Once a month, I allow myself a bookstore day. A day during which I can look at books, pick them up, skim through them and put them down again, without feeling pressured or guilty. Not that I go crazy and spend half my salary on books (these days anyway), sometimes I don’t even buy a single book. I do enjoy loosing track of time when I’m there.
The bookstore I visit has a small collection of e-readers, which I’d pass and usually ignore, since I came for books and not for an electronic gadget. Then again, it never hurts to watch. So in my last few visits, I spent a little bit of time playing around with them. But on my last visit, however, I found myself spending more time playing around with one of the displays of the eBooks. It made me reconsider my aversion towards them.
My main objection was that an eBook isn’t an actual book. You can’t put it on the shelf like hard copies. There is no connection between the book and the reader – no touch, no weight and no smell (though the smell nowadays isn’t always as lovely as I remember it). All in all, an eBook didn’t embody my definition of a book. And besides, I couldn’t imagine reading from a screen. I miss bits of texts while reading from a computer screen and usually end up with a headache. For years, it was a good enough argument not to consider an e-reader.
This last argument I can no longer use as a valid reason. Since the introduction of the Smartphone, I’ve been reading news articles and blogs from a tiny screen and I never caught myself with a headache afterwards. Even though an eBook doesn’t look much like a real book, the prospect of having lots of books and not
worrying over how to store them is a plus. Right now, I’ve got 6 bookcases, but I have more books than they can store, and I’m sure this problem will only grow. (Although not all of the shelves contain books – I lost some shelves to board games and card games.)
An e-reader would solve my storage problem.
I’ve reached a point where I feel completely neutral towards an e-reader and eBooks. I’m neither against them nor in favour of them. Whenever I’m holding an e-reader, I weigh the pros and cons of having one, but in the end, it still feels more like a gadget than something I really want to buy.