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If given the choice of books or the internet I would choose books with no hesitation. (No, kindle or e-books aren't books.) The internet could be taken away and I'd barely feel it compared to no books, which I liken to being in prison.

My father used to give us books for Christmas and I probably groaned and tried to hide the disappointment although my sister may have welcomed them gladly.

I pity those who don't read books, who don't even know what they're missing, who don't know the joy of lying back in bed, couch, or hammock absorbed in a good tale. Of all the art forms I respect novelists the most (movie directors probably a close second) as they can make me feel emotions about something which didn't even happen a hundred years ago, or whenever the setting is.

Most of my peers read almost exclusively non-fiction and I probably should pity them too, although they learn more than I do with my escapist novels--as long as I have a good book to read I'm not bored. Once a non-reader (she watched the same Youtube music video 1000 times) told me I need to get out there and live life instead of holing up with a good book and she has a point.

When my father died my sister wanted me to box up his books and ship them west. It was many boxes as he had been a well-read English professor and they moldered away in a falling-apart shed for years until they were moved into a cluttered back room. Last month the room was finally cleared out, twenty-two years after his death, and I volunteered to haul to the dump the final load of hoarded stuff to make way for a bathroom project. Included were the last bags of books, musty and abused by bugs and rodents.

“You can have any of these,” my sister said as I loaded them into my bulging truck. “I took one.” 

I declined.

At the dump I threw out everything, including the last bags of books but I did grab one random one just as my sister had done and it's still rattling around in the truck cab although I don't remember the title.

(A week after writing the essay above I went out to the truck to see what the name of the book was to complete this narrative and found that it was a compilation of golf stories from the magazine “Golf Digest” called Fun In The Rough. As I looked in the table of contents I was surprised to find my father's name as author of one of the stories, a humorous imagining of golf's origins centuries ago. Of the hundreds of his books we tossed, the one I saved was the only one which mattered.) 


  1. Dave Smith May 23, 2022

    Kindle books are not books you say? They look like books, and read like books, and sound like books….yeah, they ARE books.

    • paul modic May 27, 2022

      Oh, I thought a kindle book was read off of a screen, I must be mistaken as I’ve never seen one…

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