Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fried Bologna and a Good Book

Today, I visited the Gerst Haus in Evansville, Indiana to enjoy one of their wonderfully delicious fried Bologna sandwiches.  It is a great German restaurant and the bologna sandwiches are one of their loyal customers’ favorite menu items.  Thick cut.  Fried.  Pepper Jack cheese.  Grilled onions.  German mustard.  And, a side of German fries.  Great stuff!
Check it out at this link:

Often when I eat lunch alone, I am accompanied by a book.  It could be anything from the Bible to a Dean Koontz adventure; from Baldacci’s intrigue to something on Civil War history.  Today, it was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  When the waitress arrived to take my order, she excitedly told me how fantastic it was that I was reading that book!  Later, after I’d completed my sandwich and was paying the bill, she told me to enjoy the book, and that she was glad it was a real book and not “one of those Kindles.”

I really enjoy a good book.  I especially enjoy fiction.  Even more, I enjoy it with a hint of horror, fantasy, or science fiction.  Thus, I am especially fond of Dean Koontz…he is my guilty pleasure/vacation writer…the guy I turn to when I want to escape on an adventure that will both carry me someplace exciting, and make me laugh while scaring me to death.  That said, I often push myself to indulge in other genres as well, and try to mix it up with spiritually enriching works, classic literature, and various studies of history.  In an average year, I’ll read 12 to 15 books of various types.  I don’t set any reading records, but I think that is pretty good.

So, what about those Kindles?

My wife got me one for Christmas.  So far, I’ve read two books on it: Norma Jean’s Sun by Kris Courtney and Running Blind (Jack Reacher #4) by Lee Child.  (You can find them both on Amazon, and while they are very different, they are good reading.)  I like that Kindle thing.  It is light.  It is convenient.  The books are generally less expensive than buying paper versions.  It is easy to carry from place to place.  And, it is easy to use.  I will continue to use it, no doubt.

But, I have to say…there is just something about the real thing!

I like books.  Real books.  Books with paper and ink.  Books with pages that you have to turn.  Pages you can dog-ear.  Pages you have to mark.  Lines you can highlight.  Words you can underline.  I like the feel of them in my hands.  I like the smell of them as I strum the pages.  I like the look of them as they collect on my shelves.

If my wife and I are out and about, one of the most financially dangerous places for us to go is Barnes and Noble.  Books stores to us are like candy stores for kids or crack houses for addicts.  Well, that last example might be a bit over the top, but you get the point.

While my wife reads nearly as much as I do…or maybe sometimes more…, she doesn’t seem to feel an attachment to the actual tangible book after the story is over.  She reads it and she’s done with it.  The Kindle is her ideal tool.  For me, I’m also a collector.  If I particularly liked a book, I want to keep it.  If it is a classic, I want to keep it.  If it is in a series that I’m enjoying, it stays around.  If it is by Dean Koontz, it goes into the collection.  I may never read any of them twice, but I like to see what I’ve accomplished.  I guess it makes me feel smart.

I think my ideal house would have a huge library like you see in the old movies with volumes and volumes of books of all types and sizes; some that you can only reach by climbing on one of those wheeled ladders.

So despite how good that little Kindle is, I will never completely part with my paper versions.  I will have to feed my book addiction, and the Kindle placebo just will not cut the yearning for the real thing.  My drug of choice is a good story contained in a paper container.

So…if you happen to wander into El Rodeo on Franklin Road, or any other restaurant that I might frequent, and you see me perusing a book as I nibble on tortilla chips and salsa…well, you might want to consider the following video before you interrupt me:

Good readings to you…and see you at the book store.



  1. Hey, Mike. I hear ya. I can work with a Kindle/tablet/iPad. But, I prefer the real thing.

    Except... that is... when I don't (prefer the real thing).

    I just finished Pride and Prejudice, reading it on my company-provided iPad. But, I only did that because the book was old enough to be free on my FreeBooks app. (FWIW, I just downloaded Frankenstein. I'll read it sometime in the next five years.)

    And, if you're looking for another genre, may I recommend the Horatio Hornblower series. I was just stunned by how I fell into that series, and couldn't stop.

    Blessings, my brother. - Cliff

  2. Great combo -- Thick cut fried bologna and a good book!! Funny thing is, I've always been a voracious reader and your authors have passed thru my hands often-- Lee Child, David BALDACCI, Dean Koontz, etc. you'll want to add John Hart if you haven't already added him to your list. So many great ones. I marvel at how alike we are sometimes. I too have always wanted a home library with an old fashioned ladder! My folks hv floor to ceiling shelves on one wall, but it's not enough. I just got a KINDLE FIRE for my birthday this week!! I'm looking forward to getting lost in it. You keep reading those paper copies. There's something to be said for the "real thing" My folks and I hv over 650 and still growing, so we need to slow it down and regain control somehow. Fun story. Not sure how I feel about including the videos, but it def made an impact. Happy reading!!