An advertisement for Amazon’s “Kindle” e-book reader has me contemplating e-books again. I go through stages where I almost like the notion of reading via screen, keyboard and fiber cable, but then I come back to my love of printed covers and textured pages, and the fact that even the most expensive e-book reader isn’t designed for use while soaking in a tub.

(Not that conventional books are either, really.)

Somehow, I can never immerse myself into an e-book the way I can with paperbacks or hardcovers. It’s not the physical presence, as there is something to hold in either case. I think it has to do with the way we read computer text, not blinking fully and staring at certain parts of the page, being different from the way we read text on paper.

Or it could just be that I like the smell of paper, and the smell of a book should be associated with that papery scent. Dusty, dry, crisp, ancient, magical paper.

Sailing through the Pages of Fiction

At the dinner-party we attended earlier this evening there was some talk of cruises, and specifically Alaskan ones. We all agreed that a cruise of the Inside Passage would be fabulous.

On the way home, singing Christmas carols with Fuzzy, I thought about the collection of books I have that involve cruise ships. Most, of course, are related to the Titanic:
Something’s Alive on the Titanic, by Robert J. Serling
Ghosts I Have Been, by Richard Peck
Her Name: Titanic, by Charles R. Pellegrino
Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan, by Morgan Robertson
Raise the Titanic, by Clive Cussler

If it seems like I have an unhealthy obsession with that ship…I have no answer. I don’t really. I’m fascinated by all cruise ships because they are self-contained microcosms – floating cities, with all the services one might need – and both connected and disconnected from reality at once.

I don’t think I’d want to work on such a ship, though I do love reading about them (they’re the perfect setting for mysteries), but that Alaskan cruise is calling my name ever louder.