To Read or Not to Read … That Is the Question

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
I was reminded this week of how much I really enjoy the public library. As I was preparing a little presentation for the Rathdrum, Idaho Library, I couldn’t help but to think back to all the times my kids and I spent in our community library when they were little.

In those days, my husband Tom and I had fewer resources, so finding activities for the kids was sometimes a challenge. We often planned our week around story-time and other free events that were offered at the library. When Tom was home in the evenings and I needed to escape the insanity, I would often head back to the library to spend some uninterrupted time delving into books, or joining in the discussion of a book club or two.
Today, with the ability to access the internet at home, the ability to order books online, and the fact that my home is somewhat quieter with some of my boys having flown the coop, I haven’t felt the same urgency to run to this oasis as I did when my guys were little. I have determined to change that.
Books make me happy. It may not be too surprising to learn that I haven’t really taken to the new Kindles, those little electronic things that allow you to download books onto them. They make me feel like I am cheating on the real thing. I don’t want to read from a little metal box. Although I typically like new technology and I can hold my own with most of it, I haven’t quite balanced my love for books with giving myself permission to use this newfangled gadget. I feel that I would be missing out, on some of the experience of reading, by replacing books with yet one more gadget. My love of books includes the way they look, feel and even smell. I am not ready to hold another electronic device and download a classic in order to read it. I like bookmarkers and using my highlighter and even bending pages back. I don’t even mind lugging books around, and who wants to get rid of their book bag collection? How sad it would be if we all resorted to electronic books. It just isn’t for me; I love the real thing.
I have always been an avid reader, and it isn’t uncommon for me to have several books going at a time. The last few days, however, reading has become a little more difficult for me.
It all started two years ago when I got bifocals. Before bifocals, I had been a contact wearer for years, but when I was awarded the lined beauties, I couldn’t find contacts that worked for me any longer. So I resorted to just wearing glasses all the time. In recent months, however, I missed the versatility that contact lens gave me, so this week I went back to the eye doctor to see if we could find some that would work. After all the tests were complete, the doctor told me that he could fit me with new contacts, but I would still need to use reading glasses. Small price, I thought. So with my readers in hand, I was once again back in the land of contact wearers.
All was going well until my hubby spotted the chain that I purchased to help me keep track of my cute little readers. I thought the chain was ideal; it allows me to dangle my reading glasses from my neck so I can always know where they are. He, on the other hand, saw them more as a sign that I had made a leap from midlife and landed straight in Grannyville.
For me it all seems so perfect, and so far, I have been happy as a clam. Except for the granny comments, all is well. I actually love setting my readers on the tip of my nose while reading; it doesn’t bother me in the least.
With the passing of time, I know that all things change. Whether it is my aging eyesight, or the invention of new ways to read books…I say embrace the change when you have to, but hold on tight to the past, dragging as much takeoff it with you into the future, as possible. For me, that will include books, oh, and my readers.

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  1. Valynne says:

    Ha – I think I hit your blog before my e-mail notice came in – you are becoming a habit : )

    I love books and the library as well and am definitely not ready for the Kindle. This topic has come up with several friends recently and the pros of the book outweigh the pros of the Kindle (or whatever new gadget it is these days)for me.

    One friend did say it was nice taking his Kindle with on vacation as he did not have books to lug around, but in my case part of the fun of vacation is finding a new bookstore (preferably Indie) to support. I have a nice bookmark collection and like to highlight, etc. as well, Rene.

    As for the glasses issue, I suppose the hubster can’t help himself with the Grannie comments (men – how they do love to tease). I couldn’t wear contacts in CO (too dry there for my eyes) and now I wear glasses all of the time and look funny to myself when I don’t. My friend has a collection of vintage glasses – she finds them mostly on e-Bay, then has her OD insert prescription lenses. FUN!

    Valynne,

    I love the idea of the vintage glasses…. I may have a new hobby… LOL of course I also love the idea that my blog has become a habit….thanks for that!  I am headed to your blog too… How are things?

