E-books will Never Steal my Heart



  I know they are pretty and glossy under that glass, and just the slightest touch turns the page….such effortless love. But I just can’t fall in love with E books. The frumpiness of a used book calls me from my bookcase to remember good times.  There is, The Best Loved Poems of the American People,  with notes and stars in the margin. My Dad leant it to me many times, and after he was gone I found a note for me on the inside cover,  “Final owner by decree of the Higher Power, JWO.”   He thought it was funny. There was a smile across my heart.

     I remember seeing at least a hundred books on theology resting in our homemade bookcase, but my interest at six was Disney. Those spines of yellow, green, red and blue were bright, and I wondered how they got all those pages to stick into that backbone, the spine.  There was a small amount of Disney doctrine on one page that said, “God only helps those that help themselves.”  At six, I was in distress. what if someone couldn’t help themselves? Does God abandon them? It was horrible because at six, face it, I couldn’t help myself. Maybe that would be me? My Dad said not to worry about it. I figured he was smarter than Disney on these matters.  Only two of those beloved books remained after a move, but I found the complete set at an antique shop. For twenty years I had wanted, and longed for all four olive-green beauties.   There they sat bound by one blue yarn on a bench in an antique shop, elation!  The slight mildew didn’t bother me at all. I could hug them to my soul unlike beautiful E.  All mine for a few dollars. Just imagine, they will never need to be charged!   

    All of this post got started in my ever twirling blonde mind, when I found a book my Dad had obviously read from cover to cover. What was the title of this fascinating 589 plus page book, The Nature and Properties of Soils, Barnes.  He had notes and scribbles that were red-inked on what he felt was important.  J.W.O. was written on the inside cover, 1989. This is something spectacular that E is incapable of producing: red ink written in the margin, and a name signed for ownership.  Just one more reason, that E can’t steal my heart!



   I downloaded a free sample once, but never a book.  Honestly I can’t even remember what it was. After a few sentences, I was gone. It was written for profit not for quality.   True love is never easy.  However,  if it were Charles Dickens or Charlotte Bronte, I might have to relent my icicle heart past the glass, unleash my power of concentration into the sleekness, and feed my soul the lines of  literary goodness. But I would still cherish even more those same books,  on a nightstand waiting by lamplight. Just  long-lost friends  waiting for a fine talk on living. Perhaps I will travel to Europe in,  All our Worldly Goods, by Irene Nemirovsky, slip into the night with the poem, Said the Rose, by George B. Miles, or battle the darkness of Hitler in, Bonhoeffer, by Eric Metaxas.  

     I see  frayed edges, multi-colored bindings, and dust on my shelves. True rat packers can’t belong to the E world. There is nothing to clean; nothing to measure the times, seasons of life. I see art books, history, psychology, Pischna, hymnals,  Dr. Seuss, baby names, “The Fascinating Girl” (Helen Andelin)  read with the idealism of my seventeen year old girl-self who thought that a strong will, shooting for the stars, and giving all of your heart meant that life would hug you back in return. Life doesn”t hug easily.  Stars have a way of shooting out all the giving as the dreams fall airless on the floor.  That airless fall is one of the most exquisite things that Life can do for a person, essential.   Broken dreams can become sturdy roadblocks that keep paths out of the bog.   What does your timeline look like E?





     I like the sound of turning pages such as in the book, Churchmouse Stories, by Margot Austin. What about bookmarks?  The genuine items are a pink heart of construction paper dividing ethereal pages,  the photo of a smiling two toothed child,  a love poem on putty paper, a tear-stained purple polyester rectangle with scriptures printed in gold ink, and  poetry sublime squiggled on torn paper stuck on page 81, because you just can’t forget that place, that place in time.  I don’t care how gorgeous you are “E”.  My heart belongs to paper world, and the fragrance of old and new books.  

    Don’t get discouraged. It’s al right!  There will always be someone to love you.  You will live forever in wireless world.  You will survive.  There is a whole generation that have never held a mildewed book, and pressed it into their elated heart.  They will always turn to you first,  but if they ever find out the wonder of the “real book world” you are in trouble my friend.   Maybe one day I will buy you E.  Maybe, I will give you a hug, but for now my arms are full of mildew.






28 thoughts on “E-books will Never Steal my Heart

  1. FANTASTIC post!

    I, too, love books. I stopped at the library on the way home this evening to turn in the book I’d just finished (Young Wives by Olivia Goldstein), and get another (Ten Beach Road by Wendy Max). To me the smell of the books in the library is intoxicating.

  2. I feel the same way. I love to surround myself with the books that I’ve read. I have little stacks of favorites and I like to go to the bookcase and just look at the titles sometimes. I loved your picture choices!

