I despise reading from a device.

I have an iPad loaded with about 20 books but I can’t remember the last time I attempted to plunge into a story from the hard, cold device. Occasionally, I’ll read a book on my iPhone while in-flight—only out of necessity as my tangible and ‘real’ book was regrettably left behind at home. If I do succumb to reading on the small, awkward-to-cozy-up-to screen, it’s usually a book that I’ve already read multiple times (I can’t imagine investing in a new story from the impersonal, miniature display!)

When I communicate my dislike to tech admirers I hear a logical defense in support for e-reading in return: you can carry multiple books at once! You can lighten your load! You can easily step away from the story to graze Facebook and Twitter and respond to email! But to those I say, don’t be silly! A book deserves your full, unadorned attention. It’s emotional, not logical.

And most importantly…real books just smell better.

Yes, I’m among a handful of customers who still visits bookstores. I’ll take a heaping lungful (or two…or three) of a book’s crisp insides before purchasing it—the ultimate test of its contents to ensure its full appeal. I’m easily captivated by the fragrant glue of the binding, the hushed scuff of turning a slender page, the yellowing of a decades old used book and the taut white pages of a days new book, and feeling the full weight of its rich contents in your hands.

So while I’ll continue to be (somewhat) tech savvy in many aspects of my life, reading will not be one of them. You’ll find me carefully grazing the aisles of bookstores—small and large, local and national, new and used—or with my nose in a full spread of ink-adorned pages. 

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AuthorHanah Holpe