off the shelf: Re-reading Emma

The “boy” recently upgraded my Nook from an old Color to a lovely (and super light) Glowlight. That said, I have a habit of downloading ebooks and never getting around to reading them (bad TBR habits also translate to digital), so I told myself to start using it or else!

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But which book to read first? The struggle is real (booknerds know what I mean). After some thought, I picked Jane Austen’s Emma. It’s been well over 10 years since I first read Emma and, of all the Austens, it’s only one of two that I’ve never reread (the other being Mansfield Park).

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Credit: A solitary elegance, C.E. Brock illustrations

I’d forgotten what a delight it is to read, with all Emma’s schemes and misconceptions. It’s such a modern story. Emma’s views on life and love (and her meddling) can be applied to any modern romcom situation and still be relevant 200 years later. There’s also something to be said for revisiting a classic after so long—my own perception of the story has changed, making for a much more pleasurable experience. Emma is a silly book, but it’s also a deep one, filled with plots and ironies. I’m enjoying it in a way that differs greatly from my enjoyment of Pride and Prejudice, or even Persuasion (my favorite).

 

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librarian pet peeves

E-books are books. They are not like books. They are not almost books. They are books. The digital format is their container, just as paperback and hardcover formats are containers. Some books are born digital, some are published in multiple formats and include digital options. They are still books, whether reference books, textbooks, fiction, or picture books. It’s just a publishing format. Authors do not like it if you say their e-books are not
“Real” books and librarians whose libraries have e-content licensing agreements to offer ebooks don’t like it either.

Format preference is a personal matter. I prefer to read certain materials digitally, but will buy a hard copy of others. Whether you prefer to read on a laptop, tablet, e-reader, or hold a hard copy is irrelevant. This is a matter of preference and content availability (and cost). Doesn’t mean that the book on your laptop is any less real than the one in your hand.

End library rant.