  2. Michele Kirkman says:

    I have been defending my library addiction for years with friends and family. Even started a thread about it on MJF.I love to go to my local library and get lost in the stacks for an hour or two. And I love it when I get that little phone call that tells me I have materials on hold.
    My obsession with libraries started in grade schol. The library in our school was an octagonal shaped room with wooden window seats that looked out onto a courtyard. Sounds very idyllic and British, but was actually in a middle class area of Detroit.
    Miss Rosen, the librarian, was a beautiful single woman in her 20s who recognized my fascination with all things literary and encouraged me by recommending classics that I might enjoy and even allowing me to work in the library shelving books during recess. Yep, I was hooked.
    The library has been a comfort to me throughout my life.
    My mom had to check out the Hemingway books when I was 16 as they were "restricted" and one had to be 18 to read them.
    When I was a young married, my hubby was in the Navy and we moved around the country. The first place I found in each new comunity was the library and it afforded me hours of pleasure until I found new friends and acquaintances.
    Oh, yes, I was unfaithful at times and lured my the glitter of the Bookstore; even worked at one for a few years but I always returned to my first love.
    I now have a beautiful 10 year old granddaughter, Alyssa, who is physically disabled and doesn’t speak. Every weekend she signs "Library, Please" to her mom until they hop in the car and go. Not only does she love choosing her own books to be read time and time again but the library has just installed a touch screen computer for Alyssa and other children with physical disabilities.
    She proudly carries her library card and her books in a tote bag that I made for her on our wonderful forays to that magical place.

    Michele

  3. Judi says:

    This letter could have been written by me. I had five sons and our trips to the library were like yours. Plus every birthday and Christmas the boys received new books of their own. I set up shelving units at the end of one hallway, added pillows and the light source was double french doors That became their "reading nook". My sister’s four boys loved it too.
    I now have to have cataract surgery next month, it seems like I have worn out my eyes!! I keep four or five books going at all times, have stacks of books every where!! I like the feel of them too. And their smell! I discovered the library early on but my Mom wouldn’t let me get books from there until I entered high school and then I became a regular customer. When I go on vacation I always visit the libraries, it is such fun to see how they organize their stacks! Thanks for this blog, I read it always.

  4. Shirley says:

    Books have been a big part of my life. As children (six of us) from a broken home we learned that we could get lost in books from the Five Little Peppers to the Hardy Boys Mysteries. We moved around alot when we were little from the big city in Florida to the little rural towns in Indiana. We finally ended up on our great grandfathers farm where we all remember the best of days. My sisters and I would climb out the window and sit on the flat roof outside our bedroom and read until it was time to come in for dinner. I still love reading a good mystery. Garden books are up there at the top too. I have a rose garden that I started and of course there is a big swing in it for reading. I’m still working a full time job out of the home so those moments are very special to me.
    My mother is in her late 70’s and walks to the library in her town once a week. She reads daily and loves to tell us what the characters are up to. Her love of books has filled every bookcase and desk top in her home and I’m afraid that has passed on to me.
    Too many books and not enough time.

    Our daughter loves to read too and hopefully she will teach her children the excitment of reading.

  5. Gary says:

    Ya’ got it right Rene’…
    Libraries are Great…!
    I have always Loved the Library, and it also remains one of the last public places where good manners are required.
    I volunteer at the College Library now that I am retired…
    not a lot, but whenever I feel like it, and they are always thrilled to have extra help.
    Sometimes I shelve books, and always learn something new in the process, and sometimes I work at the Reference Desk answering questions and helping people find things.
    I always learn new things, and actually leave feeling better than I did when I arrived.
    I worked for 20+ years as a Social Worker, after leaving the Army, and helped people in the worst moments of their life, leaving work feeling mentally exhausted.
    The Library is a positive helping experience, and I probably should have been a Librarian all along.
    and the glasses on a chain perched on the tip of your nose sounds quite distinguished… we need a photo.
    GodSpeed to Y’all "Professor" Rene…!
    Gary
    in Tampa

    Gary,

    I always love hearing from you… I love the quote "last public place where manners are required"… How perfect!

  6. Sherri Marshall says:

    Good Morning Rene!

    My readers stay right on top of my head, just like they are in your picture here. And I will alway choose a real paper book over an electronic reader if I’m given the choice. Some things just don’t need improving on!

