My parents maintained a small but varied library in my childhood home, ranging from Dr. Seuss to Pearl S. Buck to George Orwell. A natural night-owl, I was like so many other kids of that generation: equipped with a flashlight, I secretly read when I was supposed to be sleeping. To this day, when sleep is elusive I will pour a cup of tea and reach for a favorite book, while Sadie curls up at my side.
I have a fair collection of titles in my current home, and as my husband is also a reader between us the collection is eclectic and substantial. The real estate required to house the books, however, is discouraging, and as the resale value for all but the rarest quite low I’ve been hesitant to purchase anything new.
The library is an alternative, but there is a disadvantage in that I must return the item after a period of time and therefore lose the benefits of book ownership in that six months after first reading I don’t have the title within reach when on a whim I may wish to peruse a favorite passage.
So I have been exceedingly pleased with the ability of my iPhone to store data and, more recently, in the growing number of ebooks now available – often at little or no cost – through the App Store. I have already loaded the complete works of Shakespeare, and The Prophet. This morning I had the good fortune of stumbling upon Mary Shelley’s gorgeous novel Frankenstein, which was free and downloaded very quickly.