Going digital

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.

Wrong definition

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.

Turning point?

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

just imagine what the entire bookcase looks like ;)

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.

Doubt

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.

Cecile

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4 thoughts on “Going digital

  1. I didn’t want an e-reader either, but my husband bought me a Nook Color a couple years ago because he was tired of trying to sleep with my bedside lamp on because I was reading. Now that I have it, I like it, and it definitely does cut down on the piles of books I used to have. But nothing can replace a real book in my opinion, and the bad thing is that the only time I have for reading is usually at night, in bed. Consequently, I still have a pile of real books under my night table that have yet to be finished.

    …but, it has cut down the amount of grief I get from my husband. That makes it worth it. 😉

    1. Hi Jeannette,

      Perhaps I should’ve had an e-reader as a child 🙂 I used to read with the door open and the hallway light on. Unfortunately, my parents were on to me quite quickly. So instead I used a torch underneath the blankets, what worked for quite some time. (Though they probably knew about this too.) However, they probably wouldn’t have accepted that the e-reader would remain in my bedroom at night

      I’ve got a e-reader app on my Smart phone, it’s not exactly the same but at least I get a taste of what’s it like. So at night when I can’t sleep and don’t feel like getting up and move to the living room I use it to read a bit. Still under the covers, though that might not really be necessary any more.

  2. I love books, my whole family love books. My mother now finds that she can’t read very small print even with her glasses on. Some books she finds too heavy to hold. I didn’t think that she would take to an E book but I bought her a Kindle for Christmas and she loves it. She has the complete works of Jane Eyre and other classics downloaded onto it. Amazingly all these classics are free in E format. My mum will shortly be going into hospital for a three week stay. She will not have to take a suitcase full of books but one small lightweight digital device and a charger.

    I just thought I would share this with you.

    Kerry

    1. Hi Kerry,
      Thanks for sharing. It’s brilliant solution when you can’t read the print any longer and some books are really heavy indeed. I have a couple of books on my shelves I would like to read but which are too heavy to hold, an e-reader would be handy. Mmm maybe I should go and buy one after all. 😉

      I never thought of it before but it sounds very sensible indeed. I hope your mum will be okay, but on trips like that an e-reader is easier than bringing hard copies along.

      Cheers,
      Cecile

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