  7. Tracy says:

    Oh Rene!
    When it comes to the Kindle vs "The Real Thing", I will forever choose the one
    that you hold lovingly in your hands, taking in the scent of either a newly printed page or the slightly musty smell of the aging written word. I LOVE books! When in grade school, I couldn’t wait for the first day of school when the teacher would hand out the text book. I would sit praying that I would get the NEW one, with its crisp, CLEAN pages. Ahhh…HEAVEN!!
    And, I LOVE to read! I, too, am at the place in life where reading glasses have become a necessity just to peruse junk mail. I have a beautiful beaded spectacle holder that a dear friend made for me, but am a bit timid to wear it anywhere other then in the privacy of my own bedroom!! So, having a few pair each strategically placed in locations where I know I can grab them in pinch has helped tremendously.

    By the way, Rathdrum is beautiful!! My sister and her family live there. :-)

    Blessings!!

  8. Thanks for the memories, I spent a lot of time at the library when I was a kid. I love to read and as you say, ‘back in the day’ it was cheap entertainment! One of my favorite memories is how the roman style library looked at night, it was a palace, a treasure trove of wonderful adventures, from Nancy Drew to Art History.

  9. Heather Hansen says:

    What a beautiful article. I really enjoyed reading it. I love to read too. I still remember my first grade teacher saying if you want to grow up and be smart/be a good student, you need to read a lot.
    She would read to us everyday. The book I remember her raeding to us was called "Snowbound with Betsy" I don’t remember the author’s name anymore. A cute story about how her family endures during a snowstorm at Christmas. Really cute.
    I see those new electronic readers everywhere..the Sony, the Kindle, the Nook. They seem like fun. A lot of my friends like them. However, I also like a good old-fashioned hold-in-you hand kind of book. I like feeling the pages between my fingers :) On that note, I will pull out a new book and start reading it today :)

  10. Pam G says:

    So true! I too am an avid bibliophile. I like the feel of the cover, the smell of the book, turning pages…and knowing that so many other people have held the book too. I thought about getting one of those techie book reader things (technical term…haha). But I would really miss the feel and smell of real books. For me, that is a big part of the experience of reading. And what about libraries? I used to work in a library and we worried a little when they became "media centers" with the addition of videos and customer-use computers. But we eventually accepted it, and it was a real benefit in so many ways. But the idea of a library devoid of books and full of computers so people can download books…yuck! Who knows?!

  11. Janet says:

    Two months ago I retired from 9 years of working home daycare in my home. My children felt it time for me to be grandma! Although I took care of my 3 grandchildren I didn’t get to spend grandma time with them. Since then I have joined the public library and we enjoy it so much! We go once a week for books and movies and story time. Today Juniper and I are going to a "Fancy Nancy Tea"!!! That is a story line of books we get at the library. Juniper loves Fancy Nancy so we get to dress up today very fancy and go for tea at the library. We have tea parties at home but this will be special. I enjoy your blogs!! Thank you.

  12. Brickhorse says:

    I’m a librarian so I enjoy reading about people’s love of reading. I’m not a Kindle person — yet! I cannot justify coughing up the bucks to buy the gadget and download books when I can borrow them from my local public library. About the eyeglass chain: Go to your nearest powwow (powwow season is gearing up in ID) and purchase a beaded eyeglass "chain" from a vendor. Instead of looking like a granny, you’ll look like you have a work of art holding your glasses hanging around your neck!

    OK.. Now I am on the hunt for a beaded chain….:)

  13. Tara Aarness says:

    Ah, the wisdom of age and the beauty it leaves in our spirits can never go unnoticed.

    I, too, have felt the marks beauty has left me in the form of wrinkles around my eyes that will require bifocals on my next visit to my optometrist, the menopausal hot flashes that I’m certain are lending to the global warming crisis, and the few pairs of granny panties that are creeping into my life in more ways than one.

    Your blog reminds me that despite our young age, we’ve been blessed with the wisdom and confidence to fully live life, even if it is in Grannyville. So while we may prefer to shun Kindles in favor of old fashioned books, we’re modern day farm girls who share our wisdom and beauty in every medium possible.

    Tara,

    Perfectly said….

  14. TJ says:

    Amen, girl friend!! I’m totally on the same page (couldn’t resist) with you regarding real books instead of an unsatisfying technological substitute. Who needs more time spent staring at a little screen, when putting ones’ nose directly into a lovely book is so much more pleasant?! Gosh I’m still trying to get used to the fact that letters are now emails, and no where near as satisfying as something you can hold in your hand and use as, well, as a bookmark later!

  15. Bambi says:

    I totally agree with you! My daughter in law recently received a Kindle and was thrilled with it. I looked it over and thought it was nice but I love to look at books, smell them, look at the covers, and use them as decorations in my home. I REALLY love the smell of a Library!It’s hard to beat having a book or magazine in your hand!

