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Currently Browsing: Books

My Relationship with Books

I have always found it facinating the books that people read. Walking into a co-workers office and admiring their collection of paper based knowledge, always curious what I was missing out on. I have always found it hard to find the time to read everything I want. I sometimes find I have more books than an ability to read them. I have bought books that for years have sat lonely on my shelf, waiting for that right time to crack them open. In one case, a friend mentioned a book I should ready. I returned home, hopped onto Amazon only to find Amazon telling my that I had already bought that book (ten years earlier), at that moment, I rose from my chair and walked straight to where that book was on my shelf. For me books are like a form of delayed experience, a reference when I need it. It is rare for me to read fiction, I mostly find myself reading non-fiction but on occasion I might indulge in some form of exceptional science fiction. Usually though its either something to help improve a skill, myself, or my ability to think. I know books make some people more interesting. In some cases a lifetime of books is the assembled knowledge and hours upon hours of dedicated reading. I even got a book on how to read a book, which at the time felt like an oxymoron as if you did not know how to read a book, how would you read a book on that topic? I bought the audiobook. I actually listen to many audiobooks. I have indulged my one other passion for historical biographies of prominent people. Audiobooks enable me to capitalize on the drive time to and from the office. I find that I feel more productive than from listening to music or talking on the phone. I feel like I am pushing forward and making a difference. When I read a story like Bill Gates sitting on the steps outside a class he was missing reading books. I wonder what those books were. I wondered enough that I emailed him. I got a response from his people, mostly they directed me from his foundation to his blog. On his blog they had a reading list, but this was books that were currently recommended. I still have not figured out the answer to my original question. Perhaps someday. Sometimes I find books that other people find amazing — just don’t speak to me. Other times I recommend books to people who I think would greatly enjoy something only to find they could not get into the book. I tend to annoy friends and family when they ask me how to do something and I recommend one or many books to read. Typically they never follow through and often just wanted an answer not a solution. It has occurred to me that books are mostly going away, being replaced with digital formats. Will there come a time that traditional books no longer exist, only their digital forms? Will our grandchildren even remember books? In the same way that we may not remember 8-track tapes, or how our children do not remember pay phones? Some people have their bookshelves reflect who they are as a person, each book having personal meaning. Others collect books almost as a hobby. For me my books represent the things I know and often many things I have forgotten. Some I remember only the decision to buy the book, others I intend to read (hoping the information is still relevant later), still others I find having a special place both as I bonded with the book somewhere in my history and remember fondly the experience of participating with the words on the page.

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