From Cover to Cover

Kendra Turley, Online Manager

There’s something so fascinating and surreal to me about losing yourself in the crisp white pages of a book. It’s an escape, really. You’re not really just reading the words. You’re absorbed in them. You’re sucked into a different world, whether it’s a castle, a different city, a futuristic city, or Hogwarts. You’re watching as the characters go on adventures and you worry that by the end of the novel, one or more of them will completely blindside you with information that will have you sitting in your chair dumbfounded. You’re also hoping no one dies. But that’s almost inevitable. You laugh at their jokes, you cry at their pain, and you feel immense relief when most (if not all) of their problems are finally solved.

Call me a nerd, a geek, or just another fangirl, but I love books. I proudly and unapologetically admit that. I have a beautiful five shelf bookcase my father made that is almost full to bursting. I’ve read a little more than half of the novels on my shelf. Some I liked, others I just enjoyed. And then there’s the ones that I LOVED. The ones whose pages that I turned so quickly I was afraid I would rip each one in half. The ones whose covers are in serious need of repair or have been fixed many times now because I have read and reread them so much. The full series that are so amazing they have their own shelf or section. And the books that, when I finally read that last page and closed the cover, I experienced that feeling of loss. That feeling of “What do I do with my life now?” That feeling that makes you want to go back and read that book for the first time again.

In a world where movies are streamed, magazines are online, and all homework is done digitally, what’s not to say that books will go entirely the same? We already have apps and ebooks to read, and audiobooks to download through multiple different sites. The common newspaper has mostly died out. What’s preventing books from going extinct next?

That isn’t to say that I want them to. I’d much rather read a physical novel then hold my phone up to my face as I try to read the tiny print. There’s something that’s really almost magical about holding a physical copy. Call me corny, but I feel like the story is almost palpable, especially if you’ve read it. You know the story that lies in those pages. You know what happened. And just by holding it, you know that this novel with somehow take you away to a brand new place, whether it’s for the first time or the twenty-sixth.

That being said, I really hope that books will never go completely online. What’s going to happen to libraries and bookstores if we do? I feel like we would lose a vital part of our world. A bookstore or a library is such a nice, quiet place to sit and read. Why would we want to lose that?

If everything for whatever reason goes to digital, at least let me say this: If there’s only one person who will go, grab a book, and sit and be absorbed in their own little wonderland, then that’s reason enough for me to keep the libraries and bookstores wide open. Just for that one person who will always come back and be willing to share a story.