  16. Denise says:

    I’m with you .Kindle is not for me,although I’m sure it serve a purpose for some.The best part of having a book in hand is to pass it on to someone to share with.How can you do that with a little metal box?Yeah Ive got my readers on right now.Welcome to Grannyville.

  17. Carol Branum says:

    Rene,I love the Library!I go almost every day believe it or not,especially in the winter.I can look at all of my favorite magizines,except for Mary Janes,for free,I rent hundreds of vintage movies,free,and I don,t have a printer,so I use the librarys,Some of my best friends work for the library,yesterday I went to a tea party there for the new librarian that is also my friend,I am takeing a computer class on genelogy soon,and they have every resource for that,and that is fun if you have never done that.I am also in the "Daughters of the Americian Revalution",and I do that to honor my momma"Hallie".It is intresting,and I don,t mind being friends with old women,it is not boreing to me.Some of my friends,my age make fun of me,but I am tellin ya,I would be truely insane if it was not for the library and being friends with old ladies,lol,girls,any pleasure that you can get free,take in its blessings,I don,t pay for cable tv.I do without.I can controll what I watch that way,and what my disabled son watches that way,rent a good cowboy movie free at your public library.I have friends that spend a couple hundred a month on cable and cell phone,internet services ect,thats crazy,I went for years useing the internet at the library,I only got it because I finanly had to for work.My friends are throwing a fit because I don,t have a cell phone,but,I hide from all of my friends,I don,t always want to be found.I will give in and get one soon,But,my point is,Enjoy free blessings.Blessed be,Have a great day girl!Carol Branum,Lamar Mo.themofarmersdaughter@blogspot.com

  18. Betsy Lou says:

    Hey don’t worry about the chain thing. You can get some really cool things that function that way but don’t look like that. As for the kindle, my 23 year old son and I are always arguing about this and we both read. He seems to think books will become like newspapers. Few people will buy them. I on the other hand believe books will become an art form. I love books and have way too many. Want some? What’s more fun than finding someone’s bookmark in a particular spot or notes left that clearify a passage.

  19. Diane says:

    Wow! I understand completely! Just in the last 6 months everything is changed…traded in contacts for glasses, then considering that ‘granny chain’. I also drag my feet with most technology and prefer shelves full of books to a slim, tiny gadget.

  20. Loreta says:

    The name Rathdrum ID brought back memories to the Time we lived on a Ranch near there and my children attended school there. I worked as Librarian for a short time, It was opened one day a week and I had to go in and start a fire in the wood stove to warm it up. it was in about 1973

  21. lynda kling says:

    nothing makes me happier than carrying home a huge pile of books I have gotten from the library; I look at new books in stores just to write down the title and author so I can order them at the library. My library is free; Kindle downloads are not cheap, and as you say, you can’t write comments or bookmark pages…the other place i get books is
    at my local thrift shop. Nothing like a stack of books I can select from when I am out of a library book to read, and then pass on to friends….give me real books anytime!

  22. Kim Jorgensen says:

    I, too, loved the local library and Jean Jenkin, the friendly librarian. When we first moved to town, it was a bookmobile that sat next to city hall. I have learned to embrace technology, and now have my very own Sony Reader. It is really great for travel. I also listen to books on CD or on my iPod on the way to work and, of course, have a small stack of "real" books next to the bed. To me, it doesn’t matter in which form the words are delivered, as long as there are words, paragraphs and chapters to be read (or heard) and enjoyed!

    Kim,

    I am sure that my love of the library started with Jean as well…. How blessed we were to have her.

  23. Debbie says:

    Hi Rene’!

    I love the Library too…. we really utilized our local libraries when our children were younger too… We would take advantage of craft hour,story time and as homeschoolers we often held or attended classes in a community room at the library…So far I can still read without my glasses. I started out just needing them for distance, but lord help me if I run into the grocery store without them like I did yesterday! Things are just plain blury no matter how close I get! As for the glasses on the nose routine, that’s my husband… He sits in his chair, glasses perched upon his nose looking very studious. For the life of me I don’t know why he chooses that time to have a lenghthy discussion with me. It’s so hard to take him seriously! :)

    I think the chain idea is a good one and they have some really funky ones now too…I say go get yourself one with colorful beeds and just have fun with it! While you’re at it, how about some zebra striped or bright colored frames!

