read some “real” books too

A couple of weeks back when I started reading Siddhartha (it was a new paperback that I gifted myself for accomplishing a milestone), I couldn’t help but admire the beauty of the book. 

It seemed fresh out of the printing press. The pages were crisp and new, and for a few good seconds, I was just basking in its beauty and enjoying the smell of a new book. I was feeling the cover and enjoying the soothing feeling that the book gave me as I started reading the first few pages of it. This feeling of touch, this smell, this satisfaction, this comfort of having a book in hand, the coziness of curling up and reading a book at your home, the wonderful experience of hygge — it’s priceless. And that’s why the joy of cracking open a new physical book (or even an old one with its own distinguished smell) and getting absorbed in it can never be replaced. In a way, it’s more human and real to have a book in your hand, and feel the pages as you turn them while reading. 

Yes, eBooks are awesome, and digital reading and listening are amazing. They are greatly convenient and easy to travel with. But if we want to escape the world and immerse fully in the book without any interruptions and distractions, then reading a physical book is the way to go. Real books provide a kind of meditative experience that relaxes and rejuvenates us as we gain new information or knowledge.

I would urge you to not only consume eBooks and audiobooks, but also spend some quality time with real books. Along with your digital libraries, also build and maintain a physical library at your home and/or workplace.

It doesn’t matter whether you get a book from a local bookstore, at the airport or order via Amazon, get some books in your home. The sight of your bookshelf having titles that “spark joy” in you will soothe you in your day-to-day life. Try classics, try new books, try books from your favorite authors and thought leaders, get hold of them. I’m confident that your life will become more beautiful when you surround yourself with real books and savor them on a regular basis. Plus, you’ll also be able to cut down your screen time and give your eyes a rest and a retreat.