Half-way through Lily King’s “Eurphoria” I paused, put a bookmark in my place, closed the book, and held the book in both hands. The book cover has a soft feel to it, almost like worn leather. It is a slim book, easy to wrap your palms around. I opened the book back up and went to the Acknowledgments section in the back. In the second to last paragraph, Lily thanks the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, where she finished her final edits.
When I finished “Euphoria”, I closed the book and held it again in both hands. I could feel the characters, places and events alive within the covers. I could sense Lily’s triumph at having created this beautiful novel. I was anxious to pass the book along to my sister.
A couple of days ago I was on my way back to my car in the Hannaford parking lot when I spotted a friend of mine across the way. She had a cart full of kids so she couldn’t stop to chat, but she shouted out, “You have to read “All the Light We Cannot See””. I picked it up from the bookstore that afternoon.
The cover of the book shimmers. I opened up the front cover to read the inside of the dust jacket. The summary states that “All the Light We Cannot See” was ten years in the making. I immediately went to the author bio on the back side of the dust jacket and read that the author, Anthony Doerr, lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife and two sons.
I called a friend of mine in Boise. Turns out her and her family are very close to “Tony” and his family. She absolutely loves his book. When I picked up the book again, I thought about my friend in Boise. I also thought about what it would feel like to hold this book after spending a decade working on it.
I experience a book more deeply when I am holding the pages in my hands as opposed to reading digital words on a device. I remember where particular sentences are on the page. I like to know that the words will always be there, in the same place, if I choose to go back to them. When I finish a book, I always close it and hold it in both hands. I enjoy passing along books that I like.
I worked in the technology industry for years and I appreciate the place that e-readers have in our society. I also believe that sometimes it just feels good to hold a book.