    Before your know it it will be time for pink pants and pearls!

    Keep smiling!
    Deb~

    Deb~  LOL  pink pants and pearls…. I hear the "Someday I will wear purple" poem loudly in my head..LOL

  24. Joan D. McGuigan says:

    I agree, I love books and libraries…the look. the feel, the smell, and even the creaky floors, too! I always told my children, "Since you can read, you can do anything because somebody already wrote a book about it…bake a cake, built a rocket, explore the world!" Reading and books are priceless gifts. Thanks for reminding me.

  25. Peggy says:

    Nothing beats a "real" book…I’m with you no Kindle for me.

    …I was prescribed tri-focal contact lenses last year and they are the best! No rummaging for my lost readers.

  26. Alisha says:

    I agree that books need to be made of paper. They can be heavy and bulky I really don’t care. You just can’t replace the smell of a good book. The weight of it in your hands as you enter the world described in its pages is necessary for really experiencing it. I’m not going to read an electronic book. The idea is apalling. Keeping the words of a book in a little metal box removes much of the importance of disconnecting and focusing on another time, place, or subject. Let me have the real thing, torn pages and all.

  27. Vicki Lewis says:

    Love reading your articles Rene’ Your sister inlaw

    and I love being your sister-in-law!

  28. Miriam says:

    Hi Rene,
    I love this article and all the others you have written. You are so genuine, that I lapse into an "ahhh…yes" feeling every time I read them.

    As for my aging eyes, I have moved onto so-called "progressive lenses", which are a kind of bi-focals without the lines. They work well, and are a lot less hastle. I can’t see near- or far-away without my glasses. So I always put them on.

    Thank you. I would love to meet you someday when I retire and can afford the time to travel.
    Kind Regards,
    Miriam

    Thanks for the kind words Miriam.. My glasses are the progressive lense… but with needing bi-focals and having astigmtism.. contacts have been a little bit more tricky!

  29. Give me a book with pages any day. And I have stacks of them and so does my hubs. I will take a book on CD out at the library for road trips and when I am working on a project that I can listen to a book at the same time. Here is another thing about the down loadable books, they are causing more job loses. My daughter works for a publisher and they have taken up the new book craze. It actually is what they are putting all their effort into. They permanently laid off 30 people this week because they just do not have the work for them. And eventually everything will be done on line and all the people that pull the books to ship and make the books to ship will be out of work. And they will not need as many people to do the jobs needed to put out the new books. There that was my rant for the day. I also am an eyeglass wearer. First came the bifocals and now I need a trifocals. I am hoping to get some sort of reading glasses that I can use just for reading and doing craft projects because lately I have been looking over the tops of my glasses to be able to do some sewing. I love all the cute little reading glasses. I want a red pair. Not sure about the chain though, I’m not ready to get teased by my daughters quite yet.

  30. june says:

    With all of the library cuts being enacted, it’s great to hear about people who love books and appreciate libraries for the numerous free treasures they contain.

  31. Brenda says:

    I told my children several years ago, the library is my second favorite place in the world. The first being home. Remember the saying that went around a decade or so ago, "She who dies with the most fabric wins"; my new motto is "she who dies with the most library cards wins." I’m up to 6 now, which is more if you count interlibrary loan. I don’t know what I’d do without the library. Sometimes my husband and I would have a date night which would end up at the library, as he is an avid reader too. Thankfully, 4 of our 10 children have caught the bug and also love the library. Thanks for the reminder.

  32. Carol Branum says:

    Rene,hi,wow what a response!Did I mention,that when I was little a book mobile came out to our farm,I loved Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder,and Nancy Drew,I re read them all recently,and may re read some again,as an adult,they seem so much more intresting.Enjoy all of lifes free blessings,blessed be,Carol Branum,Lamar Mo.

  33. Valynne says:

    Hi Again Rene,

    Just wanted to say that things are great here on the Bay (can’t figure out how to respond directly below your response above : ) and to thank you for visiting my blog as well! I have Mary Janes Farm as a link – do you want me to add your link? I think we have similar demographics. Just getting into all of this blog stuff and loving in. Would love to interview you one of these days…just getting my feet wet with that as well, but I think it would be lots of fun!

