Posted by: Natalie | December 15, 2010

E-Reader Reading? Really?

Tonight Plinky asks if I would own an e-book reader . . . what do you think?!


e-book | e-reader

No. Quite simply. I appreciate that for those who travel constantly, packing libraries worth of literature is completely unwieldy. I also appreciate that for technology buffs, a kindle or ipad or other such ‘things’ is just another item in a long list of must have gadgets. But for me, they are welcome to them. I am quite happy for this ‘revolution’ to go forth, as I am to allow a lover of computer reading to argue their place in the world. But it won’t fit into my world. But then again, I am a reading purist.

I like the idea that people are thinking a little beyond the box edges in that it may encourage some children to read a little more (can you sense my opinion here?) due to the simple fact that this is a ‘modern’ gizmo that all the cool kids are talking about. But realistically, in practice, will they ever take over? Are they really the book of the future? I certainly hope not.

Nothing can possibly replace the whole essence of reading, the whole experience of opening a book. Holding a rigid screen in not the same as turning a crisp page and hearing the crinkle of paper; or bending back a cover and spine to hear that first creak and happy sigh; the soft brush of paper as you flick through the pages and the smell, oh the smell! I am often regarded with a peculiar look (usually from Steve) as I  stand in a book shop, whether selling old or new, and open to a central page and take a deep, intoxicating breath of print.

Books have history, their journeys and owners a mystery that sparks the imagination – this sort of dreaming cannot come from a box of plastic and wires. There is some kind of emotional attachment to seeing row upon row of much-loved and much-read books in every room of a house, a personality and atmosphere allowing strangers an instant window into one’s soul. Such cases of books also make for handy insulation in winter! So perhaps an e-reader reader is a minimalist, someone who simply cannot cope with clutter or someone who already has decent central heating. Perhaps it is merely the fact that I am a book hoarder which prevents me from pining for one of these shiny light boxes.

But I suspect not. A book is a living thing, it has beauty and a soul as much as you and I. They should be read, brought to life and enjoyed. I doubt very much if I could glean anything close to the same satisfaction, no matter how ‘realistic’ they can make these virtual novels.

Again, I can appreciate that technology has a path to carve and a dent to make in the reading world – but it will not be admitted here. But please, do try to convert me, I could do with some entertaining!

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  1. Nothing can possibly replace the whole essence of reading

    I’m pretty sure people said the exact same thing about vinyl records, blackboards, parchment scrolls, clay tablets, chiselled stone…

    • Heehee! Too true! Well this is one cave girl content with her square wheel! Thanks for reading. Nx

  2. i’m a pretty prolific reader of books (the old-fashioned kind) too, enough so that people at work have assumed i would want an e-reader for christmas. to them (and to you now), i usually say that, while i am not averse to reading on a computer screen when it is necessary (as to read blogs, newspaper articles, etc.), i am a book addict, not just a reading junkie. i love the entire sensual and sensory experience (ah, that smell!) that comes only from a paper-and-ink book. nothing can equal it, except another book. and another one. and … well, you know. (i know YOU know.)

  3. I have to be honest, I have been considering buying an E-reader. But for some reason I haven’t been able to just DO IT! I travel a lot, and just recently had to bring all my belongings (= 13 boxes FULL of I-can’t-be-apart-from-these books) to the other side of the ocean. That alone made me rethink the whole book experience.
    But it is a guilty pleasure I have to go into bookstores, to try and find the oldest and most beautiful of them (and by beautiful I mean architecture or just randomness and chaos). To dwell in a sea of books, to feel their scent or the texture of the pages under your fingers. Oh, and to buy old books that were in “fashion” so long ago, and now their ideas are so out-dated that make you laugh!
    I honestly believe I will eventually cave in and buy one, but that just doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop buying books! And I hope that books won’t be a thing of the past in my future!

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