stories about nothing and everything

new books smell better than new cars.

i’m ranting about books today.[note: “today” is march 8th. i was almost finished then i went to dinner and forgot to publish it]

1. i love books. who wouldn’t? they smell good and they tell stories. well, at least most of the ones i read do, but i like the kind that teach me about things too, as long as no one is making me read it.
i don’t like the reading mr wenger makes us do, and i hate anything that i need a dictionary to understand. i was not one of those homeschoolers who read shakespeare at age five and memorized the lord of the rings prologue in fourth grade. i’m simple.
i like characters. i like good stories that entertain me and maybe relate to me without forcing me to think. (now i don’t mind thinking, but i don’t want to be required to think in order to get what the story is about. i’ve lost a lot of sleep over mystic river, for instance, but it’s not the “what the heck did i just read” kind of thought provoking.) so as much as i get laughed at for it, i’ll proudly state that the sisterhood of the traveling pants and the princess diaries are some of my favorites. i gain some of my dignity back when i mention all the creepy things about cops and lawyers that are also on my mental bookcase(that’s all the books i would own if i had money to buy them). i’m random in my favorites.

2. you may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you CAN judge a person by the books on their shelf..
not everything about them, but a few things. like what kind of person they are. i LOVE going into any teacher’s office and guessing what they teach by the books i see. dr crutchfield has a million bible dictionaries, dr farrah has all kinds of uncolorful psych related ones, and i’ve never been inside mr wenger’s, but he has tons of comic strips all over the door, so the inside probably has dr seuss books intermixed with the ten pound volumes of boring stories. heck, even academic services has a predictable shelf, theirs are all about learning styles and clep testing and stuff.
i do the same when i walk in my friends’ rooms. their bookshelf is the first thing i look at. i guess which classes they’re in and then i move on to everything else.
mine is a good picture of who i am. it’s chaotic in a controlled way, like everything in my life, and it has a little bit of everything. on the top shelf you’ve got all my Jesus books(and glancing over them you can tell what i either struggle with or just really love reading about because i have at least one on everything), then my camp journals, and of course there’s holes, a series of unfortunate events and the sisterhood of the traveling pants. the bottom shelf has my textbooks. like in life, the fun things are on top. even its position in the room(it’s set up so i can reach everything from my bed) shows something about me.
and none of that was on purpose. (i just figured all that out this morning while i was getting ready and that led me to think about books all day)
i love the look of a whole lot of books lined up on a shelf. even if you don’t read them, you have to admit it makes for a nice decoration(but i don’t understand people who can see books and not want to open every one)
in my house there literally isn’t a single room without one(except the bathrooms, which i’m totally changing when i have my own house)
if everybody starts reading all their books on a screen and keeping them in a little electronic box, there won’t be anymore shelves for me to look at. which brings me to my next point.

3. the kindle goes against all that’s important to reading.
every time dr. jones speaks in chapel he tells us he likes the sound of pages turning, so if we’re reading on something electronic, turn the pages of our friend’s bible so he can hear it. touche.
i love the smell of books, new or old, i like the sound and the motion of turning the next page, and i focus so much better when i’m holding something than looking at a screen. plus, in the case of my Jesus books, i write ALL over them. i’m sure there’s a way to highlight text on a kindle, but you sure as heck can’t write notes in the margins, and even if there was, it would be typed and impersonal looking. i LOVE my own handwriting, most people can’t read it, but it’s comforting and familiar. and i really like seeing how it changes over years(see, i’ve had the same Bible since i was 15, and when i read my notes from 11th grade, my writing is a little bit different than now).
and people can’t borrow kindle books, as far as i know(there’s probably some way if they have their own kindle, but most people don’t have one which creates a problem). what if i don’t want to buy a book until i know i like it? i can’t steal it from a friend and read the first chapter if it’s stuck in a screen.
also. if that sucker gets stolen, you lose all your books. whereas, if you have one real book in your hands, and you lose it, well, it’s one book. not much of a loss unless you’re like me and it has notes in it that you’d be real sad to lose.

all this to say. i like books. i like my teacher’s offices because of their books. i don’t like the kindle. the end.


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