Still addictively buying print!

While discussing the various means of absorbing fictional tales recently I began contemplating the various forms.

 I am a book lover, it’s in my DNA, from a long line of book readers. Complain, if one dared, of boredom in my childhood home and we would be firmly led to the overflowing bookshelves. We had no ‘out of bounds’ or ‘censored’ books, as far as I am aware, of course Mum and Dad may well have kept any such from view!

 I always had one or two books at the very least on the go, a book for every mood. Indeed I still have the trio of books I read only when feeling ill: Black Beauty, Smokey and Beautiful Joe, all absolutely guaranteed to make me sob my heart out – just right when tucked up in bed feeling sad! Maybe I will re-read them one day. In my adulthood it was Georgette Heyer I turned to when ill; her historical romances could make me smile, even laugh, she had a wit that made even the most stubborn of colds feel better.

 My distrust of film to narrate books was learnt very early on, apart from a couple of exceptions it appeared to me the medium ruined a good book. Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird and the Fellowship of the Rings spring to mind as exceptions. Of course, film cannot deal well with the physiologies, insights, complicated emotions or slow thoughtful pacing and indeed that is not what film is about, film is a visual experience.

 So is film like a play? I am not so keen on plays either, so maybe for me, brought up so solidly on reading, my receptiveness to a tale will always struggle with the visual.

 Thinking around this aspect I examined what childhood books I had still left in my possession 6 decades later. They were, in comparison with children’s books of the past 50 years, fairly devoid of pictorial content.

 Our family were also quite late in acquiring a television set, so that I was well into my teens before I could ‘watch’ stories on a regular basis. Most of my early theatre experience had involved comedy or music of some kind The Whitehall Farces, Operetta and musical. So my synapses are obviously underdeveloped in the visual storytelling department!

 I did enjoy going to the cinema, saving my pocket money, walking to places to save the bus fares towards entrance tickets. My friend from forever/editor and I would spend most Friday and Saturday nights in the dark watching the silver screen. These were tales I never read, such as westerns (I have never had any desire to ‘read’ this genre ever, they are to be watched) and musicals.

 I was introduced to audio books in my 40s when I was exploring this possibility for my sister whose sight was vanishing like burnt away mists. She was also a bookworm and we needed to find a way. It took her a long time to switch, to accept she could no longer ‘read’ her stories. It took me even longer to even try them.

 When I nursed my mother, over the years, I listened to many audios because, as another of the family bookworms laid low, we had persuaded her to try them and once hooked she would listen for hours with great pleasure to old favourites and new delights. I had perforce to listen as that’s where my life was, in her room. I discovered the most curious thing. I heard the stories, some very familiar, to me on a whole new plane of experience.

 If I ‘listen’ to a book, forced to wander through the pages at the speed of the reader, there are layers upon layers of new experience to discover. I have more than enough time to listen to the ‘words’, the construction of the sentences. Time, especially with the classics such as Dickens and Thackeray, to enjoy the descriptions.  It is worth the time. I know that realms of purple prose are not fashionable these days but those Greats could summon up whole environments, listen to the words – glorious. I found I was enjoying the experience.

 However film, apart from a brief foray in my teens, is a medium I know little about. If there is a choice between seeing a ‘drama/film’ or ‘almost anything else’, I will usually choose ‘almost anything else’.

I now have books on my e-reader as well as on my shelves and Audio books waiting patiently for the day I will need them, but always at heart I’m a ‘reading’ girl. Still addictively buying print.

9 thoughts on “Still addictively buying print!

  1. I totally agree… just can’t beat the feel of a book in your hand.

    I love the smell of a brand new book, the way it’s pages feel in my fingers. It’s more than just a reading experience :)


  2. I prefer a book over any medium, but I do dabble in movies and e-books. Regardless, there nothing quite as magical as turning pages and the smell of ink. :-)

    • alberta says:

      I would like to enjoy film more as it seems folk have so much pleasure from it – but i would still prefer to curl up with a book (although to be trueful my old bones dont curl as well these day!!!

  3. fictionrulz says:

    There is nothing more wonderful than holding a new book in your hands. :) I love the feel of turning the pages and the scent of paper ink and glue. I treasure the memory of holding the first novel I had written in my hands and thinking wow I’m in print! lol. I agree completely other forms are grand but nothing beats the love of well worn pages :)

  4. KM Huber says:

    Lovely, lovely post, and a story that cannot be told too often. While I am quite skeptical about the future of print, I am optimistic that writing may find a golden age, if people are reminded that reading opens doors everywhere. I enjoy your blog.

    • alberta says:

      thank you. Possibly the only thing threatening print books is the rising costs and scacity of the raw materials. Reading and storytelling will survive.

  5. morganmandel says:

    I’m hoping more readers still buy print, since I have two of my books in print and will be getting the other two onboard shortly.

    Morgan Mandel

    • alberta says:

      I really get the impression that for most addictive print readers much of the pleasure of reading print is in the tactile. This applies to children as well – keep giving the children books and we have the next generation of readers. good luck with the books – exciting times!:)

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