Since I first learned how to read, books have been a part of my everyday life. What began as a requirement for school quickly turned into a full-blown obsession. I can read two or three 400-page books in one week; I am one of those people who has a continuously growing pile of books bordering my room because I can’t stop buying them. Reading has become much more than a hobby to me: it's become my primary coping mechanism and to be perfectly hones—reading has saved my life. It has distracted me from my darkest moments when I have desperately needed to escape from my own mind. Go ahead and call me a nerd, but I am truly proud to say the books on my bookshelves and the characters between those pages are my friends. Now, as a true book lover, I wanted to point out some of my favorite things about physical books, not e-readers, nooks, kindles or iPads (all of which I personally hate), that other book owners would appreciate.
1. Going Out To Buy A Book
Whether or not I’ve been waiting for my favorite author to release the next book in a series or I’m in the mood to simply browse through the shelves of Barnes & Noble, I love making the trip back and forth from the store. Like most people, I can simply order my books online, but for me there is no excitement in just moving the mouse around and clicking the “order” button. Whenever I head to B&N I can feel the adrenaline running through my veins—physically being able to pick a book off the shelf, bring it to the register, swipe my card, and bring it home is the beginning of a new adventure.
2. The Smell Of A New Book
Once the adventure of item number one is over and I’m back home I crack open my new book and take a deep breath. Describing the scent of a book is difficult, but the pages have an almost…crisp smell to them, along with a subtle hint of freshly cut wood chips. All I know for sure is that I could breathe a book’s scent for the rest of time.
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3. The Weight Of A Book In Your Hands
Most people I’ve talked to complain about the weight of a book; “My hands hurt after a while,” or “It’s too heavy to carry around in my bag." I understand what they are saying but I couldn’t disagree more. I desire that weight in my hands, along with the soreness that comes with it. And the complaint of a book being too heavy to lug around in a bag? Pshhhh. I never leave the house without a book in my bag—no matter the size of the book. When I need a new bag I actually bring a book with me to make sure it will fit! Lastly, there is nothing I love more than a book bonking me on the forehead when I’m reading before bed and I start to doze. It’s almost like the book is telling me, “Hey! I’m still here and you’re not done with me yet."
4. The Sound Of Books
Along with the woody scent that comes from opening a book, there is also the unmistakable sound of a newly bound book being opened for the first time. The book emits a creaking or stretching sound as the cover is pulled back. In a way, it reminds me of a newborn baby taking its first breath and crying. That sound is the beginning of a new life. and it has always hypnotized me.
5. The Fresh, Clean Pages
Although I am dedicated to physical copies of books, I have always disliked the library. Don’t get me wrong—I think libraries are a great way for people to access books and read a wide variety of genres, but I just can’t bring myself to check books out…it’s those bright new pages that I love. Some people may call me a snob, but there is just something about getting a new book, one that has never been touched or weathered by someone else’s hands. I want to be the one to weather it with my hands; I want to be the one who stains it with some peanut butter; it has to be my cat that leaves teeth marks on the corners of the pages. I want the book to be mine and only mine.
6. The Feeling Of Accidentally Ripping A Page
I may be a tad more dedicated to my books than most people because I treat them as if they were my children. I never put them on the floor or toss them onto my bed or the couch. Each interaction with a book is filled with love (I know I’m weird) and the slightest mistreatment sends me over the edge. I’m known to ask people to replace a book if it has been mishandled or damaged. When I go to turn a page I can sometimes be overly enthusiastic and accidentally rip the corner, which will stop me cold. My heart drops and I feel like a horrible and cruel person. If my mom is sitting in the other room, she can hear my screech and immediately know what has happened. For me, ripping a page or dropping something on the cover of a book is one of the worst feelings in the world—but at the same time, that feeling, accompanied by my reactions, only reinforces my love and my connection with them.
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7. Turning The Last Page/Reading That Last Sentence
When I turn that last page and read the very last sentence of a book a mixture of emotions are running through my bod: sadness, anger, happiness, satisfaction, excitement and accomplishment. Most of the time, I feel all of these different emotions, but sometimes they vary depending on whether or not the book was the first or the last of a series or simply a stand-alone novel. However, there is one emotion that never fails to surface: nervousness. When I turn that last page, when I read that last sentence, I feel a little anxious because I don’t know what I’ll do when I finish that sentence. Even if it’s not the last in a series, I can’t handle finishing a book because I don’t know what to do with my life once it’s done. To tell the truth, I will hold the finished book in my lap for a few minutes, reliving the entire story, before putting it away and starting the next book waiting for me.
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8. Organizing The Bookshelf
Once my emotions have settled from finishing a book I walk over to one of the numerous bookshelves in my room and place my treasure in its correct slot. Now, there are many different ways to organize a bookshelf; organization can range from size, alphabetically, by author, title, publishing company, genre, or even color. Personally, I organize my books in alphabetical order by author. I am always so proud to step back after I have added a new edition and admire my ever-growing collection and the ever-shrinking space available. (I am constantly told to donate some or sell some but I physically cannot part with them…I just need more shelves).
9. *Bonus* You Don't Need To Charge A Book
As a full-blown physical book lover I despise e-readers. I loathe them and I always will. But, for those who might be interested in purchasing an e-reader (excuse me as I shudder), I thought I would be helpful to remind you that you never need to charge a book. A physical copy of a book will never die on you; a physical copy of a book will never have that annoying “low battery” notification pop up and it will most definitely never have any Facebook or Twitter notifications continuously filling the screen. Physical books help disconnect you from the social media world and they keep you from staring at a bright screen all day.
So, you’ve made it to the end of this piece and I only have one last thing to say—Get out there, find your nearest bookstore, buy a book and let your own adventure begin.