Paper, Plastic or Kindle?

Choices, choices, choices….


This past week I had the opportunity to travel with my daughter who will soon to be graduating from the University of Wisconsin to visit Portland’s National College of Natural Medicine, NCNM. It’s exciting for me to visit new places, although I’ve been to Portland before, especially when I’m traveling as a means to broaden my view of the world.


The whole idea of my daughter choosing an alternative way to bring health to those she wishes to engage as patients in a healthcare system that currently treats disease, while doing little to promote preventive care, was mind opening on its own. Seeing her move from a state of anxiety over the traditional medical school process to a state of hope and excitement over the concepts behind Classical Chinese medicine, Naturopathy—a modality that aims to treat the causes of disease while evaluating and treating the whole person–as well as incorporating various types body work, was thrilling to see. She, for lack of a better description, literally came alive with energy at the thought that this kind of practice could become her reality.

I’ve got nothing against tradition or the practice of it when it makes sense and is, upon weighing the options, the most helpful, comforting or otherwise the best choice.


I love tradition when it comes to books too.

The scent of books. The feel of old, quality paper. The fact that the author had to take great pride in the lovely presentation of her work. Not to mention one of my secret love, collecting those richly colored, flamboyantly painted, romance covers from the 1980’s. Wow, that just makes me feel good.

1980-01-01 00.00.16

Enter, POWELL’S BOOKS in Portland. Powell’s headquarters, Powell’s City of Books is said to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.

My daughter and I spent the better part of a day in the original store in Portland (there are others in the chain in Portland) and were swept away in the sheer overwhelming allure of books. The scents, the fact that new and old are on the same shelf for perusing and for sale. The energy of the place is fantastic. Everyone in there loves books and by extension, learning. A heady and wonderful thing that.

The mythology section is where I could have spent days, had we had more time. I thumbed, opened, and even purchased a few books there. I was limited by weight. Literal weight, more than cost. I was traveling and didn’t have the space or weight for more than the three paperbacks I purchased.

1980-01-01 00.00.07-5 1980-01-01 00.00.07-6

When I got home I posted this photo on FB of Powell’s Book Store. I got numerous comments, among them were a few about paper books being THE mode for reading; superior to reading on a Kindle, Nook, i-Pad, or any of the other readers available. As an avid lover of books, for the first time this offended me.

I read most often on my i-Pad using the Kindle app. I can carry more than 1000 books at any time on my i-Pad or my Kindle; I have an older Nook that I won in a contest and I don’t know how many books I can store, carry and read on that, but I’m guessing it’s more than 500. With a reader I can increase the font when my eyes get tired. I can download almost any book almost anytime and have it automatically delivered to me. I can bold, underline and take notes. I can also un-bold, un-underline and get rid of my notes.

I can hold and read a wonderful box set of twelve Novellas, each with their own rich covers, without hurting my wrists or having to read at a table because the volume is too big, too unwieldy, nor do I have to worry about the binding breaking as I try to read those middle pages.

2014-11-19 09.38.17

So, as much as I love reading Longfellow in hardcover from a period closer to my parents’ and grandparents’ time than my own, I love reading contemporary fiction on my reader. Less waste. All the benefits of technology which enhances my note-taking and scholarship. The pages never get smeared or torn. I don’t have to store or give away the 3-4 paperbacks I read per week.






I get to enjoy twelve really great stories for .99, something no paperback can do unless it’s old and worn and discounted, years after it’s published, in an effort to get it off the brick and mortar bookstore shelves because they no longer have room to store it.

Tradition can be wonderful and nostalgic and heartwarming. It can also be comfortable because of its familiarity. All good things.


Here’s a story my grandmother used to tell me about her first try at family Christmas dinner as a young bride: She wanted to make ham the traditional way her grandmother did when she was a little girl. Grandma brought out the ham with both ends cut off and put it on the table. Her grandmother asked why she cut the ends off. My grandma said, “because you always cut the ends off.” Her grandmother replied, “That’s because my pan was always too small for the ham.”

My grandma had a big enough pan. She never had to cut the ends off again.

Embracing new and alternative vehicles for enjoying what we love can enhance our lives as well. It’s not an either or, a one is better than the other, it’s a mind-shift that says there is room for both, and each makes life better. Each offers something the other cannot.


If you haven’t embraced e-books and all they have to offer, you have a real treat coming when you do. Being spoiled by choice and affordability is a wonderful thing. I couldn’t enjoy all the box-sets I currently enjoy or the really phenomenal new-to-me-authors I have found without embracing indie authors and e-books.

Here’s to being thankful for new and old, and taking advantage of both. Happy Reading, however you chose to read, and Happy Thanksgiving!


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15 Responses to Paper, Plastic or Kindle?

  1. Joan Reeves says:

    I’ve heard about Powell’s Books and would love to visit that store. Like most readers, I love books. I have shelves at both my homes overflowing with books. But, since buying my Kindle in 2010, I read ebooks most often. I love the selection offered by my Kindle library. With more than a touch of arthritis in my wrists, I find holding a Kindle is infinitely easier than holding a print book.

    Oh, Leigh, btw, your showing last year’s box cover image. This year, there are 12 books in the box set, with my Christmas Romance Nobody’s Cinderella being the new addition.

