I’m not against e-readers. I’ve read a handful of novels on my iPhone. There are times and places where an e-book makes sense. Given the choice, however, I will almost always opt for the Real Thing. A living, breathing, musty book with yellowed pages and gnarled corners always makes me feel better.
My sister was aghast when I told her I was getting our mother a Kindle for Christmas (I was hoping to eradicate the presence of trashy paperbacks with trashier covers once and for all). She, like me, has a sentimental love for a flesh and bones paper book. So there might have been a tinge of vengeance in the Christmas gift she got me: a 1953 printing of Saul Bellow’s “The Adventures of Augie March”. I had included the book on a shortlist thinking no one would be able to find an old, weather copy. It’s currently the 10th anniversary selection of “One Book, One Chicago”. a Chicago Public Library program wherein a Chicago-related book is featured and conceivably read by Chicagoans at the same time, supported by numerous discussions. But an hour outside of the city my sister happened upon a secluded used bookstore with a one-armed proprietor, and a patinated copy for sale.
Handsome, don’t you think?