I’m not sure about Kindles and the like. Old fashioned, behind the times, Luddite? Maybe, but I have read books and newspapers online, however there’s still something different and special and un-online-ish about holding a book in your hand, knowing your about to turn to page one, embark on a fictitious journey that is new and, hopefully, worthwhile.
When I was growing up books were treats, treasures. I invented a symbol that I drew on the inside front of my favourite books, my special mark, these were my books to be guarded and minded. On some weekends my father would take me and my two sisters to a book shop (Parsons along Baggot Street in Dublin is the one that sticks in my memory) and we were each allowed choose a book. And we could take time picking it too.
I got to know Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Tolkien, Dickens and Shakespeare (though the latter two were more through school), JD Salinger, and as a growing child these were the stuff of legends. They spoke of worlds real and imagined, where incredible stuff happened, but through the words on the page I was there to witness the happenings, and could go back and relive it whenever I wanted. And even today I still re-read some of those books, and they haven’t lost their lure over the years. Some books were and are keepers.
I love bookshelves, mine and other peoples. You can’t really ask someone can you browse through their online book collection. It’s just not done, but there’s nothing odd about checking out someone’s bookshelves, even if it’s your first time in their home. And you can get to know a bit more about someone too by looking at their bookshelves, though don’t be judgemental. I think a healthy bookshelf should have a bit of everything, from thrillers to chick-lit (depending on the readers), informative stuff, dictionaries, and more serious books if that be your own particular choice. And as for the bathroom – well your not going to bring your ipad or kindle to the toilet, or are you?
In fact I would panic if I didn’t have a book to read. I couldn’t contemplate getting on a plane or a train or going to the beach to to bed without the comfort of a few printed pages near at hand. If I really thing hard about it I’m probably bordering on addiction. But I think it’s a healthy addiction and certainly don’t think passive reading will harm anyone nearby either!
OK, I know that this is a generational thing too. The other day I told my young daughter that when I was growing up we only had two television channels, mobile phones hadn’t been invented and there were no such things as home computers…”but iPads yes”, she assumed. No. And no doubt in the next few years there will be more innovations that will leave some of us crumblies behind. But I hope the book never dies. And it’s nice to know that there is still a healthy respect and encouragement for those writing books for younger readers, spearheaded by people like JK Rowling and those behind the Geronimo and Tea Stilton adventure books here in Spain.
So why am I rambling on about books – well, Adeje is about to celebrate its annual Book Fair – tomorrow I will be talking about this on air, on English Time, Radio Sur Adeje, finding out where and when events and readings are taking place and also chatting to an author or two.
Do you have a favourite book or author – or do you really prefer to read online or in digital form? Leave a comment here if you like and we can discuss this more on air tomorrow on English Time, Radio Sur Adeje, 107.9fm, 1pm.
Adeje Book Fair (in Parque Cesar Manrique)
Thursday April 18, 5pm children’s workshops, animation show, two book readings, La leyenda de la escritora de Haikus by Graciliana Montelongo, and Guía de Narnatan by Narcy Méndez, and performances from the Adeje school of music.
Friday April 19th, events from 11am, story telling, etc. At 5pm there will also be a story-workshop in the La Postura Cultural Centre, sponsored by the Cabildo At 6pm there will be a presentation by the Adeje dance school and at 7pm a reading of Cuardenos de Marta by Isabel Medina followed by a poetry recital
Saturday April 20th, book stalls will be in place from the town’s book shops, with a range of titles on sale. There will also be a chess workshop and a range of children’s activities. Readings from Hari Maguada by Carmen Marina Rodríguez and Rumbo a un sueño by José Luis Cámara will be in the afternoon, and that evening the Fair will close with the launch of local rock band Paradigma’s first disc, Igual es Fácil, at 8pm.
Bookshops taking part in the Fair are Librería Tabernáculo, Todo Hobby La Clare, Centro de la Cultural Popular Canaria, J. Moraga Libros, Librería El Buho, Editorial Bahai, Ifara Libros and Librería de Mujeres.