During middle and high school, the start of summer generally meant one thing – dreaded summer reading. However, once my college career began (and ended), I realized that my summer reading was no longer mandatory and dominated by lists of dead, celebrated authors on which I could expect to be graded once school began.
Though I no longer have to worry about reading for a grade, I am still an avid reader and look forward to summers when I can read what I want, when I want. Technology has made that all the more easy. I can download free books, beam books directly to my Kindle from Amazon and even the public library, and can sync my Kindle to my phone, iPod, computer, and a variety of other devices so that I no longer have to even carry around a book.
While I (and my back/shoulders) appreciate the ease in which technology has allowed me to carry and read multiple books at a time, and while I am the biggest e-reader proponent you’ll ever find, I often find myself wandering into the public library and walking out with a big stack of books.
Why, you might ask? Because sometimes I miss books. Especially borrowed books. I enjoy judging books by their covers (as if you don’t, too!), finding receipts/notes/Post-Its other library patrons have left inside books, and knowing that someone in my neighborhood has recently enjoyed the same book. I like flipping and dog-earing pages, and snapping a book shut once I’ve completed it.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I love my e-reader. I really do. But I learned to read using a paper and ink book, so some of my attachment to them is purely sentimental. And that is why I hope that books, like print newspapers and magazines, are never completely replaced by their more savvy electronic counterparts. Besides, when I go broke buying e-books online, where else would I go to find free books but the public library?
Janna Draine is a recent graduate of Howard University and, when she isn’t reading, is interning in the national NSCS office (if you’ve ever called with a question, she’s probably answered it!). In addition to reading, she enjoys watching movies, going to concerts, cookies, running, and talking to anyone who will listen. If you want to talk books or anything else, you can follow Janna on Twitter @thedrainer.