Books Are Great Books

The rate I’m finishing books has jumped substantially over the last month or two. I’m sure all as a result of a single change, I went back to paper.

I used to be a more avid reader. I occasionally go through spurts, but in general, I read a whole lot less than I did just a few years ago. I used to think it was a matter of time; I have less of it today. While that’s certainly true, I’m no longer convinced that’s the only reason, or even the primary one.

Two months ago, I decided to try an experiment and ditch digital books outright. I even went as far to repurchase books I was struggling to get through. The result? A lot more meaningful reading.

I now have a pile of books on my night stand. I lug the one or two that I’m reading at any given point in time around with me. They’re a waste of occupied space, a conscious burden. The ones I’ve read are piling up in my attic. While they’re out of sight, they’re not out of mind.

I strive to live minimally. I don’t like clutter or excess. I prefer order. I’m most definitely not a neat freak, but I do like things to have their place. A chaotic, disordered book pile is very much not me. My purchases are guided by the aforementioned state of mind; now, all purchases but one.

Physical books engage more senses. They take up space and in doing so, get in my way, subtly reminding me of their existence. You’d think they’d be more expensive, they’re not. They’re more personal and intimate. If I want to share it with a friend, I have to see them; imagine that, catching up with a friend in person. Physical books can be paid forward. Donate them. When I’m with my book, I’m with my book. I’m not with a device rendering my book, swiping, always swiping.

I like physical books, enough that I don’t think I’m going back to digital while I still have a choice.