As I write this, I'm sitting in the midst of thousands of books at the annual AAUW book sale. Tens of thousands maybe. And while Heather pours over them, adding what would seem to be half of the entire building's inventory into her shopping cart (no, really, she got a shopping cart), I have so far added eight books to my personal library - most of them about writing.
See, I like books. I love reading, in fact. But I'm one of those people that actually prefers to read on a screen than off a printed page. I've probably added a couple dozen books to my Kindle library in the past month — since having bought a Kindle Fire. Prior to that, I did most of my reading on my Kindle app on my tablet ... or the Google Books app on the same. As far back as 15 years ago, I read the first four Harry Potter books on my Palm Pilot.
Side note: We just took a shopping cart of books to the car and came back for more. We also ran into another girl I used to date and I saw (but we did not talk to) a third girl I used to date. I apparently have a thing for girls who read ... or at least girls who like books.
Anyway ... back to the story: I still bought books, though. Hardcover and paperback, alike. I had a couple bookshelves full of them. I liked the way they looked. And I liked the way they made me look. But about six years ago, I gave them all to charity ... or lost them ... or something. I was in the midst of a major transformation (*cough* divorce) and books were an unnecessary burden.
Slowly, I began building a book collection again. It started with "Plato and a Platypus Walked Into a Bar." I got a few books as gifts and picked a few up here and there. This incredible annual book sale and the Lockport Library book sale added to the collection. But it pales in comparison to what it once was. And I want to get back to that impressive collection of leather bound books. ... But then there's also a part of me that feels like buying books for the primary purpose of showing off how many books I have is ... forgive my French ... douche-y.
So I'm conflicted. I like books. I want books. But I probably won't read the books because I prefer reading digitally. So much like my favorite Shakespearean character, I'm struggling with what to do here. Of course, he would just tell me that "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” So maybe the moral of the story is to think less and read more.
+Scott Leffler left that book sale with eight books. And ran into — literally — another girl he had dated on his way out of the book sale. If you want to follow Scott's reading you can find him on Goodreads or follow him on Twitter @scottleffler. If you want to date him, apparently you should read more.
This column was originally published on East Niagara Post.