Friday, September 21, 2012

To the Dark Side and Back

As some may have guessed from previous mention and the parody I posted recently, I am not a fan of the e-reader. I actually hated them with a passion at first. I had to hold back a mini throw up walking into Barnes and Noble with the prominent in-your-face Nook display right inside the door. Every time a friend purchased one I had two comments at the ready: "So, you've sold your soul?"And for those I thought couldn't handle such a direct statement, "You've gone to the dark side, huh?" Of course I was joking...well part of me wasn't. Still, my most cherished reading friends have e-readers and knowing them as I do, there was no way the e-reader lessened their readership in my eyes. So over some time I have come to realize that e-reader use does not speak to a person's love of reading as much as the love of the book itself.

I am a bibliophile through and through. I want to see the book, open the pages, and feel the paper's texture. New books have the fresh smell of a new place. I want to consider the art work on the cover and the summary on the back. I want to place the book on my shelf to be observed by myself and others. I want to be seen with the book in my hand - a conversation starter or interest spark that e-readers lack. I am more than a reader of books, I am a lover of them.

So you may be surprised to hear that I downloaded the Kindle app to my iPad yesterday. Yes, I know, goes against everything I stand for, but please, let me explain. A friend (you know who you are...RD) told me about a book on writing she thought I'd like, "You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)," by Jeff Goins. He had me at the title - I had to read this book. But on top of it I had just bought a book of his last month...never heard of the guy before that and now two months in a row he pops up!? I don't believe in coincidence.

Problem: his writing book only comes in Kindle version. I also found two more promising books of his that are only on Kindle and soon Nook. What pushed me over the edge? The book was FREE! And heck, my iPad was free, the Kindle app was free. I mean free is free right? So I went for it and then guiltily reported myself to two of my closest reading companions, who both own Kindles. Their responses? "Sucker!" and "The dark side, huh?"

Yea, yea, I had it coming. I'm happy to report that while I like reading instructional books on my Kindle app because of the highlighting and note taking capabilities, I don't enjoy it near enough to make a switch over. I miss the feel of the binding cracking against my fingers. I'm happy in the knowledge that I know myself so well. My books will remain physical presences in my life.

Why do you love or hate e- readers?


  1. I agree with you 100% about all my senses being involved while reading...for me an e-reader will never replace a book, especially an old one with all its funky, musty smells. That being said, I was especially thankful that I had an e-reader with me when traveling this summer so that I did not have to put myself through the age old debate of books versus diapers taking up space in the luggage;)

  2. Yea I'll have to give you that one...diapers would be high on my list of priorities in travel - especially the far, long trip you took! Brave!

  3. Love love love them. I was on board years ago when the Kindle first came out. I like how easy the text is on the eyes, how comfy I am when reading in bed (it drives me nuts to deal with a fat hardback, beautiful though it may be), how many more books I can own or borrow from the library. I don't use the Kindle for cookbooks or that sort of thing, but for fiction it's the bomb-diggity.

    I still buy tons of books, by the way, and have them laying all over the house. It's not an either/or for me.

  4. One day, when I get over myself, maybe I'll make it to this point! Or maybe when my kids are grown and my hubby and I start traveling :) My mother-in-law has a Nook because of arthritis in her hands...she can't hold books open without her hands hurting. So it's been an amazing thing for her.

  5. Never get over yourself. The e-reader has it's place in the name of convenience. It's nice for me at work so I don't have to carry four books (you know, so I can make my reading selection based on my mood). Something lacks in my immersion when using an e-reader. It's not the same. They are not a book. Never will be. Glad to see you experience the dark side, too. :)

    1. Haha thanks just let me off the hook until I need the convenience of an e-reader :)