The Mermaid's Tale

get hooked on reading

Let's celebrate reading -- read more books

celebrate reading
Avid readers know there is nothing better than curling up with a good book. Books can expand your horizons with new perspectives on an interesting subject. Every author has their own point of view on their particular subject matter, and that carries over to the readers who enjoy those books. Books can surprise or disappoint, but the important thing is that they are thought-provoking.

Even if you don't read as often as you might like, a book lover will have a selection of books in their house in a bookcase, on a shelf, in the kitchen, or piled up on the floor. They can be ornaments, part of the décor, or a focal feature in the room.

True book lovers hoard their favorites for decades. Would the book have the same impact if you looked it up on an eReader? Maybe, maybe not, but there's something about reading the words from the same book for decades, something about the actual feel of the pages, that brings out a deeper emotion from within the soul of a book lover. It's difficult to believe that a house without books could ever really be a home.

In fact, a house in which there where there are no bookcases seems sterile. There is just something soothing to the human soul to see rows of books lining the walls of a house's rooms. Books make a house into a home.

Are paper books obsolete?

Obsolete technology

I remember when computers didn't have hard drives. Now we have gone from cassettes to 5 1/4" floppy disks, to 3 1/2" disks, to CDs and DVDs, and now USB storage and the Cloud. Technology changes faster than you can imagine. Would I want to keep my entire library in an electronic format that will be obsolete in a few years? I don't think so.

An eReader might be fine for reading mysteries, novels, or other books to read once, but what about books I might want to keep forever? If the technology changes, what happens to my library? How do I know that wouldn't happen to an electronic book library?

We don't need to worry about the books on shelves becoming suddenly unreadable. We don't need to recharge a book to turn the page.

Heirloom books for the next generation

Even more important than technology is sentimental value. Some family heirlooms are precious because of their monetary value: jewelry, furniture, the silverware. Keeping old photos within the family can be a duty as much as a pleasure.

Digging out an old book that you loved as a kid and reading it with your child for the first time almost always is a joy though, especially when the tale captures your child's imagination the same way your imagination was captivated years earlier. There is nothing like sharing the exact book you read as a child.

In addition, there is the time-honoured tradition of reading under the covers. One of the favorite memories of any book lover is sneaky reading after bedtime, curled up under the covers or next to a night light and squinting to make out the words of a favorite story or comic book. The easiest way for a parent to develop a child's love of anything is to say "no" at times, and "no book" makes the book all the more enticing to a young reader.

To engage in that secret pleasure there has to be reading materials available in the child's room, however. An electronic reader won't do simply because it's too easy to take away. (Been there, done that.) No parent is going to haul every book out of the room every night!

are paper books obsolete? Durability

How do eBook readers work in the bathtub or hot tub? What happens if you drop one in the water? Wouldn't it get damaged?

It is difficult to envision another format as practical as a sturdy book which needs no batteries or recharging, nor will it be destroyed if dropped hard on a concrete floor or in the bathtub. You can take a book to the table without worrying about a spilled glass of milk or iced tea causing permanent destruction. Reading during dinner is another of those time-honoured traditions to carry on.

Ways to read more books

take a book challenge Don't make excuses about why you can't read more. Think for a moment to discover easy ways to make time for a book.

Support indie bookstores

Since Amazon started to spread its wings in 1995, it seemed to be a death knell for independent booksellers. Even smaller chains such Borders and Waldenbooks (remember them?) have gone under as casualties to Amazon's wingspan. It was a dark day for book lovers.

Then, an amazing thing happened: indie bookstores began to recover. By "keeping it local", a spirit of community was fostered. And the movement continued to spread. If you are looking for a new book to read, try your local indie bookstore first.

Supporting indie bookstores keeps things local

If you buy books from the shop up the street, your money stays in the community. Your tax dollars go to support local schools. Local communities thrive when local businesses thrive. You don't get that with a big-box bookstore.

Supporting indie bookstores helps the environment

A certain big-box bookstore is literally a big box bookstore in the waste of packaging materials. Giant boxes for tiny items wastes resources. Shipping things from a central warehouse wastes resources.

On the other hand, you can carry a reusable bag or two to the local indie bookstore to fill up.

It's paramount to have a choice of books

Local booksellers will stock a wide variety of books that will be popular in that particular community. They curate their stock, and are also happy to take requests if you're looking for something in particular. Booksellers can gear their front windows to that community.

What do you get from a big-box bookstore? Bestsellers, seasonal trends, Oprah's Bookclub recommendations. If you want unique book recommendations, shop indie.

Ways to celebrate reading

eBooks will never replace paper books in my opinion. Read more books, and read every day!

Merry Kitschmas