LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Books and Readers

 
 
 
I can't recall a time when I didn't love books.  I love the feel of books.  I love the pictures in books.  I love marking my progress with bookmarkers.  Most of all I love reading books.
 
So it never occurred to me that I would ever enjoy an e-reader.  I had the usual reasons for not buying one:  it's not a real book, it's a computer; I won't be able to refer to past pages; I won't have a bookmarker; I won't see the cover when I close it;  I just know I won't like it.
 
What changed my mind?  One of my best friends loves books as much as I do and we have similar interests in books.  She bought a Nook and loved it.  So, looking around at the pile of books in my study, awaiting donation to a worthy cause, I decided to give an e-reader a try.  I bought a Kindle.  The style and mechanics seemed ancient from a technological standpoint but to my surprise, I actually liked it.  At first I downloaded free classics and soon my Kindle felt like an old friend.
 
 


The owners of my local independent bookstore probably have no idea that I have an e-reader.  I still buy almost as many books from them as I ever did.  That's because I still prefer the look and feel of a "real" book.  When one of my favorite authors publishes a new book, I buy the hard copy.  I want to relish and re-read the pages and I want to keep the copy.  No matter how much I use the Kindle, it doesn't give the same comfort as a book.

After several years of use, my Kindle periodically started having a large black band across the lower third of the page.  The band would disappear when I turned the page, but I still feared it was an ominous sign of impending demise.  So I bought a new Kindle Fire HD.  It's a tablet more than an e-reader and much more versatile.  I use it for electronic editions of the magazines to which we subscribe.  The pictures and graphics are amazing and there are usually videos and additional information in the electronic editions.  I use it occasionally for games and searching the Web.  Music purchased from Amazon is automatically downloaded to the Kindle Fire when the CD is shipped.  I could watch movies on it should I want.  I love the convenience when I have appointments and it goes to sleep when you close the cover.  Because it is backlit, I can read it without additional lighting.

But I still prefer my old Kindle as a reader for a simple reason.  Despite its ancient technology, the old Kindle allows me to move forward or backward from both sides of the book.  The Kindle Fire moves only forward from the right-hand touch and backward with the left hand touch.  (Of course, there may be a way to go forward and backward from each side, but I haven't figured it out.)

What kind of books do I purchase for the e-reader?  Anthologies, poetry, classics, biographies, and fiction if I'm fairly certain I don't care to own a hard copy.  Could I give up my e-reader?  Yes, fairly easily.  Much as I like it, it isn't nearly as important as my iPods, for example.  I could easily return to reading only printed books.  But it would cost me a small fortune and there are some authors I would likely not find, and that would be bad.  I'm more tempted to read a "new" author when an e-book is on sale than to purchase a hard copy.  So I'll keep reading my books, and I'll keep reading on my Kindle and when the black bar takes over completely, I will buy another one.

Are you still holding out?  Or do you have an e-reader?  Has it changed your reading habits?

20 comments:

NanaNor's said...

Hi, I too love to read-got a mini IPad for the same reason but since I review books for a publishing house, I still have books. I have to be honest, I haven't used my IPad for reading as much as I thought.
Glad you are utilizing it.
Hugs, Noreen

Cheri Wildcatwoods said...

I am still reading real books - I recycle them after and get more. Just can't bring myself to get a Kindle.

Carolina Linthead said...

I have a Kindle Fire, The Bug has an older Kindle. I like hers better for reading. I use the Kindle reader on my laptop more than my Fire. As for e-books, no, they are not the same as paper, but in the case of academic books, they can be wonderful. For example, if I want to know whether or not a peer used my work in her book, I can just search my name ;-) I have already been told that when I complete the monograph I am currently revising that it will be published both in paper and as an e-book. I also like being able to get a book instantaneously, like I did this week on two occasions when I realized I needed to consult books to which I did not have ready access otherwise. Rather than spend a day driving to an academic library that had them or waiting several days on ILL to bring them to my school's library, I bought the Kindle editions for a fair price and now have them in hand (or better, on my Cloud drive) indefinitely. Pretty cool!

troutbirder said...

My own experience with my simple Nook was very similar. It was a Christmas gift from my son in Arizona. It's ok. Has it's place and function. I bought Grants hard to find autobiography for two dollars. Still real books still warm the heart of a lifetime voracious reader....:)

Rae said...

