It was a gray and rainy this morning.  And during the rush of getting lunches packed and kids off to school, I looked ahead to when I got back home from dropping the kids off at school.  What I wanted to do was curl up on the couch, under a blanket, and read a book while the rain pitter pattered on the roof.  That is an urge I get when it rains; to be cozy and read.  But the scenario includes a real book, with paper.  I like holding a real book in my hands, using a bookmark and placing it back on a shelf where I can see the binding.  Or just having it sit on my lap or holding it, tucked up to my chest.  What is it about a real book that I like so much?  Now, I have read books on my iPad mini and was surprised at how much I actually like that experience.  It really is the perfect size for reading.  But I can’t imagine reading the Harry Potter series on it, for instance.   I can’t imagine not having those 7 books on a shelf in my office.  And perhaps it is stories that I deeply love that I like in book form.  I could read a bunch of mediocre stuff on my iPad.  But if I came across something I loved, I feel like I would want to buy the real book and have it on my shelf.  Why is that?  Why do I have book nostalgia?  This has led me to wonder if current and future generations will have that feeling about real books?  And does it matter if they don’t?  Does it matter how you feed your brain information?  Does the means of sparking imagination matter?  I can argue both sides, I guess.  But only because of my nostalgia.  The information is the same, whether you read something on a device or in a paper book.  The personal interaction is the same.  Sitting with my children and reading the Harry Potter series is still quality time, a bonding experience, regardless of what I am reading it on or out of.  The discussions about what we just read are the same.  The memories of spending a whole summer reading them together, of being so excited to see what happens next that we sat for hours in our family room, taking bathroom and eating breaks to press on and see how it ends.  The emotional experiences brought on by the contents of a book are the same, no matter what its form.  And there are benefits to having books on a device.  I remember my sister carrying her book bag in high school and having back problems because it was so heavy.  College would have been a lot easier had I not had to lug all those books across campus.  You would never forget a certain text book, they would all be on one device.  Just don’t lose your device!  Environmentally speaking, less paper books means less trees being cut down.  Taking books on a trip is more convenient if you just have to slip your iPad mini into your purse.  Or if you are reading on your iPhone, you have that with you all the time already!  Ultimately, I don’t think there is much difference between reading a real book on a device or on paper.  I hear people complaining about the decrease in personal interactions because of technology.  I think that instead of it being a hinderance, technology can be used to enhance your personal interactions.  I don’t want to replace my human contact with devices, at least not the human contact that matters the most.  Let’s face it, the human interaction I’m getting at the store isn’t that great anyway.  But that’s beside the point.  The point is, that the human interaction that matters most will always be there.  The most important experiences in life are the ones you have with the people that matter most to you.  And no technology will ever change that.