I finally broke down and bought a Kindle but I held out for as long as I could. For more than a year, I watched my husband read from the glow of his ipad each night in bed before we fell asleep. I kept thinking that he would come to his senses, tell me how awkward the ipad was, and go back to reading books. I kept dropping hints, telling him of all the articles I’d read about artificial light disrupting sleep patterns, and how the convenience of his ipad could never compete with the feel of a book in his hands. I reminded him that our king size bed was the place of bedtime stories when our kids were growing up. It was hallowed ground. It was where we turned the pages of Dr Seuss and Roald Dahl. It was where we propped up large books in small laps. It was a place of love and pajamas and paper and ink.
I’ve spent a lot of time with my books. I’ve arranged them on the shelf, stacked them horizontally, lined them up vertically and alphabetized them by author. I’ve written in them, dusted them off and loaned them out. I’ve walked over to my bookshelf just to look at them so I could remember how they made me feel, what they taught me, how they became a part of me and how they changed me. And yesterday, I gave some away. I packed up six boxes full and drove them to a nearby donation site. Then, I came home, dusted off the shelves, and created space for something new.
Midlife insists that we let go and move on but it didn’t seem fair that our books had to be involved. But I take my Kindle and I move along. I walk into our family room and sit with my children. My daughter surfs the web with her MacBook and my son watches a video on his laptop. I turn a page with my stylus and my kids prop up their computers on their laps. It is a place of screens and keyboards and teenagers and love.