I have been shunning the idea of digital readers for a while now. At first it seemed like a passing fad, but the more momentum these gadgets gain, the more nervous I get. I’m a fan of my books (of which I have far too many), and I couldn’t get used to the idea of reading off a screen instead of holding a book. Plus, I was convinced that my books would hiss at me from the shelves, “You filthy traitor. You follower. How could you do this to us? We loved you first!”
Ridiculous, but I do think that my books have feelings and get offended when I stop showing them love. So forget bringing an e-reader into the mix. That would be like divorcing my husband for a holographic man. What? That’s exactly what it would be like! So below you’ll see the reasons I’m on the fence about this issue (feel free to judge my craziness).
- My books will find out that I’m not into them anymore and will be upset.
- The whole book reading experience will be altered. This is a big one for me. I’ve been reading since I was four years old, and to suddenly change the medium of books is just weird. I am attached to the physicality of reading: the weight of a book, the sound of flipped pages, the ability to write and underline things, the smell of paper old and new, the feeling of cracking the spine open. I am so connected to the tactile part of reading that I think an e-reader might feel bizarre. And clinical.
- I’m sorry, but I don’t need to check Twitter between chapters. Why is it a selling point that e-readers can get on social networks? Why do I care if it can hook up to Wi-Fi? If I want to see what’s happening on Facebook, I’ll use my computer or my Droid. I don’t need another way to get online, honestly.
- I won’t have a reason to go to the library or the bookstore anymore. That would suck.
- What will happen to small, independent bookstores? I’m sure Barnes and Noble will be just fine since they’re selling the Nook, but what about my favorite small bookstores that sell used books and newer books at a discounted price? They’ll become antiquated and obsolete. They already have trouble competing with the big corporate stores; I’d hate to see them fold under the weight of new technology.
- The thrill of the hunt will vanish. There’s something about combing through a bookstore for just the right book that is thrilling.
- My books will hiss at me from the shelves. I’M SERIOUS. There’s no way I could ever explain it to them. They would just resent me. Forever. I can’t do that to old friends.
So, for the time being, I think I’m going to stick with good old fashion books. I’m still on the fence, and I know this is the way of the future and I need to get with it if I want to be involved in the future of publishing, but sheesh. It’s a tough transition to make.
Do you have an e-reader? If so, which model do you have and why do you like it? Or, if you’re unsure about them like I am, tell me why.