I do not accept reading tips from strangers, especially from indecisive men whose shirt collars are a dramatically different color from the main portion of the garment. I am particularly averse to being lent or given books by people I may like personally but whose taste in literature I have reason to suspect, and perhaps even fear.
People who need to possess the physical copy of a book, not merely an electronic version, believe that the objects themselves are sacred. Some people may find this attitude baffling, arguing that books are merely objects that take up space. This is true, but so are Prague and your kids and the Sistine Chapel. Think it through, bozos.
Certain things are perfect the way they are. The sky, the Pacific Ocean, procreation and the Goldberg Variations all fit this bill, and so do books. Books are sublimely visceral, emotionally evocative objects that constitute a perfect delivery system.
Winston Churchill supposedly read a book every day of his life, even while he was saving Western Civilization from the Nazis. This is quite an accomplishment, because by some accounts Winston Churchill spent all of World War II completely hammered.
Once in a while, I find myself in possession of a book that I know nothing about, as was the case with The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. I threw this book onto my Amazon wish list after reading an interview, with whom, I dont remember, and before I knew it, received it as a gift. Generally, when I posses a book I’m unfamiliar with, it sits on my shelf or in my constantly expanding “to read” pile on my desk, collecting dust or 1/4 read, but this book, for some reason or another, I jumped right into.
Much is to be gained by e-books: ease, convenience, portability, but something is definitely lost: tradition, a sensual experience, the comfort of thingy-ness, a little bit of humanity.