Today I read an editorial from NPR that asks, “Will Your Children Inherit Your E-books?” You can read it here.
It is actually an interesting piece, a discussion of things like gift inscriptions, notations in the margins, inheriting books from family, etc. And then the author asks the question in the title.
I’ve said before that I just do not understand the either/or nature of the impassioned battle between “Booklovers” and “Kindle Lovers.” I love nothing better than reading. Why do I have to choose? I will never quit buying books, or ever quit loving beautiful editions of especially beloved volumes. I will give books as gifts to every child I know, and to my own family members, and quite possibly people on the street if I can. Books are magic. Books are transformative. Books are just plain fun. My children will inherit more books than they probably want. My only request is that they pass the ones they don’t want on to someone who does. If they throw them away or allow someone to glue the pages together for a craft project, I will come back to haunt them, mark my words. However, I don’t think they will miss the need to dispose of the paperback mystery novels or low carb cookbooks that I now tend to put only on my Kindle. They won’t have to deal with the cheap paperbacks I buy used so that I can have a “carrying copy” of books I own in a more attractive version, but only read at home or somewhere safe. They won’t have to figure out what to do with the summertime “beach books,” or be horrified at the number of ridiculous chick-lit novels I may have read.
While I’m still here, I can carry a couple of hundred books around with me so I have a vast choice of reading material at any given moment. To me this is close to heaven on earth, and I do not understand how anyone could think it would somehow lessen my love for paper bound in hard backs, books that someone was thoughtful enough to write an inscription in, or the few leather-bound vintage books I own or want to own. I will read them all. I will love them all. A book is still my favorite present, both to give and receive.
Why would I want to choose between the two? Why should I?