There are a lot of cool perks that go along with my job. I visit interesting cities, meet wonderful people, fly one of the world's most sophisticated aircraft, and have an incredible view of our beautiful country. I also spend three to four nights a week in hotels getting to do whatever I want for 13-18 hours. I rarely turn on the television in my room, but I do spend a lot of time reading. I very much enjoy reading.
My wife is a librarian in an intermediate school. She serves as the president of the city library board in the town where we live, gives lectures, does workshops at regional and state library and teaching conferences, and she is sought after to assist in the design and opening of new libraries. Because of her connections, she has access to literally millions of books which she can "borrow" for me to read (I don't have a library card). If our local library doesn't have a book that I want, she can find it anywhere in the state and have it brought in. With all of this convenience, not to mention money savings, I still tend to purchase books. I just can't seem to wait; I want them now, even if I won't read them any time soon. This practice kinda unnerves my wife because being a librarian, it is engrained into her psyche that it is better to borrow than buy when it comes to books.
USA Today and Forbes cost me a fortune each year because as I travel, I read their book excerpts and reviews and then decide that I "must have" the book that has been written about. Many of the airports that Southwest serves have wonderful bookstores located in them. Additionally, some of our overnight hotels are located next to malls that have new and used bookstores, so it is easy for me to see something that peaks my interest and buy it while I am out flying. We have even added a library to our home, replete with a rolling ladder to access the numerous volumes of books that we own. Many of our books have been personalized by the author or illustrator. Most of the books I have read contain pages flagged where I have highlighted a quote, phrase or note that I found interesting and want to be able to go back and enjoy at some future date.
I have read that Bill Gates (what a genius he is!!) is a big proponent of electronic books. I'm not sure that would be a medium that I would use. (Sorry, Mr. Gates, but when you finish reading this blog, give me a call, as I would very much enjoy meeting you.) I think that electronic and borrowed library books fall into the same mind-set with me. I can't make notes in them, send them to the author to be autographed, or add them to our library to go back and reread or loan to a friend or relative. Suffice it to say that I think the retail book industry will keep getting part of my paycheck every month for the forseeable future.