I’ve told y’all many times I am an avid reader. I honestly can’t remember a time since the 4th grade that I wasn’t in the middle of at least one book. It relaxes me, fills time when I am waiting for something or standing in line, and pure and simple, its enjoyable. I always had a book in my back pack when I was climbing, and one came with me when biking the Oregon coast.
Long about 3 years ago, Michelle got me a Kindle for Christmas. I loved it! When I got it though, I wondered just how many books I’d read in electronic form and how many would be paper. I kinda thought it would be 50/50 or maybe 60/40 (electronic vs paper). Yeah I wasn’t even close.
Since I got the Kindle, and since upgraded to an iPad. I may have read 4 (not percent, just 4) paper books.
There are many reasons for this. First, using the iPad now, I not only have a library of books with me at all times, I have my computer as well. Using this makes it easy to be reading multiple books at once. In the past, I would’ve needed a MUCH bigger back pack to carry what I have now.
Why do I need so many? Well for the last 2+ years I was reading the Bible. I could only read 3 or 4 chapters at a time before I started to fade. Currently I am reading Darwins “Origin of the Species” Interesting yes! But dry. It is not a fun read… So, with the eBooks, I can read a bit and then switch to a Cussler novel or a good Zombie Apocalypse story. I have honestly expanded my reading palate with t eBook.
Then there is the cost. eBooks are cheaper (Some are over priced, but still less than the paper version.) Classics are free. I’ve read Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers, Captain Courageous, as well as quite a few from Edgar Rice Burroughs. All for free! These are books I’ve always wanted to read, but just never got around to.
Finally the iPad lights on its own, I can read in bed, and not need to have the light on.
However, it’s not all perfect. Though most are, not ALL books are available in Kindle form. An example of one I’d like to reread is Cussler’s “Sahara”. I Just checked, not available in Kindle. Yes I know I could buy the paperback, but where’s the fun in that?
On planes, though this has or will soon become a thing of the past, you couldn’t read your Kindle when the plane took off or landed. Landing wasn’t too much of an issue, but hell, you can be on the tarmac waiting to take off FOREVER! (Did I mention I am impatient?) When I was teaching in Spokane for 3 weeks last year, I made a point to buy a paper back just for the landings and takeoffs!
Then there is the battery issue. Books don’t need batteries. Shocking I know. The iPad battery will last all day, but that’s it. The Kindle ( I still have it and use it a lot) can go over a week if the wifi is turned off. Either way though, if it the battery runs out, you are stuck counting your toes or cleaning the lint out of your belly button for a while…
The saddest part of ebooks though, is the loss of one of my favorite places to go. I LOVE used book stores. Always have. On the Oregon Coast I had 5 or 6 favorites that I would visit every time I went. Each time, from each store, I would come out with a stack of ‘new’ old books to read. I also got very excited when I would find a ‘new’ store. I could walk around for hours inside, the more cluttered the better. They are always very peaceful, and I felt sheltered from any noise and bustle outside. No one, not even me, yells when surrounded by old books.
I know I can still frequent them, and I do when we travel, but I just feel bad never actually buying anything. It almost feels like I am simply using up the oxygen of the real customers. I also think the owners can tell I am an eBook reader, so given the choice, they’d rather round me out-of-town with pitchforks and torches. Or at least tar and feather me!
Overall? I will never give up the eReader. I will still buy some paper copies of books. Renee Hazen and Jim Devitt, and Joe Kurmaskie my author friends are amazing and I get paper copies, autographed when possible, of each of the ones they write. AND I read them that way.
Otherwise, the ease and convenience of the eReader, plus the instant delivery of a new book on a wet, cold, rainy night can’t be beat!
I do miss the used book stores, and someday I can see them disappearing for good, and that makes a little sad. So I will just make sure to visit as many as I can until they are gone for good. Keep reading everyone!