Why I still love actual paper books

I want to be absorbed by a book in a way that actual page-turning, not pixel-moving finger flips, allows

Cumbersome, often heavy, sometimes falling apart, and yet...
(Image credit: Phanie / Alamy Stock Photo)

I recently found myself laying hands on every book that I own as my husband and I readied to move from one Brooklyn apartment to another. The books occupied a metal baker's rack in our living room: five shelves of paperbacks and hardcovers, each filled several rows deep and bookended by, well, more books arranged in tall stacks with enough heft to prevent a catastrophic slide.

Though it slowed my packing, I insisted on cataloging each book, carefully typing the titles — 407 total, as it turned out — before putting them into numbered boxes. The size and layout of our new apartment made taking the metal rack an impracticality. So the books were all heading temporarily to the basement of my parents' Massachusetts home. Over the years the space has come to resemble the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. What if my precious book boxes were lost amid their anonymous brethren? A record was needed.

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