A Meeting with an Old Friend

For the first time in probably a year, I bought a physical book – a real paperback. I purchased the book at a real bookstore, which I haven’t been to in even longer. My more recent real-book purchases have been at displays at grocery stores and Walmart.

I missed physical books terribly. They feel solid in my hands, are easy to access, and I just have to look up at the bookcase to see my options. They’re portable, don’t require recharging, and slows down my reading speed.

The last was important because I can finish an e-book in a day and a half. I end up binging and running out of material. With a paperback, I take my time, I don’t get eye-strain, and I remember details better.

The only drawback is I have a harder time finding a certain name or a certain phrase. With a Kindle or other reader, they have a search function. With a paperback, you have to scan pages and go back and forth until you find the specific page. Still, it’s almost always worth it.

And then there’s price. E-books are often cheaper than the paperback, and I’m able to buy two or three e-books for the cost of one paperback.

I remember when I could get two books for five dollars. You could buy a book on a whim. Yes, the book I bought cost eight dollars which isn’t much. But it makes a difference in the pocket, and is on the low end of the cost range of books I read.

Reading this book was a great reunion. I found myself more relaxed when I was reading and less frustrated when I had to put it down. Most of all, the pleasure of the sensory experience far outweighed any drawbacks.

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