    Love the post, good luck to your daughter who wants to bring good health in a natural way to people.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jill James says:

    I’ve always been a bookaholic, from the time I started reading at 2 1/2 years old. With an ereader I’ve become even more of one. I’ve discovered amazing writers that I never would have before the ease of self-publishing. And I would never have discovered the ease and fun of being in anthologies with these wonderful ladies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leighmorgan1 says:

      Perfectly put, Jill. Wow, am I in awe. Reading at 1 1/2??? It took me for…ev…er to learn how to read and the journey there was painful :). It certainly is a precious gift now though!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tori Scott says:

    Great post, Leigh! While I have print books I refuse to part with, I’ve mostly gotten rid of my print books and read almost exclusively on my Kindle. I can take it anywhere and if one story doesn’t hold my interest at that moment or isn’t what I’m in the mood for, I can easily switch to another. I got tired of storing so many paperback books, with the inevitable dusting, and donated or gave away all but a few favorites. I can hold the contents of 100 bookshelves on my Kindle, and it never needs dusting!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. leighmorgan1 says:

    Love the way you put that, Tori, “…hold the contents of 100 bookshelves…” on your Kindle and it never needs dusting—that’s perfect! I’ve shed boxes and boxes of books and I still have volumes on my favorite subjects, law, history, philosophy and herbalism, but I’ve gotten rid of most that don’t hold sentimental value to me. My life (and I think my mind) has been much less cluttered since I have. I love reading on my i-Pad with the Kindle app. So much more comfortable, versatile and cost effective. I could give up all but a few hardcover books I truly cherish, but I’ll never part with my reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol says:

    I can’t begin to count the number of books I’ve given away over the years. Like you, I still have huge book shelves packed tight with books I don’t want to part with. I love my Kindle reader! I’m always amazed when I open the reader and find stack and stacks of books waiting to be read. Your trip sounds like it was wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leighmorgan1 says:

      It was wonderful, Carol. And eventful. We got iced in the first day, told we were getting a Smart car when we reserved an economy car that was to seat 5 to accommodate our luggage. There were no Smart cars anywhere on the lot we noticed (through the freezing rain pelting us) on the way out in our more expensive car. Then, when we got to our hotel, we found out they were renovating the entire hotel and working on, you guessed it, the window and the area right below it, for the room we were assigned and they would be there for the duration of our stay. Instead of a bed, they pushed two cots together. Oh yeah, and the whole place reeked of smoke. Yep. That happened. We also got parked in for four hours in a lot across from Powell’s…good thing we like books :)!

      As it ended up, we rented a Chevy Cruz which handled the ice well. We wound up leaving the first hotel and staying at a Hampton Inn where everyone and everything was wonderful, and the car that parked us in? Well, unfortunately for them, they got towed while we went back to Powell’s. We had an adventure, that’s for sure. One which included a spectacular lunch at a place called, MOTHER’S. I’d highly recommend that if you’re out and about in Portland! The wild salmon hash was amazing. Next time I’m skipping the “package” deals and booking on my own. It was sure great to be with my girl and we both learned a lot about the fine art of quick domestic travel :). I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!


  6. susanrhughes says:

    I love that story about the ham!
    I inherited a pile of my grandparents’ old books. Some of them belonged to my grandparents when they were young and others go back a generation. Names and dates are written inside and some also have quotes or well wishes from the gift giver. The oldest one is dated 1888. I love having them. They give me a glimpse into the lives of my ancestors.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. leighmorgan1 says:

    Thanks, Susan! My grandma was quite the character. Her parents owned a bakery in Milwaukee after WWI and during WWII. When cleaning out my father’s house before the funeral, my brother’s threw away my grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s handwritten cookbooks because they had no quantities attached to the ingredients. I cook like that and I can’t tell you how much I wish I had those books. I’m so glad you have yours, Susan! I think that’s great fodder for a story or two. Wishing you a wonderful holiday!


  8. Ali Baran says:

    Great post!

    I’m an avid reader but paper… Give me an ebook, They don’t take up any space and they are inexpensive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leighmorgan1 says:

      Agreed, Ali! I love e-books and as Joan indicated, they are so much easier to read if you have arthritis. It’s all good! Thanks for commenting and have a Wonderful Thanksgiving.


  9. My comment from the other day didn’t stick, so I am going to try and post it again. 🙂


    I was one of the last to get on the ebook/nook/kindle bandwagon, because I really do love the feel of a book in my hand. Then in 2011, my mom and I went to Ireland for 13 days and I realized that I would have to take an entire suitcase of books with me, in order to survive the plane ride and down time on our trip. Since, then I am far more likely to be seen with my kindle, especially since I can get so many great books from my library, through their digital library source. But the books I really love, the ones I know I want to keep and read again, I buy in paperback or even hardcover (when they are on sale). There is something about a book you can hold, that somehow makes it easier to cherish for me 🙂

    It’s pretty great that we are able to get 12 stories, into one file, and share it with so many readers. I have to agree on that point for sure!

    Wishing you daughter well, make sure she brings rain boots if she decides to attend school in Portland! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. leighmorgan1 says:

    Thanks, Kelly! I will tell her about the boots :).


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