7 Days without Paper: Day 4

Books Shouldn’t Need Umbrellas! 


Planning to read on my lunch break, I headed out to the porch with my iPad. After a quick stop at Twitter (I’m easy sidetracked), I began Chapter Two of Wild. And then I stopped. See, it started raining … hard. So hard, it was blowing onto my porch. I’m okay with getting wet, but something tells memy iPad is a little more finicky.


This wouldn’t have happened with a paper book, because I don’t really care if my paper books get beat up — after all, that’s just proof that I’ve read them. If a book of mine sits out in the rain or gets dropped in the bathtub, then oh well. It dries, it smells musty, and I read it anyway. But I can’t take those kind of chances with an expensive ereader.


I’m allowed to HOLD a paper book. I’m not not allowed to READ one.


Is this a big deal? Not really. The majority of my reading happens sans moisture. The point is, it happened today. And it will happen again, because you have to be careful with technology in a way you don’t have to be with paper. So, no ereaders when it’s raining. Or behind the counter at work (there’s a lot of spillage when you work in beverages). Or on a camping trip (I never go camping, but, you know, in case I wanted to start). Or at an outdoor festival. Or at the beach (I guess that’s why those happy, braggy Kindle people in the commercials stay poolside and far away from sand).


There’s a magic to reading that always gets me, whether it’s on paper or on a screen, on my porch or on my couch. But there’s something extra special about reading in a rainstorm, about watching the raindrops fall and listening to the thunder, feeling the mist and smelling the earth and the water. And I guess I’m a little bitter that I missed that today.


Carrie Rollwagen is co-owner and book buyer at Church Street Coffee & Books.

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