Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Life-Affirming Experience of Reading

With U.S. Thanksgiving over, the holiday gift-buying season is officially underway, at least in this country. And while the ebook revolution is now irrevocably entrenched (more e-readers were likely sold in the past few days than ever before), people are stilling buying the old-fashioned paper-and-ink versions, especially as holiday gifts. 

Three years ago, in the midst of the season's shopping frenzy, Sarah Bagby of  Wichita's Watermark Books posted this revelation about the gift of books and the power of reading in the store newsletter. 

"This week I have been reminded time and again of the experience that literature brings to life.

"You would think that in this 11th hour of holiday hubbub, shoppers would be frantic to buy whatever books remain on the shelf. But no, the readers who are giving books as gifts are very particular about the gift of language. They are calm and methodical in their quests for the perfect book, patiently listening to my staff about this storyline or that plot twist...

"So in our busiest season, I've realized just how much literature has a calming effect. We read so that we can have the life-affirming experience that reading a book brings. And that's why we give the gift of books."

• Are you still giving books as gifts? To yourself?

• What are you buying? What are you reading?

• Are you still buying hard-copy books? Or have you made the switch to ebooks? As gifts, too?

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