I love "real" books too, but I succumbed to the ereader era with a Kindle and an iPad. I have one with me at all times. Amazon has a nice selection of free titles and I do a daily search to see if I can add to my collection.

Inger said...

I read your comment on Vicki Lanes blog regarding Moral Monday. I live in California and didn't know about this. I must become a movement, I hope it does. I just wanted to offer my support from here.

Ms. A said...

My sister didn't think she would like an e-reader, but she does. It cuts down on the clutter of having so many books. Blog reading is all I can manage these days and thank goodness that's done on the computer, because my house has no room left.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Like you, I enjoy the feel or a book and enjoy using a real bookmark vs. an electronic one. I have an iPad which has a Kindle reader app, but aside from reading user guides for my camera, I do not use it.

Vicki Lane said...

My boys gave me a Kindle and I adapted to it with ease. I still read plenty of 'real' books but have loved the opportunity to get lots of classics free or very cheaply. I'm working my way through all the Anne of Green Gables books and Kipling is next. Should I run out of stuff, there's the complete works of Dickens, just waiting for me. Our house is overflowing with books -- bookshelves in almost every room, books in closets, books under beds. and I give boxes of books to the library several times a years. The Kindle allows me to indulge my book acquisitiveness without adding to the clutter in the house. Of course I still buy special books -- poetry, children's book (mine is an old no color Kindle.)

Peruby said...

As I was setting up my Nook (had to synch it with my PC) I found I could easily just read the books off my PC. I keep a few on my nook for when I am in the car, but I just sit at my desk and read off my computer.

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

My younger sister "attempted" to give me an "ereader" (don't know what the name of it was) while we were at the beach, and I turned it down! Guess I'm still old fashioned and as you said, love to feel the book in my hands!

Regenia said...

I, too, would not even entertain the thought of an ereader. My husband, who does not like to read, was absolutely sure I would really enjoy one. A few years ago he pushed for us to go to Barnes and Noble to "just look" at the Nook Color. I did two things I never do. I spent $250 dollars without thinking it over. And I used our credit card (paid off as soon as the transaction cleared). I was not coming home without one! Still love my books. But being able to read in bed when I can't sleep and not needing a light is quite nice. I've let my husband say "Didn't I tell you?" as often as he likes!

Arkansas Patti said...

I used to think I would never give up the feel of a book but now days, my kindle will be the first thing out a house on fire after my pets.
I LOVE it and actually, I can't remember the last "real" book I have read. I don't miss them at all and actually find the real book to be cumbersome. I have totally gone over to the dark side.

kks said...

i haven't taken the plunge yet.....
xoxo

robin andrea said...

I don't have a kindle, but I do have a kindle reader on my laptop. I don't think it is as "friendly" as a kindle. Laptops aren't built for reading novels, but I give it my best shot. You remind me that I should spend more time and money in bookstores! Thank you for that.

The Bug said...

I like the page turning feature of my older kindle too - it's so convenient! And I LOVE increasing the font size for easier reading. But perhaps my favorite thing is downloading books from the library - I can start reading them right away & they're still just as free as they ever were. The only downside I see is that (as far as I can tell) you can't renew the downloaded library books - but if you check the book out again it remembers where you were.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm still holding out. (like I did with digital cameras) I really like the feel of a book; of course, I don't read as much as you do. (I wish I did) Surely one day I will switch over.... it is greener right? Maybe? I'll have to look into that and get back to you.
XO

Tara Crowley said...

I bought a Kindle a couple of years ago and I love it. It's great for travel, so I don't have to pack heavy books. I still buy cookbooks, and still go to the public library every two weeks. I love it all! I can read it in the bright sun, but at night in bed, I have a little clip-on light that I use.

Thank goodness for all of it! I, too, have been an avid life-long reader.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I enjoyed your various experiences with e-readers.

Suz - I must admit I had not thought about the green issue. But a thousand books on an e-reader surely means fewer trees chopped down to make books.

Janet QueenofSeaford said...

Still a book reader, no electronics. We go to the library regularly and get a load of books. Both of us read for a good while once we get into bed. If I have something electronic in hand, I would be reading something other than a book (blog postings).