I read a lot… and I own a lot of books. My former room mate Jessica used to stare dramatically at the towers of books that threatened to take over our dinning room. The might have had a point… the book shelf was leaning ever so slightly… but I can’t help it. I would happily eat crackers and peanut butter for dinner every night in order to afford to keep myself in new and good books.
Which is why I am so sad to hear about the trouble our local libraries are having.*
Books are great… they are means of adventure and learning. They help me escape, learn, laugh, and bond with my fellow human beings. A good book has characters that stay with you and themes that make you think and grow.
I love loaning my books to others. Currently I think I have four out on loan… and I am always happy to help people find something worth reading from my book shelf.
In fact, books are such important parts of my life and my daily routine that I don’t even think about purchasing purses that are too small to carry around a regularly sized book. That would just be silly!
I have been asked several times about my thoughts about e-readers and/or the Kindle. My response has always been that I love books… not just for what is inside them, but the books themselves. I like the feel of the pages, the scent, the weight, the cover, the book marks, the creases in the spine that mark a much loved passage. I like peeking over the top of them to see the world around me. I like seeing stacks of them on my coffee table. I like flipping through the pages and catching errant words. I love books.
Any curiosity I might have had for something that would replace all that with a Spartan tablet was never enough to warrant me actually considering with any heaviness the idea of actually purchasing one. Plus, the idea of not being able to share my books with others seems sacrilegious.
And today’s news makes me glad I held off.
Apparently even if one of the draw backs of the Kindle is that you can’t resell or share the books that you have purchased, the benefit of buying books this way means that the book would be yours forever and ever. Right?
Well… sure… unless the publisher of a book randomly decides (after the fact) that they dodn’t really want a few of their titles to be available via the Kindle.
And so, with no warning, they take the books back.
This is what happened to many Kindle owners today. They woke up to find that books (bought and paid for in full) had been removed from their Kindles overnight.
Amazon is a book thief!
The best part?
The books that were taken were George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984”
*Our Santa Cruz libraries have been facing severe funding shortages. There have been drastic cut backs in the hours of operation at all branches. It is expected that some branches will be closed, and this isn’t just in Santa Cruz. If you value having a library nearby, take the time to donate or volunteer.