by Susan McBride
I thought of writing about my “process,” but I’m right in the midst of using that process to muddle through the last bit of a manuscript…and I’m realizing more and more that I don’t understand at all what my process is. It’s kind of a mystery, or maybe an enigma. Or possibly a great Black Hole full of galaxies that no one has glimpsed.
So instead, I figured I’d write about why I love books. You know, the old-fashioned kind with covers and pages that flap in the breeze. I’ll do it like David Letterman’s Top Ten countdown, just to create a little suspense (a very little).
Okay (ahem!), here are my Top Ten Things I Love About Print Books:
10. They are user friendly, and I’m too old to learn about new-fangled gadgets when I can barely operate my antiquated cell phone that doesn’t even take pictures or text.
9. They make great coasters in a pinch. I highly doubt that e-readers come equipped with an optional “coaster cover.”
8. Have you ever swatted a fly with an e-reader? I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t hold up.
7. They fit so well into bookshelves, and I love to see all the colors of the spines lined up (like height together with like height, of course—my husband doesn’t call me “Monk” for nothing).
6. I grew up with them. They are like dear old friends. I still have a copy of JOHNNY TREMAIN, which was one of my favorite books in grade school. I have such fond memories of ordering from the Scholastic Book Club and doing reading contests at school, like the one where every kid got a paper kite with his/her name on it stuck to the library walls and a bow was added on the tail for each book read in a certain time frame—I still have that kite!
5. It gives me something to stick bookmarks in, and I have a lovely collection. My favorite has this line on it: “I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.” It’s got a pink tail that my cats have chewed to smithereens. You can’t stick bookmarks in e-readers so far as I’m aware. With the economy the way it is, I’d really like to keep the bookmark makers in business, too.
4. The smell of a brand-new book. It’s like Christmas everyday. I used to stick my nose between the pages and take a big sniff. I don’t do that anymore (well, not often). But there’s just something about that crisp scent. It makes me happy.
3. People can see what I’m reading, and I can see what they’re reading. Like, when I’m in a doctor’s office waiting room or on an airplane. It starts conversations. It’s a great way of judging whether you’d even want to converse with someone. Plus I can show off books by friends that I’d love more readers to discover.
2. It gives me an excuse to hang out at bookstores. OMG. What bibliophile doesn't get a tingle up her spine walking through the door of a store that sports shelf after glorious shelf crammed with books? I've found some amazing titles on impulse buys (like, GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen while I was at Main Street Books in St. Charles, which got me hooked on all SAA's novels, and THE FRENCH GARDENER by Santa Montefiore, which I picked up at Puddn' Head Books because of its gorgeous cover and adored so I've since bought another).
And the Number One Thing I Love About Print Books….
1. I still get a HUGE thrill when I’ve got a new book coming out, and a box of them arrives in the mail via my friendly UPS man. I do a happy dance. I stack them up. I look at the front cover then at the back then at the front cover again. I don’t think I’d ever feel the same way about getting a copy on an e-reader.
So what about you guys? Are you a print book fan or an e-reader aficionado?
Susan McBride is the author of LITTLE BLACK DRESS (William Morrow Paperbacks, August 23, 2011) called "a lovely and entertaining journey into the magical side of things" by NYT bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen. Susan's other books include THE COUGAR CLUB, named a Target Bookmarked Breakout Title and a Midwest Booksellers' "Midwest Connections Pick," as well as the award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries (HC/Avon) and The Debs young adult books (Random House/Delacorte). For more scoop, visit SusanMcBride.com.