Janet bought a Kindle. She loves it and claims to do all her reading now on the Kindle. Here’s my question, though, Janet: did you get rid of your physical books, or are you simply buying all new titles electronically and keeping the real-world books, too?
And, if you got rid of them, did you get rid of all books…even the nice, old-fashioned ones with cloth bindings? Or the children’s stories with fabulously lush illustrations on smooth, shiny, thick paper with saturated, waxy inks? Or the books that still smell like your Grandma’s house? Mmmm…How about the coffee table books with oversized photos? Rare, never-to-be-reprinted books? Banned books? Subversive books? Those bought used on the Left Bank during your year as a Paris street singer? The one with the Grand Marnier stain on page 44 from your first love-making session with your grad school boyfriend? The ones with faded, thin, old, yellowed, fragile paper from the 18th century? The little book of dumb poetry your BFF gave you in 5th grade? The Eugene O’Neill collection that first made you exclaim, at age 11, “Aha! I understand human pain.”?
I, too, have to pay for a bigger house so that I can have a (large) room totally dedicated to a library. If I review which physical books I’d be willing to recycle into Whole Foods shopping bags (or something) to buy the electronic version, thus reducing my housing square footage requirements, I find I’m only willing to get rid of textbooks (which I wouldn’t’ find on Kindle) and trashy best-sellers (which I wouldn’t re-purchase, anyway.)
Vinyl records, on the other hand, I’m finally ready to melt into electronic files.