Monday, May 5, 2014

Why I Don't Want an eReader

As I reader (and a person whose apartment resembles a small library) I am often faced with the question, “Why don’t you just get an eReader?”  I have even wondered this myself on occasion (most notably when I’m attempting to move my 500+ books) but I always come back to the same conclusion.  I don’t want an eReader because I like my books too much.  So why do I have such an attachment to my books?  I’ve come up with a few reasons.

1. I like the way it feels to hold a book in my hands.  I like turning the pages.  I like to feel the weight of the book and be able to flip through it a little before I start reading.  If I had an eReader every book would feel the same.  They would all weigh the same 6-8 ounces.  They would not have pages I could fan through.

2. I like how books smell.  Old, new, whatever, I like the smell of books.  I’m fairly certain that no matter how advanced eReaders get they are still going to smell like plastic / electronics.

3. I like to share books I love with other people.  If I buy and read an excellent book I can simply lend it to a friend I think would enjoy it.  With an eReader all I can do is try to convince them they should buy a copy for themselves.  I prefer the act of actually passing a good book along.       

4. John Waters once said, 'If you go home with somebody, and they don't have books, don't fuck 'em!'  While perhaps cruder than I would go with it makes my point.  Sure, if someone has an eReader they can “have a library at their fingertips,” but what am I going to do if I go visit them?  Flip through their Kindle storage?  It’s much easier to browse through shelves of books.  Until eReaders come up with a hologram projector that allows me to not only scan titles but to take them down and read the covers / flip through them I will remain firmly in the physical book camp.

5. Books can hold fond memories.  Many of the books that I own belonged to my grandma.  When she died they came to me.  I don’t think I have anything else that could make me feel closer to her than these books.  I know she loved them and she instilled the love of reading into me.  And even if she would have lived to see eReaders I think she would have preferred books.

6. Much like number 4, books make good decoration.  The vibe in my apartment is “small town library,” and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So those are my reasons.  Maybe they don’t all make sense to you, maybe you think I’ve given way too much thought to this subject, maybe I have.  I believe it’s a to each his own type of situation and if you’re reading in any manner than you’re doing just fine, I’ll just do my reading the old fashioned way.  

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