The Other Way To Read

I forgot how to read a real book. I am reading “The Other,” by David Guterson. I bought the real book, not the e-book book. (Thanks, Dad, for the bookstore gift certificate!)

And when I got to the end of an early chapter, I closed the book, and reminded myself to remember that I’d stopped there. On an e-book, there’s no need for book marks or reminders to yourself. The e-book remembers for you. You turn it on and voila, you’re right at your stopping-off point.

So back to my paperback book, a day later, I opened “The Other,” and started at Chapter 3 which seemed right, until the end of chapter. The narrator referred to a character as if I, the reader, should already know who she was. But I was yet to be introduced. Yes, I flipped back and realized I’d completely skipped Chapter 2.

I have become so used to reading on an e-book that I’ve lost my knack for reading a real book. It is taking me a moment to relearn, but I will get there. I’m smart like that.

Reading is one of my life rules, my routes to sanity — My Rule #2 is escape through literature.


My Stolen Kindle

A year after my first Kindle was stolen, my second one was stolen. This time I knew the thief. It was my middle child.

As if it wasn’t bad enough she stole my e-book, she’s using it to read about lying.

Yesterday I got an email notice that she just downloaded, “Pretty Little Liars, Part 8.” That’s right, she has read or listened to 7 previous “Pretty Little Liars” books.

How can the author, Sara Shepard, sustain so much pretty little lying? (I won’t worry. Ms. Shepard’s doing fine. I heard the series is a children’s bestseller.)

According to a recent front page article on The New York Times, my daughter, the e-reader, is not alone. Young Adult e-book sales hit 25 percent this year, up from 6 percent a year before.

I guess I shouldn’t mind all the lying and thieving, since it has inspired a love for reading. Even e-reading.

But I really ought to tell my darling, “Give me back my e-book, you pretty little thief. Save your babysitting money and buy your own! ‘Cause I want to read about thieving and lying too!”