He reaches across the table before taking another sip of whiskey and asks me, “Why in the world do you still read paperback books when you can just read everything on a Kindle?”
And I fumble around in my head for an answer:
I like the way a book feels in my hands…
Used books, you know, they’ve been places…
I like to surround myself with evidence of the stories…
I couldn’t come up with any groundbreaking reason or mouthwatering argument to fire back at him with.
It’s just that I adore the process of finding and holding on to an actual back. The butterflies that’ll claw at my stomach when I hear the plot summary of a book I absolutely need to read. The way that acquiring that book doesn’t have to be so instant—like the majority of things we want and can get in a single click. There’s a wait time from the library or the internal debate we face at the nearest bookstore over whether it’s worth it to fork over the $13.99 for the book, instead of using that cash to buy a sandwich at Panera for lunch. It’s the heaviness we feel—the ache that tap dances on our shoulder— from carrying that book around with us everywhere we go. How the book has been places before it has been ours and how we can so easily leave our mark on its pages forever—a simple crease or a chocolate covered fingerprint on the edge of a page.
“Sometimes,” I begin to tell him, “There’s comfort in doing things the same way you always have.”
Soon, we’ll start to say the same thing about dating. Why walk up to strangers in a coffee shop, strike up conversation, and potentially ask them out, when you can just scroll through a hodgepodge of online dating profiles? Meeting someone at a concert will soon be I stumbled upon them on Spotifly and thought their playlist was rad! Meeting someone at a networking event will eventually become I connected with them on LinkedIn and endorsed their Microsoft Office skills. There’s even a dating app for the restaurant Just Salad that hooks people up based on the types of salad they like to eat—giving us one more excuse to ignore the people who stand in front of us and behind us as we try to order our lunch. Why communicate in person when you can probably just find them online?
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