I used to be anti e-reader. Nothing, I swore, could make me give up the smell of a new book or the mysterious scribblings in the margin of a used book. Nothing.
And then my dad gave me a Nook. A free e-reader, it turns out, was the thing that could make me give up that new book smell.
When next month’s book club pick was announced (Love in the Time of Cholera) I was actually kind of cranky when I realized I already own it in actual book form. Gosh, I’m going to have to turn a lamp on to read? What if I don’t know a word? Am I going to have to use an actual dictionary? The horror!
However, as much as I’ve become dependent on my e-reader, there are still things that make me think that it’s quite possible that books are better:
There’s the obvious argument that a real book will never run out of batteries.
Never, when reading an actual book, have I opened a title only to find the contents were that of another book. When reading an e-book? It’s happened.
I’ve never turned the page in an actual book, mid-sentence, only to find that the next page is blank. You can bet it’s happened in an e-book.
Sometimes my e-reader will want to take me from page 108 straight to page 111. I’ve actually had this happen in a real book, but it was a textbook, and let’s be honest – I wasn’t really reading it.
And, most importantly, my actual books have never been locked. After loading up my e-reader with a carefully curated plane friendly reading list (no plane crash plots; mindless, happy love stories that make me forget I’m suspended mid-air for hours at a time), I reached my cruising altitude and turned on my e-reader only to discover that MY BOOKS WERE LOCKED. I was livid.
The happy ending was that I got to buy a book from the airport at my layover. A real, live book, that came complete with new-book smell and the rustling sound of pages turning and, thankfully, was unlocked.
As Y said when I showed him this post, “mo e-readers mo problems.”
What do you think? Pro- or anti- e-reader?