My Kindle goes with me to the gym, when I travel, and often when I am just out doing errands or on appointments. It’s how I pass the time on a treadmill or in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. I have even been known to pull out my Kindle in the checkout line at the grocery store to steal a few extra minutes of reading – edge time as Donalyn Miller refers to it in Reading in the Wild. On my Kindle I read mostly adult fiction or nonfiction (often the book to be discussed with my book group), but sometimes YA fiction as well. I just finished The Circle by Dave Eggers and just started The Real Boy by Anne Urso.
I like to read professional books in print, mostly because I read these types of books with a pencil in my hand and post-its nearby. I can mark up the margins with my own thinking or questions and flag important passages to reread or share. Although I know it is possible to do all of those things on electronic devices, I think marking with a pencil or pen works best for me. Print books are also my go-to choice for picture books and other children’s books I am reviewing. But sometimes I like to read a novel in print, too. There’s just something about the feel of a book and seeing where you are headed that adds to the engagement.
And then there are the books I listen to in my car. Every once in a while I want to read something right away and I have too many other titles started on devices or in print, so I listen. Sometimes I have been disappointed because it is the voice of the narrator that can make it or break it for me, but most often I find it to be a wonderful experience. Yes, there have been times when I have sat in a parking lot or driven around the block a few times because I didn’t want the story to stop. Just this afternoon I said a tearful goodbye to Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. The book was due at the library today, so I took the long way home from an errand this morning just to savor the last bit.
I think it is a bit like using the right fork or the right spoon at a fancy dinner. Not all forms suit all books, you have to find the one that works best. So what book did Allan present me with? The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It is a big book, and heavy, but it feels right.