There is something about the smell of a book.
Ever since I was a kid, I loved going to the bookstore or the library. I would walk in and smell all the paper, both from new and old books and would get excited over which story I would find today. I could browse the books for hours, reading synopsis after synopsis to try and narrow down what I was going to go home with that day. I couldn’t wait to get started with my latest find and within a few days I was done and ready for my next fix. The reward for my good behavior as a child was a trip to the bookstore and my overflowing bookshelf filled with everything from the Baby-Sitters Club to Dear America was the proof of my (sometimes) good behavior.
Now that I have children in the age of technology, I worry about how long my boys are going to read real books. Not a Kindle or something else electronic, but a real book with pages you can turn and has the smell of lived in paper. I’m not anti-electronics in the slightest, but the experience of reading a book the same way I did as a child is something I want for my boys. Right now they are still young enough where bedtime stories are a nightly request but I know the day will come where they could read to themselves and then I worry I will be staring at their face in yet another device instead of an actual book.
I hope they have the same chance to just wander the aisles looking at book after book with their big dilemma not being able to make up their mind about what they want to read so they beg to leave with all of them.
I want them to know the struggle of falling asleep while reading, losing their spot and then fumbling through pages till they find where they left off.
I want to tell them to clean up the piles of books and put them away. Not turn off your device and put it away. They will have plenty of technology to turn off.
I’m ready to commiserate with them when their wrists ache from holding up the book but being too into the story to put it down, so they just constantly change reading positions.
What I really want overall is for my kids and I to have one piece of both of our childhoods that we can share. I didn’t have cell phones or iPads but I would like all of us anxiously turn the dog-eared pages of our favorite books waiting for the ending we already know but want to experience yet again. That is something I will cherish.