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I posted this on Facebook today, in response to a link I clicked on in there. It turned out way longer than I'd anticipated! This would have been the better venue, so--why not?

"Aristotle regarded touch as the most elementary sense. It is how we begin to make our way in the world, to map it, measure it, and make sense of it...Touch is a form of redundancy, enfolding more sensory information into what we see and therefore what we read. It makes the words on the page richer in meaning and more multidimensional. It gives words a geometry." (Out of Touch by Andrew Piper)

Most of the article read like an old dog trying to convince other dogs not to learn a new trick. The arguments were valid, but arguable. This, however, resounded with me. I am not OPPOSED to ereaders. I do see their worth, their convenience, their cool factor, even their environmental friendliness. But, in the same way I have the privilege of being a full-time writer/editor, I have the privilege of not only preferring books, but the living space that allows me to indulge in this preference. The unique smell of pages and ink that brings me instantly back to childhood, a tree, and a library book. The feel of the pages between my fingers, the sift of pages turning, so many senses engaged all at once--not even the awkardness of holding open a George Martin tome detracts from the gorgeous heft of it on your lap--comforting as a cat.

For me, reading is more than just words on a page. It's an experience I...honor, I suppose would be the right word. My kids will scoff. But I also have the privilege of cronehood, so I can call myself eccentric and they have to leave me alone. I know the truth of the matter, eh?

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You will rarely see a review on my LJ. It's not that there aren't many books that inspire them; I simply don't have time to write about every book I love. Once in a while, though, a book comes along that goes past inspiring and on to staggering.

Plain Kate, by Erin Bow. Indeed and absolutely staggering. The rhythm to her words beg to be read aloud, and when I first started it, my only thought was that I have to read it to William (grandson-to-be) one day. This rhythm lightens the grittiness and grief of the story--at first. But then the love and grief twists tighter and tighter into a dark-dark thing, and the rhythm enhances rather than lightens. It makes every sorrow deeper, the haunting fog thicker, it makes the courage in each character beautiful.

Everyone gains, everyone loses. Something. That is all the spoilery you'll get here. It goes on my shelf reserved for books I will read over and over again--and to William one day, when it will break his heart and lift it the way it did mine.


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