Lisa Soble Siegmann

Call me old school. I can’t help it. I really just can’t. I need books.

Not the kind that you can swipe with your finger. Oh no, no, no!


I need books – the real kind. The kind that were invented thousands of years ago.

No — not the Torah — although that happens to be a really good book!

I’m talking about the kind with a cover and a jacket.  With pages inside.

The kind you have to hold with two hands and read.


There’s just something about holding a book. Feeling the weight of it.

If it’s new – kind of cracking the spine a bit, so it’s easier to read.

Or turning the pages.

Just like that new car smell – there’s a new book smell.  A new book feel.

No friends, I don’t want to download or upload or swipe.

I also don’t want to “shop” on Amazon.


Just as I learned from my children that you’re never more than six miles away from a body of water if you live in Michigan – you were never too far from a bookstore either.

It’s not as easy to find books locally as it was “back in the day.”

Oh, how I miss Borders and the Barnes and Noble that was near work.

I could walk into one and see mounds and mounds and shelves of books. It made me happy. My kids could browse. I could browse – and for a moment in time, everyone was engaged and happy. No TV, no phones, no iPad, no arguing … just words. Just hands holding books.

But alas!  Thank the Lord that we still have our libraries – and other ways to browse and buy books.

November is Jewish Book Month – and we have the incredible Book Fair at the JCC. Do you know what THAT means? Books! Mounds and mounds of them! Shelves bursting! Books for all ages and a plethora of topics. I can’t wait! From November 2 – 13 over a bazillion titles and tons of authors.

April is Book Stock! Again with the mounds of books – on tables and under tables. So many that you can barely pick up one without a stack falling over. All of the money raised is donated to charities around the community – including our Jewish community.

And then there’s the amazing PJ Library! My kids used to get so excited when their book came in the mail – addressed to them! Woo Hoo!

They’d rip open the envelope and make me stop whatever I was doing to read to them.

Now that they’re beyond the books – I still have them. I’m not going to give them away, or sell them on eBay.

I loved that when my children were younger (aged 6 months – 9 years), they received a book in the mail every month, from the PJ Library ( As they got older (ages 9-11), PJ Our Way ( came in the mail, addressed to them. I loved that they could get a brand new book that was theirs – and they were thrilled.

I’m going to put them away, so when they have children, I will be able to give them books – and when they ask me – What are those – I will pick this delicious child up and place them on my lap – and I will hold those books in my hands, and I will read.

One word at a time.