Paper, Ink, and Water

Amazon boasts that “no paper, ink, or water are used in the production of electronic books” (such as their Kindle Ebook Reader). No paper, ink, or water? They find this something of which to boast? I practically nursed my kids on paper, ink, and water! Next to bread and wine, I can’t think of anything more essential to one’s basic sustenance. But, I suppose these pseudo-book devices have their perks.

One could probably read Peter Rabbit and Go, Dog, Go a thousand times and never have to worry about cracked binding, dog-eared pages, crayon markings, chocolate milk stains, cracker crumb impressions, or missing covers. And who would miss the lineny feel of paper? Or the inky-organic-pulpy-paper smell? And holding a smooth plastic case and touching a lightly glowing screen or blocky keypad has to be better than helping dimply little fingers master the tricky art of page-turning. Right? Well, quite frankly, I’m having a hard time conceiving of such a world.

As I spent this week unpacking and settling in our new home, I wrestled my way through the realization that I probably really didn’t need to unpack the Little Golden books or Dr. Seuss. My kids can all read on their own now. They’ve moved on, but not before leaving a literal paper trail of “book immodesty,” i.e., the state in which a book finds itself being publicly coverless. With books and people alike, nakedness is a sign of intimacy. “If it ain’t got a cover, it probably was a lover.”

I consoled myself (about my kids moving on) with the hope that someday I will be able to read these lovers to my grandchildren. We will cuddle up in my overstuffed chair, and surely my grandkids, idyllic creatures that they’re bound to be, will choose these treasures over a slick slice of story-in-a-box. They, too, will feed on paper, ink, and water. And then Grandma will go to her glowing screen and chunky keyboard and blog about it.


4 thoughts on “Paper, Ink, and Water

  1. I love you. I love your nekked books. I love being able to quote from hard-loved kids' books: "A bathtub is no place for a red-painted tugboat. I was meant for BIGGER things!" "Who said 'who?' said Sue. And knitter-knatter, too." "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs." "I'm Walter. I bite." Happy Easter to your family. I am supposedly in the kitchen frosting Easter egg cookies.

  2. As a school teacher and mom of four little boys, I have an intimate love affair with books! I'm a big believer in highlighting phrases that strike me and writing notes in the margin with the date I think I will always remember. Years later when I pick up that book and I can read about the kind of person I was and what I was thinking when this book "spoke" to me. Then I can compare it to the person I currently am. It's a detailed diary and timeline of my growth as a woman. I whole-heartedly agree with you…the smell and feel of a new or old book cannot be captured by any technology. Shame on them for trying! Here's to "Ten tired turtles in a tuttle tuttle tree!!" Jessica

  3. Mom I think that who ever whould rather choose a E book against a normal book is wierd! Mom I also want you to know that all those books I will never get tierd of! And of corse I will never get tierd of my fav Little bus.

  4. Jessica, thanks for your comment. I've been known to write in margins, too. It is great to read them later and relive the moments again, isn't it? Many blessings to you and your four little guys!P.S. What would we do without Dr. Seuss's ABC's? 🙂

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