Booking Through Thursday: Personality


No Substitute

This week’s Booking Through Thursday prompt discusses yet another reason for folks to fear the rise of the e-book:

I was reading the other day a quote from JFK Jr who said on the death of his mother, that she died surrounded by family, friends, and her books. Apparently, Jackie’s books were very much a part of HER, her personality, her sense of self.

Up until recently, people could browse your bookshelves and learn a lot about you–what your interests are, your range of topics, favorite authors, how much you read (or at least buy books).

More and more, though, this is changing. People aren’t buying books so much as borrowing them from the library. Or reading them on their e-readers or computers. There’s nothing PHYSICAL on the shelves to tell strangers in your home, for better or worse, who you ARE.

Do you think this is a good thing? Bad? Discuss!

I think what we have on our walls will suffice to show our personalities, don’t you? Listen, I’ve made my feelings clear about e-books. I do not think they spell doom and gloom for civilization. In fact, I think they’re awesome. They haven’t stopped me from reading paper books, but I have found that I read more books because of my Kindle than I did before I had it. That can’t be a bad thing. I don’t think more library or e-books are good or bad. They’re just different. The convenience might make people read more, and I just don’t understand the whole anti-e-reader deal. I don’t have to browse books on people’s shelves to have a sense of who they are. It’s one factor among many, and perhaps not even all that telling.

photo credit: accent on eclectic


10 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Personality

  1. The wall length bookshelf you would see if you entered my house is one of my favorite possessions. It is actually in my formal dining room, but when we got the bookshelf, the room wasn't being used as a dining room. I actually wanted to make it into my library. Even though I didn't get the library of my dreams, I am still proud that everyone knows that we are a household that reads as soon as they enter my house. I always have to wonder about the households where there is nary a book or (at the very least) a magazine in sight. I received two iPads for my classroom, and I have been trying out the Kindle app. I just don't know yet how I feel about e-readers yet.

    1. I wonder about houses with no books, too. One question I used to ask students at the beginning of the year was how many books were in their houses. If they said something like "way more than they could count," I knew they would probably be fine in English, but if they said, none or few, I knew I would have a student with reading problems on my hands.

  2. I love seeing people's book cases, and am constantly filling mine up so that I have to purchase MORE book cases. When we recently moved to England and had LIMITED space (in our car) for possessions we brought with us, half of the space was taken up by our book boxes. Books are our friends… and with a household of FIVE readers, our shelves are varied. I am looking to creating a lovely library space in our home one day!

    As for e-readers… I was a bit reticent myself, but I am a bit enamoured with my Kindle…. I have so many classics on it, and able to take it anywhere…always having something that will fit my reading mood! If I do come across a book that I love, I will now get it in 'tangible' form for my Bookcase of Friends!

    1. I don't know how many we have, but I find mine are more of a disorganized mess than than anything else, which may contribute to my ambivalent feelings about having so many.

  3. I have books all over the place, multiple bookcases, books in an old china cabinet, piles of books on end tables. Guests to our home could probably figure out which books are mine and which are my husband's; we've very different tastes. He reads tons of nonfiction – science, philosophy, religion. I read tons of fiction.

    I haven't bought an ereader yet, although I likely will in the not-to-distant future. One thing about ereaders that I'm not fond of is that you can't really share books. Can you? It's a joy for me to lend my books to others.

    1. Well, you can lend books via a Kindle or Nook, but I'm not sure about the others. However, I know I would prefer to lend a physical book. I don't like lending books much. They don't come home again!

  4. I don't feel comfortable living in a space with no books, or even with very few books. We had sooooo many books in my house growing up, I got used to bookshelves in every room. I can't wait until I have my own place with bookshelves all over it.

    1. One of my dreams is to have neat, organized bookshelves. I guess I could make that come true, but right now, it seems like a Sisyphean task.

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