I was peacefully putting away laundry after work (that Patrick had so kindly washed and folded) when I saw IT. And I couldn’t help but pick it up and hold it. And smell it. What was it, dare you ask? A brand new, shiny book. Not just a book. A big book. And a bargain. It is not one, not two, but four books in one. And it is fresh from Amazon.com. And it is now in our house. The book is The Circle by Ted Dekker. Not something I would order for myself. Or pick first to read. But now I want to read it. And touch it. Because it is just so beautiful and to be honest, it sounds intriguing (about a guy who suffers a head injury and wakes up in a different alternate reality every time he falls asleep).
I admit it. I am a book geek. I like new book smell (yes, I smell books). I wince when people dog ear pages. I am the only person who is allowed to mark in my textbooks… and only if I use appropriate style and coloring of the highlighters and pens. I get excited when I get to break in the spine of a new book or when I have a nice worn-in, but not mangled book. I will go to Chapters/Indigo and “window shop” for hours. Sometimes the window shopping is more of an epic fail and it turns into actual shopping. I love going into old bookstores and just wandering around. One of my favorite most recent discoveries was while on elective in Kingston, there was this little shop that had pretty much everything… In a very small split-level space. Heavenly. It was so dusty and old, I wheezed. That is where the best books live. Libraries are also fantastic places. I like to just wander and look at everything and pick at random, if I have nothing previously in mind. Which means I often get followed by a librarian who (trying to be helpful) asks if there is anything he/she can help me find.
We own a lot of books. More than I realized. Especially if you include all of my textbooks. I feel that it is important to buy the required text for every course. And unlike many people, I am nerdy enough that I actually read them. Often virtually cover-to-cover. Our shelves have double layers of books. I have found books that I forgot I owned at my parents’ house (though they often disappear too, as my mother is a huge proponent of the giving books to second-hand stores before the house gets too cluttered).
I don’t think I have a favorite genre of book. Pocket books that keep me from looking like a tool on the floors are always good, though most of those live in electronic versions on my iPod. I will read just about anything, though I am a big chicken and would avoid really scary stuff, just to duck having nightmares. Sure, I’m not big on science-fiction/horror/sleezy romance books… But, in a pinch, they would do. My main go-to books are the classics and dramatic/medical novels (cliché, I know) followed closely by any sort of true story.
Going back to my opening statement… I am really drawn to big books. Kind of like the “Big Butts” song… but books (there is also a song “Baby got book” referring to the Bible… Fantastic parody). There is something about the weight of it in my hands that makes it seem substantial. Plus, its like you get your money’s worth… All that book for only this much money. Reading it makes you feel accomplished. And it is a work-out for your fingers. The only problem with big books… Really big books… Is transportation. I once had a book (now sadly MIA) that contained ALL of the Chronicles of Narnia. I spent a chunk of my summer reading it. Problem was, I couldn’t carry it in my purse and it weighed down any larger bag I carried. Definitely a downer. With all the travel I have been doing, book weight had played a role in my choices for book purchases. The other day, whilst browsing in Chapters, I found a collection of Mark Twain books (hardcover) for only $12. I picked it up. And carried it around. Then realized there was almost no way I was getting it home with me on the plane (Christmas luggage), let alone bringing it around to read. So, sadly I put it back. I may go back and look for it, though. Nonetheless, the big books come with large mass and thus big dilemmas. But they are such big fun to read, I doubt I will stop.