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Are you hooked on books? Do you feel better with a book in hand?

By Jim Whalen

Rowan Public Library

As a library user, do you also buy books? Do you prefer a used book at a bargain? Do you enjoy browsing a book store for the latest?

What is it about a book that keeps you reading them? Is it the cover art, the smell of the paper or looking at the pages and waiting for the adventure to begin?

Is it the same with an e-reader?

Let’s look at opening a book. You can surround yourself with the book, examine all the pages, take it in.

Physically having the book makes ownership more real to some readers. You can mark, highlight or underline your own property. E-book reading can feel somewhat disconnected to the habitual pen-in-hand reader.

Collecting books and not reading them is what the Japanese call tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.

Author and scholar Umberto Eco’s personal library housed a staggering 30,000 books.

When Eco’s visitors saw his collection, many would marvel at the size of his library and assumed it represented the host’s knowledge. Eco’s library wasn’t large because he had read so much. It was large because he desired to read so much.

Eco found he could only read about 25,200 books if he read one book a day, every day, between the ages of 10 and 80. An impossible feat, but a worthy goal.

Next time you eyeball the pile of books on your nightstand, remind yourself you are practicing tsundoku.

Piedmont Players: June 25, 2 p.m., South; June 26, 2 p.m., East; June 27, 10 a.m., Cleveland; June 27, 2 p.m., headquarters. Piedmont Players once again bring the theatre to the library with their annual performance. This is a School Age Summer Reading program designed for rising first- through fifth-graders, though all ages are welcome. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. Program lasts 45-60 minutes. For more details, call 704-216-8234.

Sweets Wars: June 24, 3:30 p.m., South; June 25, 3:30 p.m., headquarters; June 27, 3:30 p.m., East. Create your own space-themed cupcakes, and make the universe as delicious as you want. This is a Teen Summer Reading Program, designed for rising sixth- through 12th-graders. Program lasts 90 minutes. For more details, call 704-216-8229.

“Mary Poppins Returns”: June 24, 5:30 p.m., East; June 25, 6:30 p.m., headquarters; June 29, 10 a.m., South. Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks’ family through a difficult time. This film (2018, 130 minutes, PG) is part of the Summer Reading Film Series. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more details, contact your nearest branch.

Book Bites Book Club: June 25, 6 p.m., South. Refreshments will be served, and new members are welcome. Contact Paulette at Paulette.Stiles@rowancountync.gov for details about this month’s selection.

Displays: Headquarters, Photowalk and RPL Summer Reading, Universe of Stories; East, homemade soap by Rachel Mowry; South, Universe of Stories by Stephanie Reister.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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