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The Rambled

The Rambler

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
One girl, so many things to say. So I got myself an outlet.


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Zoe G.
One girl, so many things to say. So I got myself an outlet.
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Where Do You Read? Thoughts on the Future of Publishing

What does reading mean to you? This post was inspired by a post on the same topic by the awesome A Bloggable Life. The question of electronic books is an interesting one to me as my situation is rather unique.
But I'll start with my basic feelings. I like books. It's not just that I like reading; I like the actual, physical book as well. Holding a book in your hands, turning the pages with your fingers, inhaling that unique scent of paper and ink, those are all experiences I love.
I also love curling up with a book. For whatever reason I just can't imagine that curling up with a computer is at all the same. And forget about drinking tea or hot cocoa while reading- one slip from a klutz like me and I'm out of a hundred plus dollars. Which is a lot of money when you are a college student with a shopping addiction and a part time job at a kindergarten that barely pays minimum wage. So just affording one in the first place is unlikely for me.
I also love bookstores. My favorites are the little, intimate ones but big chains like Border's also appeal to me as they have fabulously extensive selections. There's this teensy used bookstore in Philadelphia that I adore. I used to go to school about two blocks away and would go there during breaks. I still get lunch or dinner with my friends a block away from it about once a week so it's super convenient and the books are really inexpensive. Other than huge hardbacks I've never seen anything over seven dollars. I bought The Picture of Dorian Grey, Northanger Abbey and a huge collection of Fitzgerald short stories there for $1.50 each. 
But I love it not just for it's great deals but for it's amazing atmosphere. It's a smallish store and it's filled with shelves in narrow rows but there still isn't enough space for all the books so there are stacks of books scattered around the shop. It's wonderful to perch on one of those stacks (there's only enough free space for two chairs) with a cup of coffee from the bakery across the street or the Starbucks a block away and read. The whole place has this fantastic vibe to it. I don't know how to describe it but you for any Snicket fans out there, you know how in A Series of Unfortunate Events VFD's motto is "The World is Quiet Here"? That perfectly describes the ambiance of this store. It feels intimate, peaceful and scholarly. 
Plus, there are two cats who the owner calls "the emperors of the store." Atticus is a large white cat with longish hair and brilliant blue eyes and Odysseus is seriously the most beautiful cat I've ever seen, he's a small and lean pure black cat, his fur seriously shines in the light! And he has these green eyes that I swear can only be described as "wise." They just roam around the store, slinking between customer's legs and staring imperiously out the large bay window in the front of the shop at the passersby. Of course, they have to lie on top of the stacks of books that are also piled on the window seat. I've spent many a well-spent hours between classes cocooned away in those stacks. 
However, my biggest issue with electronic books is a religious one as well as practical one. I am an orthodox Jew which means I try not to use electronics on Friday nights and Saturdays. As so many things such as working, shopping and even driving are not allowed on Shabbos, Saturdays are my favorite day of the week. I can relax, sleep in, spend the day in bed and not feel guilty about all the other things I should be doing.
So, needless to say, a bookworm like me uses this time to devour anything she can get her hands on. About 60% of my reading for pleasure (my Eclipse reviews do not count as pleasure, natch) gets done during Shabbos. So if I had a kindle, it would not be very useful.
Just my two scents on the changing world of reading in the technological age

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