    V By the Sea : )

    Hi Valynne,

    Always here for ya.. you can always email me at Rene@MaryjanesFarm.org , too.

  34. Raynita says:

    Oh my! The smell, the feel, the way a good book just does something to me when I pick it up. So agree with you, Rene’. No Kindle for me:) I love to decorate with books…now, how could I do that with a Kindle? lol I am just now having to use the reader glasses and I am not thrilled with it but bought up several cheap pairs and have them all over the house. When my family comes over for Bible study, it just makes it easier for them to grab a pair and then we look at each other thinking, "How did we all get this old already?" lol Thanks for your words.

  35. Sandra says:

    Reading is magic! I remember when my three boys learned to read…I was overwhelmed with joy for them! I told them each that now the whole world was open to them. I have always been a voracious reader. My children and I spent countless hours at the library from their infancy through preschool reading programs then on to summer reading programs. Now that they are teens, they still have books and libraries as integral parts of their lives. Our libraries are treasures! I have to say that although I realize and appreciate the wonders of the modern world such as Kindle…nothing will ever replace the printed word and the rustle of book pages through my fingers!

  36. Karin says:

    I always find something to connect with in your blog, but this none really hit home. I have always loved books, loved to read them, hold them, smell them. Every room in my house has books. Love the library, too. When my kids were small they did the library reading contests every summer. We’d check out huge stacks of books and they’d start reading on the way home. They won the contests in their age groups every year. The bookmobile would also come to our farm and how they loved that. Both still love to read and are passing that love to our precious grandbabies. I have friends who love the Kindle, and my husband and son both enjoy audio books. But, I’ll stick with my beloved real books. Nothing beats curling up with a good book on a rainy day. I can also relate on the glasses front. Suddenly one morning I couldn’t see anything up close (at least that’s how it seemed). Contacts don’t work for me, so the glasses go everywhere I go.

  37. Nancie says:

    I also have been a fan of the library… all 4 of my Children were raised loving the trips to pick out books. We didn’t have much money when our children were little, so, we had to make do. That instilled in my children the world of books. The wonders of the world, they learned that they could learn anything, and do anything that’s in a book.
    They are all avid readers. (I also home-schooled them). Now my 10 grandchildren take the trip with me. It is our
    favorite thing to do…

  38. O'Dell says:

    Hi Rene,
    I love to read also…always have a book going…but I have a different take on libraries…seems that I never can get the books I’m looking for..they are always out..so its disappointing to say the least. My mother was a librarian before she married my father…and she’s always been a "cranky" unhappy lady..but I do purchase lots of books, and I send them to a friend in PA who is diabled and does not get out. I love reading your blog too….love to hear from that Gary, he seems like quite an interesting guy…if I wasn’t already spoken for….I might have you send him my email! Hah! hah!…well, a girl can dream. My favorite books are mysteries..I agree that its great to see all the new books out…I don’t need the new electronics either!
    Keep up the fun blogs!

  39. Nancy says:

    Hi Rene,
    This is my first time to read your blog. I love it and it’s just what I needed to start Monday on the right foot.
    When I was young we were too far from a library but the bookmobile came every Friday afternoon. It parked at a church several blocks from my house and I was always waiting to get my next Nancy Drew mystery. I loved Nancy Drew and always imagined that I was named after her (instead of my sister’s teacher!). Nancy Drew had the MaryJane spirit- a woman ahead of her times. Thanks for the memories.

  40. Margie Smith says:

    Hi Rene,
    I now am employed by a small county library. I love it. I grew up without a public library, just a school one. I read all the books there, some twice or three times. When we finaly go a public library, I was busy with work and raising children, so didn’t get to enjoy it. After we moved form Maryland to West Virginia, I started to visit the library. Again began to read all the authors I liked, and have found new ones. We have a library cat now, Cordelia. She is beautiful and all the patrons love her. Keep up the good blog

  41. carolj says:

    The most beautiful woman is the one who embraces her age. (Eleanor Roosevelt paraphrased?) Wear those reading glasses and be thankful every time you put them on that you can read.

    As for the library, we are also blessed with a great public library system. Surely checking out books that are already published is better for the environment than buying a gadget that needs batteries which will one day have to be replaced. But you really hit it on the head when you described the sensory pleasures of reading a book–there is nothing like the feel of paper, the smell of ink, the sound of a page turning. Besides, you cannot get sand (beach reading) or suds (bubble bath reading)in your Kindle and expect Apple to honor the warranty.

