Mar 16, 2010
The Written Word Shouldn't Vanish
I really want one of those electronic book gadgets. They seem so cool and futuristic. On top of the nerdy, Star Trek appeal, there are some very practical reasons I want one.
I am running out of room for my books. I could buy more bookshelves but that would just be one more piece of furniture to dust. I only re-read my favorites so there really is no reason for me to keep stacks and stacks of books around.
Think of all the trees being saved by these electronic books. Libraries are even using them with download stations for you to update your reader with a “borrowed” electronic book.
I’ll be able to switch back and forth between books without carrying them around with me everywhere. I'll save money because I won't be buying books until I'm ready to read them and I think that you can return a book within a certain timeframe if you don't like it. I've bought so many books that ended up being duds.
My reasons for not getting one are all emotional.
The electronic page has no substance, no heft, it doesn’t feel like it’s really there. I like the feel of books, the smell of them. I like it when the publisher chooses a really good paper and font. I like to hold the really good ones in my hands for a minute or two after finishing the last page. Satisfied but sad that it's over.
I like seeing a book lying around the house in different spots as it’s being read. I like the pressure my unread book stack puts on me. I like to gaze at old favorites on the bookshelf and remember how the story made me feel.
No more sharing. Part of the fun of a good book is passing it along to someone else. I won’t be able to loan my reader out so it will be harder to create that bond that gets formed when you and somebody else both read a really good book.
How is an electronic device going to manage all that?