March 06, 2013

Real Books? - Glynis Belec

I love books. I really am in touch with the way the tides are turning with regard to reading technology, and realize that the eBook is creeping into the marketplace and becoming the way to go.

However I love real books. I have hundreds, maybe thousands of books in my house. I started wondering why I love real books so much. 

Why do I love books for self, gifts, sharing?

1. A book is easy to wrap.
2. New books smell nice and feel crisp and inviting.
3. You don't have to buy batteries for a book.
4. You don't have to plug a book in to recharge.
5. For under $25 you can travel around the world - or anywhere else you choose.
6. If you splash or spill water on a real book you won’t short circuit anything.
7. A bookshelf is a window into the soul.
8. If you are an author, you can sign the book.
9. People will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
10. Books last.

Neil Gaiman, comic writer and novelist, when asked why books make great gifts said, "Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside them, and it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!"

That is so true. Walk into a bookstore - Christian or otherwise - and look around. Spell-binding journeys and exhilarating adventures abound. Prepare to be whisked off with reckless abandon to faraway lands and exotic locations. Journey back in time to the days of Jesus or travel to the future and experience life in a different galaxy, planet or realm. Tread on pathways where the noble and valiant stood sword to sword or step inside the palace and mingle with the courtiers and vie for the favour of the king.

A book can take a person to a place of hope, unveil the unknown and offer comfort and direction, love and support. What better way to escape the tyranny of the urgent than to tuck yourself in your favourite chair and nestle in with a novel? Sign me up!

Probably one of my favourite parts of the book store is the children's section. I love children's books. And I love reading to children. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a child rapt as I relay the perils of the porcupine or the emotional roller coaster of Wilbur and Charlotte. Books for children with delightful pictures make great gifts that last. I had a poster on my wall once that said, "Reading is like a young pup - it grows with you." Give a child a book and you give them an opportunity to grow in wisdom and imagination.

My biggest reason for loving real books so much is my Bible. I've had it since I became a believer in 1986.  Sure it is tattered and torn in some spots. But it is my faith journey and my scribblings and highlighted passages and the 'tucked between the pages' treasures are drenched with memories and meaning. It all tells a story - God's story. I have depended on that blessed Book for a very long time now. I see it as my communication with God. No texting. No recharging. No malfunction. Just a real book with real content about my real Lord and Saviour, Jesus. 

As I look forward to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus this coming Easter season, I will keep my lovely, aged, well-worn Bible close. I will seek solace and encouragement as I tenderly turn the pages.  I will look at the tattered page and broken spine of my well loved Bible and remember how Jesus was beaten and his body broken for me. I will think upon these things and clutch the Word of God close to my heart...


One day I will buy another Bible. Perhaps a gift to myself? When I do, I know it will have real pages, a true bookish aroma and definitely it will have no plug for recharging!  


  1. You have shared my sentiments so exactly as I have shared this with many reasons for loving the physical book as opposed to the's all hype in my humble opinion!
    Love what you shared about the Bible Bible will be my legacy to my children with all the notes and highlights etc....can't do that with an e-reader.

  2. I'm a book lover like you - for many of the same reasons. Books add warmth to a room. On the other hand, my ereader has been such a God=send for me as my vision continues to get worse. i can make the font as large as I need it to be, while I find that reading a 'real' book puts much more strain on my eyes.

    Having said that, there is no substitute for my Bible in its physical form. Like many of you, I know exactly where to flip to in order to find something and I have not been able to do this in a virtual Bible.

  3. I agree that there is something special about holding a book and turning its pages. Maybe part of that is habit - what I grew up with and spent a good chunk of my life appreciating. My young 'uns (in 20's) like their e-readers.

    I have a Kobo, but you have to buy e-books to use it. For most of my reading, I am a fervent fan of the local library. That wonderful community service is much easier on the pocketbook!


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