Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Convert

I love a new toy. I really do. Once upon a time, I was a little bit of a techie. The years have passed and my disposable income has waned and I'm not leaning on my walker while complaining about those young whippersnappers and their empeggy things.

And the whole digital book thing nearly exploded my head. I love books. I truly, truly do. And part of that is about loving the stories and the words and the magic between the pages, but part of it, if I'm being totally honest is actually about the smell and feel of a new book. The feeling of your left hand getting heavier and your right hand gets lighter. The feeling of history when you open up a book whose paper is yellowed with age and the feeling of magical discovery when you carefully open a book with an uncracked spine.

I got a Nook. Have I mentioned that? My awesome and wonderful mommy got me a Nook for Christmas and I am a wee bit obsessed. Case in point? The obvious lack of a book in my purse and the fact that I now can neither leave home without my Nook, nor without its charger.

Reading on the Nook is lacking in some ways, of course, but in other ways - oh mama. I don't need a light to read. Because the screen is lit and in fact, has a nifty little "night" setting that makes it really easy to read in the dark. I don't have to hold it, making my arm go to sleep in bed. I don't have to carry two books in my purse when I'm about to finish one.

The best thing about the Nook (and I'm speaking widely about all e-readers, here) is that the world is your oyster. I can check ebooks out of the library from any computer. I can browse and download books from Barnes and Noble from anywhere with Wi-Fi.

While I can't see myself ever completely abandoning the lovely feel of paper betwixt my fingers, I can definitely see the benefits of this. And for now, at least, I am loving the freedom and convenience of reading whatever I want, whenever I want.

Tell me about your experience with ereaders? Fan or foe?


Suze said...

i say i'm not a fan, but that's probably because I don't have one. I bet if I had one I'd love it (but I don't want one).
I'm conflicted. Obviously.

Tears In My Shotglass said...

I didn't want one, but I don't get to go to the bookstore as much as I would like either. After I got mine I was hooked. I totally agree about never being able to replace a book. There is a big difference. The convenience of it is what makes readers like us giddy.

Strangeite said...

I always appreciated the idea> of ebooks but felt that they weren't for me. Then several years ago I heard about Cory Doctorow's book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. It was nominated for a Nebula Award but more importantly, was the first major work to be simultaneously released by a traditional publisher AND also released under a Creative Commons license. Basically, Doctorow felt that if you wanted to buy a print copy, you should be able, but if you wanted to read it as an ebook, you should be able to get it for free.

At the time, the only device I had to read said ebook was my tiny iPhone. I thought, what the hell, I will give it shot, but expected to hate reading on such a tiny device. The truth is that it wasn't that bad. It helped that the book was freakin' awesome.

I still prefer reading a paper book but all of the reasons you listed are true for me as well (it helps that I now have a proper ereader), checking out books for the library, ease of downloading new material, etc. The other major reason most of my reading is now done on an ereader is "night mode". I tend to read in bed much later than my wife. In the past, she would politely ask me to turn off the light, when I stayed up reading well past any sane hour. Now, I just switch the text to night mode and reduce the background brightness. Voila! I can read as late as I want without any light.

If you are looking for new books, I highly recommend Down and Out in the Magic Kingdon, and it is free. I also recommend The Witch Watch, which is a just recently released book that you can pick up on Smashwords for $5.

Jessi said...

I think the night mode is awesome. I actually read on it almost all the time, because I have special little sensitive eyes. Like show dog eyes. They can't be bothered by bright lights. :)