Until I began this book project, I didn’t know there was an ereader vs. real book debate. I just assumed we were all living in a harmoniously fine balance of both. Upon further investigation, I discovered some people take it very seriously and have pledged their devotion to one or the other.
I am currently reading all of the classic books for my challenge on an ereader. I can’t deny its practicality, but I read some compelling comments against ereaders:
Of course, everyone talks about the sensual experience of books and how ereading feels just plain weird:
As if there were no other physical objects in the world we could fondle or sniff!
But I understand the tactile pleasure of the real book experience. I also remember winter nights as a kid cozying up with a real book with a cover you intensely studied and pages you were careful not to bend. Yet like a summer lover, once we’ve had our way, doesn’t that book just sit lonely on the shelf collecting dust anyway? Maybe to be read again, maybe not?
My ereader is old, clunky and the navigation is equivalent to driving your grandpa’s rusty station wagon. It doesn’t have a touch screen, a dictionary or the ability to search. If I want to go back to read something again, I can’t without a tortuous process of manoeuvring through chapters and pushing buttons. Sometimes I turn off the reader in the middle of a chapter and find myself back to the beginning when I turn it on again.
The only reason I have an ereader is because it was given to me. The classic books were preloaded and ready to go. Truthfully, I can’t say whether I would have ever bought one for myself. I never once thought “I want that!” when ereaders started hitting the market.
For years I had only been reading “information” thinking I had no time in my life for books. I feel it was so serendipitous to be given the ereader and inspired to read every single one of the classic books. The ereader has done me a huge favour. It has brought me back to books (real and not real) which has brought me back to reading which has brought me back to writing which has brought me over to social media which has brought me over to people (hopefully real). All in new and fascinating ways I could have never imagined.