  3. Awww,,, Terri another bibliophile after my own heart. I shall never be an E-phile either. I too love the feel of the books weight in my hands. And being pretty enamored myself with paper of any kind books have that feel of paper that I’ll never stop loving. And the smell of old paper, the PH balance literally ripening in the presence of the reader.

    How would we take a trip to far off lands without the GPS of a books pages off contents, and how could we would plan a Victory garden without the footnotes in the margins from generations past?

    Nope I shall never give up my library collection of old and new books. Not for even 10 shiny inpersonal E-things.

  4. I am so glad someone else out there feels the same. I wasn’t sure in this glossy world we live in if anyone cared about an old book. Thanks for the comment. I visited your site and it is delightful!!

  5. Wow, someone else that loves books and goes to the library. I love it! Thank you so much for the comment. And I did visit the site you suggested. It was interesting and I am glad you told me about it. Till next time.

  6. Thanks for the comment Elisa, I wasn’t sure after pushing publish if anyone was wild about books anymore! Looks like they are, and I would be ashamed to tell about my book piles. Good grief, if I need a map sometimes to find my stuff. I have a feeling you are much more orderly. Isn’t that a great room for kids? Loved it, and thanks for stopping by!

  7. Hi Baroness, I love that word “bibliophile”. I am so glad…….so very glad that I am not the only one who loves book paper. I remember those Nancy Drew books with the thick pages…just wonderful. A Victory garden from past footnotes…how interesting? I just found a Daily Log book of my grandmother’s recipes. The pages are yellow, the handwriting is crooked, and there was the icing recipe to her chocolate cake that I had been looking for……. In it she wrote down everytime she moved to a new place. Times were hard. My grandparents had a diner for awhile, but he was so handsome (so the story goes) that the diner attracted to many female admirers. So the door was slammed on that, but some of the recipes live on…. I’m hungry for chocolate cake!!! :) :) I gave one recipe to a lady who owned a small diner in town. She sold a lot of that apple cake!!!!!!!!!! :)

  8. A lovely post and those images are just fabulous :) I have to confess I own a Kindle, and I own a lot of books, so I enjoy the best of both worlds. I love to browse in second-hand bookshops, and recently bought a book published in 1889. (It’s a little fragile, but very beautiful.)

  9. I have a Kindle also. I enjoy the technology too. Even though I haven’t used it for books, enjoying both is wonderful. What a wonderful find….1889 wow!

  10. That says it all Kate, “something so great about the whole process of becoming one with a book” Thank you Kate!!!!! Some days I feel extremely uncreative, especially at 5:00 am :) I need to get more creative! I will try to live up to it, and thank you so much!!

  11. argh…let me check on that. having a dickens of a time setting up my comment moderation so i am always sure to know someone commented so i can answer. i had re-set it earlier today so everything had to be moderated before it actually appears on the page—i think that means you type your post and it says “awaiting moderation”. I like it better if everything appears automatically—but then i wasn’t always noticing if something got commented. could you try again and see if it will take it? If it doesn’t email me at katekresse@gmail.com. sorry for the difficulty!

  12. It didn’t say anything. I just couldn’t even type anything maybe it is me. Oh it is no problem. i just wanted to make sure that you knew I said thank you and that I wasn’t on Santa’s bad list. :) :)

  13. When I look at my bookshelf, I think not only of the authors and their works but how each book fit into my life….what it meant to me, what was happening in my life at the time, who I shared it with. Kinda like songs, they take me back again and again. They almost have a life of their own sitting on that shelf.

  14. I want to go to the top floor of that first library, find a perfectly wonderful large book full of fabulous pictures, open it to a suitably gorgeous pair of middle pages, affix it to my back like a pair of angel wings, and sail down the spiral staircase bannister while reciting some speech of Ariel’s from ‘The Tempest’ at the top of my lungs.

  15. Peter and I, we can’t help ourselves, we keep buying more and more books, a lot of them ‘antiique’ books or new books at a wonderfully reduced price. We also have already a few E books, some of them waiting to be read.
    We cannot afford to buy everything we want to read. So some books we get on loan from our library. I enjoyed reading your post, Terri. It shows that you are a great book lover.. Have you ever counted how many books you own?

  16. This is a wonderful post! A tribute to “real” books and your Father who obviously nurtured your love of them. We are a book family as well and although I confess there is a Kindle in our home, we both prefer holding and sharing the paper versions.

  17. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. I know what you mean. I have a Kindle, but going to the shelf and pulling out an old book is wonderful!!

  18. KATHRYN, somehow I missed reading and replying to your comment on E books will never steal my heart. IT is fabulous. It made me laugh, and wish that I could do the same. SOUNDS COMPLETELY WONDERFUL !!!!!!! Still smiling. :)


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