Kindle for 1 off books that I won't revisit once read. That leaves my hard earned dollars for books that I love like art, design, coffee table books and the classics. This allows my book collection to be better organized and appreciated as it grows at a more manageable pace(I used to have books in every nook and cranny of the house til my hubby put his foot down 🙂
OOPS! The Odyssey- Homer (not Sophocles, as I had previously posted). TYping fast and thoughts got ahead of fingers. 🙂
Have a nice day ladies and HAPPY READING!
My first love was with a book before I could even read. I remember being so proud of myself when I could actually read the book for all by myself. The feel of paper, and the smell of it is(to me) the very act of reading and no computer or reader can replace that! I hope we never lose the joy of reading on paper.
Either or…or both! I felt that way until I received a Kindle (the b/w one). I also felt that way about having cds instead of an mp3 player. As someone else mentioned, I still love to buy the cd instead of the download (most of the time). I also buy books if I feel it's something I want to read multiple times and pass along to others. I work in a library so I still check out books, but sometimes if it's a quick read or a leisurely page-turner I'll buy it for my Kindle. I also have word games on there (Thread Words is addictive!).
I tell people all the time, just because you buy an eReader that doesn't mean that you can never buy a physical book again, lol. I have a Nook which I adore. I do most of my reading on it mainly because I read so fast that I finish a book and then have nothing to read next. The convenience of having several books at your disposal can't be beat. Especially if you travel.
I still go to bookstores and buy books (in fact I bought a book just yesterday). When I get tired of the Nook or I'm just feeling nostalgic I just go back to my library and pick something off the shelf. The eReader didn't eliminate the joy of simply turning pages.
For me I think getting an eReader gives you the best of both worlds.
I like the actual feel of a book. The smell, the creasing of pages…yeah all of that. But at the same time I do have a Kindle Fire. I do not have too many books on it. So my big issue is trying to find a way to use it without feeling like I'm cheating on my physical books lol. #nerd
All-time fav books:
Anything by Maya Angelou
The Odyssey- Sophocles
The Alchemist-Paulo Coelho
The Autobiography of Malcolm X- Malcolm X
The Prophet- Khalil Gibran
To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee
Life and Death in Shanghai- Nien Cheng
I agree, nothing can replace reading a 'live' book!
Yeah, I haven't bought a Kindle mainly because I like the act of thumbing through the pages of a book. So, currently on my reading list is Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine. I'm halfway through it, and I'm liking it. It's kind of bleak, but it's well-written, which is what I'm always looking for in the novels I read.
Next on my list is Edward P. Jones' The Known World.
First and foremost, The Alchemist is my FAVORITE book of all time! (And Paulo Coelho is my favorite author.) I own an iPad and use it for everything except reading books. There's nothing, nothing, nothing that can ever replace a physical book for me. The actions of laying on my bed and flipping pages gives me life…That feeling is irreplaceable for me.
What can I say? I haven't bought a book for myself in ages. I love the library and take my daughter every two weeks to exchange and get new books to read at bedtime. But I could never get into the whole e-reader thing. I like the feel of a real book.
Just like most people I inherited my love for reading from my family, but I could never get into nonfiction. So right now I am reading "Out of Oz" by Gregory McGuire and it is so good.
I LOVE READING!!! However, it hasn't always been that way. When I was younger I didn't like to read anything that didn't have "pictures" in them. lol It took me some time to reconized what I liked. It wasnt unto I went to college that a new way and world of reading opened up to me! I now know what I love to read! I just finished Iyanla Vanzant's "Peace from broken pieces" great read! I'm currently reading a few uplifting spiritual book for woman (i.e calm my ancious heart, and Meditation for women). I just received 3 other books in the mail from Amazon as well! Isis papers, Countering the consipiracy to destroy black boys, and Incidents in the life of a slave girl. I so agree with the author there is nothting like have a good book in your hands. And the good news is that I was able to pass this love of reading on to my daughter as well, the library visits and all!:)
I used to be anti-ebook reader, and I still prefer to read printed books, but I got a ebook reader two Christmases ago and I find it to be really convenient since I do most of my leisure reading during my commute right now. I'll still buy paper books sometimes, but I also have a fairly large selection of books for free that I'm reading now.
I'm almost finished reading Anna Karenina (Tolstoy). I think I'm going to read The Importance of Being Earnest (Wilde) next. I have quite a few books next on my list, though I too plan to read the Hunger Games eventually (which I will probably read in print).
I love this post Sherrell! I just had a similar conversation the other day. I had plans to buy a Kindle early last year, but when it came down to it I realised that being able to physically hold a book and turn its pages is all a part of the reading experience!
I'm the same with CD's. If it is one of my favourite artists, I refuse to download a digital copy of their songs. I want to flick through the art work and read the credits damn it! I guess I'm just a classic at heart…
Thanks for an enjoyable post =)
So randomly (and trying to sneak it out like a spy to avoid anyone seeing) I read TI's (rapper) novel Power and Beauty…sigh…I guess I wanted to torture myself…
Currently reading Half of a Yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie…LOVE IT!
Next on the list…trying to get my a hands on those Hunger Games books before the movies come out…
I think anything that makes people read more is a good thing, so if that is an e-reader of some sort so be it. People who love books already read; we need to draw in a generation of people who will continue to love reading in a world where bookstores and newspapers are dying. I just finished Rules of Civility, which I loved. I also recently read Poser: my life in 23 yoga poses, which was fun.
First and far most, this was a great write-up Sherrell. You're writing alone tells me you are a lover of reading as I. I'm totally with you on the kindle vs. an actual book. My friends who've chosen to upgrade to a kindle or ipad or some other source of electronic reader, tease me about carrying around my books making my bags a pound or so heavier. I can't do without it…the smell and the feel of flipping the pages. It's something about it.
When you mentioned the bookstores closing nationwide, it saddens me as it is so true here in the Nations Capital. It often reminds me of how the world will soon become the plot of the book Fahrenheit 451 (a great read!).
I say all this to say, i will continue to take my daughter to the book stores as your mom did with you on the weekends. Currently, i am reading the Hunger Games trilogy. next on my list is Starfish and the Spider; The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations and Love, InshAllah.
I am an avid reader as well. The love of reading was instilled in me by my family. I LOVE books and totally agree with you concerning having a physical book in your hand versus a Kindle, cellphone or computer (Ipad). It is so uplifting and powerful to have knowledge in the palms of your hand.I finished reading an excellent book by Gary Keesee entitled, "Fixing the Money Thing." This book will truly change your life. I am now in the process of reading "Money Mysteries from the Master" from the same author. Be blessed and soar!
right now I am reading a ton for my comphrensive exams. I cant wait to read for pleasure AGAIN!
Loose Balls by Jason Williams. I have been reading it for two years and haven't finished yet. I like to savor it when I have to sit and wait somewhere.
How To Be a Grown Up by Stacy Kaiser
The Idiot's Guide to Success as a Chef
Baking with the Cake Boss (EXCELLENT BOOK)
The Book I wld like to read or buy is The Science behind Black Hair.. I thinks thts wht is called. wld luv to read that book.