E-books: From Hate to Love
Here’s where I talk about my journey from only reading physical books, to preferring e-books. I was resistant to the change at first but soon found that there was room for e-books in my heart.
Ah technology! The jewel of our existence. It entertains us, connects us, distracts us, helps us, confounds us, terrifies us, thrills us, and much, much more. Where would we be without our beautiful technology? Probably where we are right now, more or less, just without whichever tech device you currently have our fingers on! But, I digress…..
Now, e-books didn’t gain widespread popularity and use until the 2000s, when e-readers started to be developed more seriously. Amazon’s Kindle (which is what I use), came out around 2007, when I was 18, and largely changed the book and reading industry.
I was resistant to making the switch from physical book to e-book for years. I don’t think I gave it a try until 2011, when I received a Kindle as a present. Before that I had always loved the entire book buying and reading process. I loved going to the bookstore. I adored spending time wading through the stacks, reading the blurbs on any book whose cover attracted me. I even loved the all important moment where I’d have to go through the stack I had accumulated and make my final selections for purchase because I always inevitably ended up choosing more than I could afford at that time. I have wonderful memories of my dad taking me to bookstores when I couldn’t drive. We only had a small bookstore in our town so we’d do day trips to the nearest city to go to Barnes and Noble quite often. Of course, the best trips were when we went for the Midnight Magic Harry Potter Release Parties! So my entire life I’ve had great memories at the bookstore. Same goes for the library, where I would spend hours upon hours.
The same goes for the books and reading them. Cracking the cover for the first time, trying to read the book without breaking the binding…… such sweet moments for a reader. And, perhaps best of all, that feeling of fulfillment when I finished the book and added it to my meticulously arranged and lovingly cared for bookshelves for safe keeping. Where many teenager’s bedrooms are covered in posters, I went to sleep every night surrounded by the comforting shadows of my bursting at the seams bookshelves.
So, needless to say, I was not eager to switch to the cold, impersonal, black and white covered e-book. Which is unsurprising, because I withstood the pressure to get an ipod for more years than you can imagine! Apparently I was not big on “change.” Some people might use the words “stubborn” and “willfull.”
And yet I did receive the Kindle for Christmas that year, along with ready to spend amazon gift cards. So, change was upon me.
I’ve never looked back.
While I still have my shelves filled with my old books, I’ve added over 500 titles to my kindle in the last 3 years, because once I went e-book, there was no going back. Ok, they do not carry the same nostalgia (yet), but when it comes to efficiency, they just cannot be beat. Now when I finish one book in a series at 11pm, I don’t have to wait until the next day to drive to the book store. I simply download it immediately to my kindle, and keep on reading. It’s brilliant. I thought I’d miss the weight of a book in my hand, but found that I adore being able to read with only one hand. No more struggling to get comfortable with a hardcover, no more painful fingers from holding a paperback open, and best of all, no more losing my page when I put the book down. If I’m trying to find a quote I liked, I can search for it quickly. I can highlight text without damaging the book. I can instantly look up words I am not familiar with. I can even look up descriptions of characters if I cant remember who they are. Now, my “library” is always on my phone, so no matter where I am, I can look up if I already have the book. Plus, imagine how many more bookshelves I’d need to have. Even I only have so much room for books! I’ve benefited from getting the e-verson of a textbook because I could download it right away. No more waiting weeks for my textbooks to arrive weeks late for the class that started 4 weeks ago. And now, thanks to programs like Overdrive, I can even sometimes get e-books for free from the public library. As a librarian, e-books are still a challenge to provide to our patrons because of their licensing issues and cost, but as a reader they are my go-to favorites. Sometimes Amazon even has amazing deals where you can get certain 3-books for free or for $1.99!
So, yea, I’m a sellout. A convert. A traitor.
But I like to think my physical books understand.
Oh, and in case you wondered, when I finally did bend and get an ipod, again, I never looked back. I’m not even sure now how I survived without. Not for music, mind you. Oh, no. No, my ipod is filled to the brim with audiobooks, of course. And what sweet music they make……
So what about you guys? E-books, yay or nay?