Stumbled onto “Confessions of an E-Book Virgin” at the Huffington Post yesterday and was at first amused at the way in which he approached the issue of eBooks taking over from physical books. He outright says that staring at another screen all day makes him ever more resistant to adopt the digital book. Which just goes to show how much he doesn’t know what an eInk display actually is.
Choosing the physical over the digital? Why a choice?
As one who didn’t embrace digital reading until the advent of the Kindle, and one who stuck to the physical book for a long time because it “felt” better and more at home to me – I can say that the feeling for the physical book doesn’t go away. Above and beyond that, eInk displays are not pixelated and not a strain on the eyes at all – unless of course you are like me and try to read in bed at night with just a low watt lamp on.
I still buy physical books. Just the other day I purchased “Conversations with God; an uncommon dialogue” by Neale Donald Walsch in hardcover. I’ve always loved the look and feel of hardcover books – especially when they are printed on “acid-free paper” and have that old time uneven cut edges going on.
I am sure the minute a Kindle version becomes available at Amazon, I am likely to get that too because my Kindle goes with me everywhere, while my bookshelf just can’t quite fit into my bag.
It really doesn’t have to be a choice between the two.
There isn’t any doubt (I don’t think) that eReaders provide the portability and mobility of a library of books when you travel and in this current culture of long commutes and extended waiting periods for anything from food to doctor’s appointments, an eReader with a selection of books to choose from while you wait isn’t an unreasonable consideration.
However, on those rainy days, when all you want to do is curl up with a book, you can’t beat the smell and feel of a “real” book. And there’s no real reason to give that up if you go digital.
There is no need to choose one or the other. Having an eReader does not mean you have given up the love or appreciation for physical books. For me it means that I can read as voraciously as I am used to doing without having to lug a suitcase of books around with me. And when I find that one book that I just MUST read in its paperback or hardcover form, I indulge myself and get it.