Paper or Plastic? For those not old enough to remember, that used to be a question you were asked when checking out at the grocery story regarding your preference on how they bagged your items. Paper bags were great because you could reuse them at home for other projects. Anyone remember using them to make book covers in school? That would be a bit harder to do with a plastic bag… although I’m sure someone out there has a Pinterest page full of ideas. (I think there are probably a few stray stores that still offer the paper bags but I have not seen them in my area for several years.)
So what does that phrase “Paper or Plastic” have to do with books you ask? Good question! I made a visit to my local library over the weekend and left feeling a bit..well.. sad. As any true book addict knows, the best part of a book is…. the smell… If you don’t love the smell of books then you can not truly be a member of B.A.A. (Book Addicts Anonymous……. I made that up…it could be a real thing though right?) What did I see when I walked into this particular library? People and children sitting at tables reading books or magazines, walking up and down the aisles eyeing each shelf looking for their new favorite author? No. No, what I saw were tables of computers and an individual sitting in front of each. Gone are the whimsical free bookmarks that used to lay on the check out desk…those have been replaced with pamphlets explaining how to use your eReader to check out books online.
That is where the “plastic” comes in. Those lightweight, various sized, back-lit, anti-glare, and sometimes waterproof, mobile mini-libraries. The “mini” is just dependent on how much memory your particular device has available. With so many advances in technology over the years, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised they would come up with an easier way to read…. or be read to…audio books anyone? I would say an eReader is to books what a rotary phone is to a smart phone. (If you don’t remember paper bags then you are not going to remember rotary phones….go ahead and google it…. I’ll wait………………………). Don’t get me wrong, I love my eReaders. I have more then one actually. (Fine… I have 4…don’t judge…. 3 were gifts and the 4th was a recent upgrade.) I think they are great for allowing an author to reach a wider range of readers and I think they are great for being able to read anywhere at anytime. Depending on which brand you have there may even be an app you can download on your smartphone that will sync to your eReader so if you are stuck in a waiting room somewhere you have something to do.
So, paper or plastic? I love both. I do plan on trying to dust off my card a bit more often to help support my local public library. I would recommend everyone try to “check out” the one in their area. Although I like the convenience of my Kindle…. that plastic smell is not quite the same…..
(P.S. Did you know they still offer bookmobiles in quite a few locations as well? Great for the elderly or just those who are not able to make it to the library!)
Keep the book lights burning and the pages turning!