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For the first time in a while my to-reads are paper books instead of ebooks. I know all the reasons I should not buy hard copies but I cannot resist them; they are part of the thing I love about books in the first place. I'm emotionally involved from the beginning when I read paper and page-turning noise is one of the greatest things on the planet.

Empathy Exams is a reread for me (highly recommended! to everyone! even people who say they aren't readers!) and I picked up Undermajordomo Minor at this year's Winnipeg Writer's Festival during Patrick DeWitt's reading.

Empathy Exams is a reread for me (highly recommended! to everyone! even people who say they aren't readers!) and I picked up Undermajordomo Minor at this year's Winnipeg Writer's Festival during Patrick DeWitt's reading.

A few years ago buying ebooks was a line I hadn't crossed. I took them out from the library all the time--and still do! I could never afford to buy every book I want to read so the library is my savior. The greatest thing about the library ebook system is that the books are guaranteed not to smell like someone's cigarette smoke, nor will they infect you with bird flu. You don't have to make a trip to the library, even! We are all Jetsons. 

My library's ebook list is heavy on series romance and thrillers and so most of what I want to read isn't available for checkout or the queue is astronomically long. And then I wonder--am I going to want to read this ever again? Is the cover glorious? Is the ebook magically on sale just when you've decided you want to read it? Is there a good reason for buying paper for this one? And depending on the phase of the moon and several other mitigating factors, I choose electronic or paper. And then I forget about the paper books and wind up reading what I've downloaded because it's in my face.

Tonight I said hell no to all of that and brought out two paper books so that I can channel that page-turning noise and that paper smell and the feeling of my hands touching something that contains no electronics. I don't think I ever wrote here about being a kid and going to the old Victorian house in my hometown that housed the library until the mid-eighties, where I sat in a window-seat and read a copy of Dracula that was older than my mother and therefore practically an antique in my mind. There's not much to say other than that; sometimes it rained, sometimes not, and the floorboards creaked loudly the way an old Victorian's floorboards should. But I could concentrate, man, like you would not believe. I disappeared into that book and all the others that I read there. I'm having a harder and harder time doing that these days. I'm considering the paper an investment in that old kind of magic. Here goes.