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Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Best Read

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting in the afternoon shade with three of my former students (siblings) and talking about books. They are embarking with their mom on a year-long homeschool journey around the country, and I had a few books I thought they would all enjoy that are set in the northeast. It felt like a book club of sorts. Questions overlapped comments. Positive responses balanced negative ones. Titles uttered by one person were filed in another person's mind for later use at the library.

Since I am leaving for a few weeks, they asked what books I was bringing with me (only A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I have not read since high school). I asked how they would decide which books to bring with them on their first excursion along the Lewis and Clark Trail in the fall. One sister said she had several downloaded on her Kindle (though, she noted, it is often difficult to get what she wants at the library because of the long reserve lists). The other two siblings will be taking real books; they love the feel of books in their hands and being able to pull another title from their bags or backpacks. One said, "Packing a bag of just books is the best part of traveling!"

For me, the real book in hand is the best way to read, even if I what I have to carry is heavier than an electronic device. I like that my preference is not generational.

Many of the people on this M5 bus (a walk-through sculpture created by Red Grooms in 1994 and on display at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center) are reading. The installation was designed before electronic readers were readily available.


  1. Love the picture. I believe that the use of Kindles are definitely generational. I got a Fire for Christmas and despite my intentions I have only downloaded one book and another by accident. Hard to figure out. In addition, I always seem to wander into used bookstores and find many books that I cannot resist buying. Art Fairs like the St. Anthony festival earlier this summer was a treasure trove! Here in Santa Fe I've discovered a "take one, leave one" source and already have stocked up!! Last winter we used the Mount Pleasant library and read lots and lots of books. I still have library cards from 4 different cities: Door County, Wi, Mount Pleasant, SC, Eldorado, NM and Santa Fe, NM.

    My grandson, tho, still uses the library; his 11-yr-old sister is lusting for a Kindle but it doesn't look like one is in the future for her. However, many of my friends are switching to ebooks but more are still "the real thing" book readers. Those who have switched tend to rave about them, tho. I have vowed to learn my Kindle more efficiently while here in NM, but so far I've just borrowed and bought books from the Santa Fe library instead. Guess I'm slow to change; I'm more like the figures in your picture today!

  2. Happy Travels to you, Julie. I've never read "How a Tree Grows in Brooklyn," (at the moment I'm in the middle of another of your recommendations: "After Eli." I hope you'll come back from this next trip with enough good memories to fill a book!