I don’t have an e-reader. I want one. I guess that my iphone COULD be considered an e-reader…but not really. It’s too small. I’ve read quite a few books on my iphone. Most of the apps on my iphone are book reading apps.

In the beginning I wanted to hate e-readers. They made me nervous. Books are tangible. They are right there. You hold them in your hand. You can feel them. You can stain the pages with salsa or parts of a melted Hershey bar. You can fold down the pages. You can SEE the history of the book. You can write in it. You can underline your favorite parts.

E-readers aren’t like that. They’re more ephemeral. There’s electricity and batteries involved. In a drunken stupor you could push the wrong button and the book would disappear. DELETED.

But…

E-books ARE more convenient. And a lot of them are free. That’s a BIG plus in my book. I’m fairly decemnovenarian when it comes to books, so a lot of the stuff I read is no longer in copyright. I don’t have to go to the bookstore – well, if I can find one – and pay 6+ dollars on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, my favorite book. No. I can read it for free on my computer or iphone and use that 6+ dollars I saved to buy a big ass bag of sour skittles or gummy bears.

However…

In doing that I miss a lot. No more balmy-breezed walks to the bookstore. Seeing and hearing the sights of the city. The smell of roses. Vitamin D from the sunshine. The smell of cappucino in the bookstore. Human interaction. Sure, I suppose that you could still do all of that stuff, but it’s not the same.

I suppose the thing that bugs me the most about e-readers is the technological aspect. I’m kind of a cynic in that area. I’m not paranoid, but I do have a few trust issues when it comes to computers or electronic devices in general.

With a ‘regular’ book, it’s just you and the book. With an e-read book, it’s you and the internet and the site that posts the book and electricity/batteries and a potential virus and on and on.

But then again…

If there is a certain book I want, Im pretty sure that I can find it online. A lot of times the bookstore won’t have it. Case in point; Perry Mason novels. I can never find Perry Mason novels in the bookstores around here. I love you Erle Stanley Gardner. Sure, you can order it, but that’s like what… a week to get it? The vagaries of the bookstore. You are at their whim. When it comes to e-reading you are pretty much in control in that area.

So, which is better? There are pros and cons of both. Arguments could be made for either.

The professor on Gilligan’s Island needed books. If one of the castaways – probably Gilligan – got a strange tropical disease or ingested some weird island poison, he could look up the cure or antidote in a book. If he was dependent on an e-reader or the internet, then – unless he was able to make an internet connection out of coconuts, palm fronds and vines – they would have been SOL. So, yeah, castaways need books.

I’m a nostalgia kind of guy. There is no mystery in e-books. It’s a lot easier to remember where you were or what you were going when you bought a certain ‘real’ book. I don’t really remember where I was or what I was going when I downloaded Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, but I sure as heck remember where I was – Borders, I weep for you – and what I was doing when I bought my first flesh and blood copy. It was 2 days before I got the mumps.

So, what is the point of this post?

IDK. I guess to proclaim that I have finally become inured to e-reading. I now want an e-reader. A big one. One the size of a book and not an iphone.

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2 responses »

  1. Stop typing and get buying!

  2. booksnob says:

    I was also resistant at first, but was given one as a gift two years ago. Now I weep to think of anything happening to it. It keeps my bookmarks automatically, I can take notes on it with the stylus that I can then transfer to my laptop and if I’m reading 5 books at once, they’re all there with me. 🙂

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