    Read on!

  42. Love our library…love it! am always rather taken aback by the fact that i can just go in there and basically see the world…right there! I read that you check out other farm girl blogs…please visit me at http://www.farmandfrufru.blogspot.com. I’ll be waiting on the porch for you!

    Hi Sharon,

    Thank you! I am heading to your place now.

  43. June says:

    Hi Rene,
    I love reading your blogs! It’s like we’re kindred spirits – :). I love the library, love to hold books and turn the pages and disappear into the stories. I don’t think I will ever adapt to the electronic versions. And I just got my first pair of bifocals too. My age is getting older but my mind doesn’t want to catch up! And I agree with you – embrace the change – but it doesn’t mean that you have to give up the past.
    Thanks for sharing!

  44. bobbie calgaro says:

    I love books too. I love the look of them, the feel of them, the smell of a new one. I love to be able to look back and forth just by turning pages especially in craft books and cookbooks. I also could not give them up for a Kindle. I stand with you there.
    Try wearing your readers on your head like a head band. It’s worked well for me and most people don’t notice them until you drop them to use them. My doctor said that bifocal contacts are improving all the time because the contact lens manufacturers don’t want to lose the baby boomers as customers. Hopefully they’ll get it right for all of us yet.

  45. I enjoyed reading this post as a small town librarian and middle-aged new eyeglasses-wearer. My daughters have warned me that if I get the neck chain I would just look tooooooo old and stereotypically library-ish.

  46. Margy says:

    Enjoyed your comments on the library. I am a library assistant which means I help the librarians and have worked in a small town library for 15 years. We are part of a huge County system. If the powers that be have their way, in 10 years there will be NO books in the library. I saw the library get computers, then public computers and now e-books and we are even on facebook, twitter and on and on. My generation still loves the books but the young people are only there for the computers and it is sad. They have no time for books. My husband bought me a Kindle and although it was a sweet gift, I don’t use it very much. There is something about books with color photos, and pretty covers.

  47. Carrie Meerwarth says:

    Hey Rene–

    I’m a little late on this posting, but it caught my eye because I, too, am a book lover. When I was growing up, my dad worked away all week, so one of the things my mom did (partly to keep from going crazy, and partly because she is a book fanatic as well) she took us to the library on all the nights that they were open. We would find a book, then a quiet nook, and happily read until the library closed.

    I have pretty much raised my kids the same way. We are at the library ALL the time! We go to the book sales, we order through the SALS system, I am on the board of trustees, and we’ve even been seen changing light bulbs and shampooing carpets. I love my little, local library!!!

    And as far as those kindles go….they ain’t natural!!! I like the feel and smell of books. I like the pictures and covers and different sizes. I like aged paper and crisp new pages. I just love books!

    I, too, have readers (old-age induced) and wear a chain that Nicole made for me. I love how handy the chain is, but am all too aware of the granny look so I never wear it out in public. Way too vain!!

    Love you–have fun at your campout this weekend!

    Carrie

  48. Bonnie says:

    Rene, I love reading your blogs. I too have loved the library all my life and am so pleased to have passed that on to daughters and grandchildren. And a book in the hand is worth 200 on Kindle!
    I also love reading your reader’s comments. I have picked up on some of their loves, sorrows, life experiences etc. What a deal! I especially love "listening" to Gary in Tampa also.
    He needs his own blog.

    I agree…Gary does need his own blog….. :)

  49. Selena Burk says:

    I agree with you on the thought of not getting hooked on electronic books compared to just reading a good book. I had my first son at 15 and we lived in a little apartment 3 blocks from the library. Books were very important to us. I would load my son up into his wagon and off we would go to the library to check out 10 or 20 books to read before nap-time and bed-time. Years later and 4 children more ,I tried to instill the importance of going to the library and reading. They have all adapted that into their homes and children and each have expressed times well spent with me reading to them their favorite books.

  50. Aileen says:

    I, too, could have written your blog! As a homeschooling grandma a few years back we made many, many trips to the library, and had scores of books on shelves–all read over and over. I love reading, don’t want a Kindle or its cousin, and enjoy packing books and magazines around. Can’t imagine not having several going at once!

    Love reading your blog–I’m a newby and have been catching up on past posts. I have friends in Spokane and love the Palouse area and shopping at country stores!

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