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?