I'm not quite sure how to feel about all this. I grew up with books. Real books. The kind with bright covers and crisp pages that whisper together as you turn them. They had dust jackets and dog eared corners and worn edges from being passed around to friends, family and neighbors. Over the years I have accumulated more books than I can count (four full cases in my home, and 12+ boxes in storage from childhood). I have a deep rooted love of books, and each and every one I own feels like an old friend.
On the other hand, I have more books than I can count. My collection is heavy, takes up vast amounts of space, and is beyond difficult to move. I always have a book with me, and, when traveling, this is impractical. Paper books are clunky and heavy, and it seems like all my favorites are ridiculously thick. Because of these inconveniences, I've become a proud Kindle owner.
Despite my attachment to old-fashioned printed books, I love my Kindle. It's light. It's sleek, small and stylish. It was reasonably priced. It has an extraordinary battery life -- up to a whole month on a single charge! And best of all, most eBooks cost considerably less than newly released hardbacks. I've read around thirty eBooks on my Kindle, and I was surprised how natural and comfortable it felt. Since the screen isn't back-lit, its easy on the eyes, and most of my eBooks feature all the same embellishments and unique fonts as their paper counterparts. I am eternally grateful that I can accumulate new reading material without an even bigger mass of paper to lug around for the rest of my life.
However, I am by no means returning my library card, or letting go of my paper books in lieu of digital copies. I still purchase paper copies of new favorites, and I cannot imagine reading a magazine in any form other than in its original paper binding. Half the fun of a magazine is physically flipping through the pages, and nothing will ever replace the feeling of snuggling up on the sofa with a real book in my hands on a lazy afternoon. Beyond emotional attachment, printed words have a sense of permanence, a certain stability, that digital text lacks. Books have been around for ages, but how long can we hope to use our eReaders before newer, better technology is developed? My Kindle (much like my old iPod mini) has a shelf life that's only valid until something shinier comes along. While I hope I'll be able to transfer my Kindle library onto whatever newfangled device I next acquire, I'm not taking any chances: my paper copies are here to stay.
[This video says it best: "There's nothing quite like a real book."]
So, will eReading eventually phase out the printed word? I sure hope not. I am pleased as punch that our tech saavy world spewed out eReaders, but for me, the printed word holds too many memories to be idly tossed aside.
Where do you stand on the Reading vs. eReading debacle?