I love books. Physical, forest killing, paper books. I love the weight of them. I love the smell of them. I love the journey that a bookmark makes from beginning to end. Turning the final page is an act that I perform with funereal reverence. I am proud to carry a library card and will continue do so until the day I die.
It began in 1992. I was six years old, and a new line of dinosaur toys was hitting the shelves. I asked my grandpa how to pronounce the name written across Sandy Collora's ingenious black and red logo. He did his best, marking the first time my ears heard the words Jurassic Park spoken aloud. Not long after that fateful trip to K-Mart (I chose the Velociraptor and Pteranodon figures), I saw the movie trailer. When I collected the shattered pieces of my blown mind, I went on a campaign to collect every piece of JP merchandise available, including one intimidatingly thick novel.
Concerned that Crichton's bestseller might be a bit much for a seven year old to tackle, my mom chose to lend a hand. Over the course of the summer of 1993, she patiently read the entire novel to me like it was one long, twisted bedtime story. I'll never forget her narration, putting me in the middle of the raft with Alan, Lex and Tim as the T. rex chased them through the lagoon. This was my introduction to the power of a good book, and I discovered the uncanny way an author can transport us anywhere we want to go, and the places we would never dare to visit.
The benefits of e-books are many, and I will not rally against them. In fact, I have e-publishing well in mind as I write my current novel. E-books are fine, and they're not going anywhere, but they're not for me. I will always be glad to pay a few extra bucks to get my hands on a real paperback, to be cherished until the pages turn brittle and yellow with age. I also read to my children every day, never underestimating their imagination, and never from an electronic device. Someday soon, I'll even take them to Jurassic Park, where my mom and I spent the summer of '93.