My Story, Yours Too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Best of 2012, My Favorite Non-Humorous Post

Proof that Books are Eternal 

originally posted on 1/16/12

Some fear that the e-book will ultimately mark the demise of the actual, tangible, hard or soft covered book. 

As a social worker, I’ve been touched by many clients. One special lady proves the book will never go extinct…

Not long ago, I ran into a young woman I used to work with. This lady has struggled with significant mental health issues and cognitive impairment. As a toddler, she witnessed horrendous violence in her home, and she remembers the graphic details.  Yet she is one of the sweetest, most innocent people I’ve ever known – always doing favors for others, readily offering hugs, and trying to assure that everyone she knows is doing alright.

The woman earns very little money but spends what she has on books. Sure enough, when I saw her, she was holding a book. She studied it page by page, took a red pen to the words – circling select letters, underlining words and sentences, perusing each page carefully and then dog-earring it before moving onto the next. She did this for an extended period of time and with a grin across her face.

This might seem a common scenario. It’s not. What’s so striking in this case is that the young lady cannot read at all. She can’t identify letters, write her name or recite any of the alphabet. Her cognitive challenges are such that there is no way she’s learned these skills in the time since I’ve worked with her.
Yet she clearly felt important, competent and special - enjoying the feel of a book in her hands, studying the words and letters, and adding bright red ink to the pages. If this is not proof that books are eternal, nothing is!


  1. I love this post because it is very very interesting.Thanks you very much for shearing this article

  2. I'm new to your blog so this is new to me. I certainly hope the bound book doesn't die. It would seem as if so much of my life died with it.

    I was born in Cork, Ireland and we were all poor, but we were highly literate. For us, the literary tradition is so very important. Without our writers we would never have survived 750 years of British occupation and without them we would never have become a free country.

    It was not an e-book that my gran handed me when I was but a wee child and it was not an e-book I handed by daughter. And it won't be an e-book I'll be handing to my grandchildren either. It will be a hard bound book with all the tradition and history that goes with it.

  3. I remember that one. How is the young woman? Making progress, I hope.

  4. This was still touching to read the second time around. Anne's heartfelt comment was an added bonus. Julie

  5. That's beautiful, Robyn! And yes, I remember this post.

  6. I remember too and yeah I hope they don't die out, doubt they will too.

  7. MsA, it doesn't seem like I posted it almost a year ago, but I did.

    Jual, thank you and I appreciate your visit.

    Anne, those are powerful words. I appreciate your message. Yes. I didn't publish my book in e-book form. Nice thing is, nobody at all has requested it for their Kindle. They say you have to do that nowadays, but I'm resisting. As a new author, I want to sign my book, too! You can't inscribe a real signature onto an ebook.

    GB, I know the holidays are especially tough for her. Hopefully, she's doing okay.

    Empty, I agree. It's wonderful to have Anne's perspective added to the sentiment.

    Alex, thank you, Alex.

    PatHatt, as long as we keep producing actual books, they won't die. I believe they won't.

    Thanks, all.
    Happy reading.

  8. Does that mean that the bible will eventually be an ebook and that priests and ministers will read from Kindles and Nooks?

  9. A post that is certainly worthy of a second read. Thanks for sharing it again.

  10. I remember this post Robyn and definitely agree with it too, the paperback book will never die despite this digital era and I honestly am more than happy with that, audiobooks and Kindles just don't do it for me.

  11. Wonderful post. My young son spends his own money on print books rather than electronic entertainment. Our home has more books than will fit neatly on the shelves, but we still buy more. Books will always be precious to me and my family.

  12. With my personal library always expanding, I will never let the book die. They'd have to kill me first. what an inspiring young woman. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. wow, what a beautiful recognition of the power of books. I also believe they are eternal.

  14. I love this. There is nothing like holding a book in your hands. Even though she couldn't read, she found the beauty in those words...simply beautiful!
    Blessings, Joanne

  15. Robyn, I have not touched you...yet--although I'm not technically a client--wink, far as E-readers doing away with books- That was like the Computer doing away with paper, calendar's and such.

    Your book is definitely proof- because...


    LOVE ya MEAN it!

    John Boy

    PS: Got my Boxers....thnx for washing them!

  16. No, PTM, it means the opposite. Thou shalt never electronify the Holy Book. (It's the 11th commandment).

    Thanks, Stephen.

    YW, of course, I agree. Thanks.

    Teri, thanks so much. There's nothing like a book in hand.

    Melly, thank goodness so many of us feel this way.

    KW, you're very welcome. It means a lot that you've stopped by.

    Lynda, another believer - thank you!

    Joanne, it is. I loved watching her with a book in her hands.

    John, well, they did need watching and drying. Wink, wink. And even if I were more tech savvy, I'd still need real books.


  17. PS John, I meant washing, but I also watched them for you. xo

  18. Robyn, Just wanted you to know that I got your lovely book, and can't wait to read it! Julie

  19. I love all of my books. I can't bring myself to get rid of them. Most are still in impeccable condition, a few are falling apart, yellow, tethered pages. But I love them just the same.

  20. 'As a social worker, I’ve been touched by many clients.' - I hope at least they were gentle. ;)

    Sorry to be so silly - it's a beautiful story and you're a beautiful human being.

  21. I remember this one. Such a touching story, and it just goes to show why books will never go out of style.