I’ve been a devoted e-book reader since 2013.
Prior to this, I was a devout anti-e-book-reader and pro-regular book reader. I thought that e-books were an abomination, defiling the sanctity and purity of traditional paper books. I just didn’t understand the reasoning behind e-readers and e-books. How can anybody read a book that doesn’t have that wonderful new book smell when you crack open the pages?
My stubborn-ness faded after a while, in large part due to my extensive book list for my last year of college work (mostly high-level English classes with several novels assigned to each) which would have resulted in severe back issues if I’d had to tote all those books around. So, I surrendered and bought a Nook from my local Barnes&Noble with the generous amount of gift cards I receive every year at Christmas. My back and spindly arms thanked me for the decision, as I was able to buy a good number of my textbooks in e-book format. Really, an e-reader saved my life during my last year of college, and though my classes are now long over, I still love my Nook. I recently upgraded to a newer version, and I love my new one even more. It’s my precioussssss. I feel like each time I hold it, I have a world of endless literary possibilities in my hand.
Since I purchased my Nook, I have developed a mentality of “Why not both?” One can love traditional paper books, while still appreciating the ease and simplicity of an e-reader. I’m a bit of a technophile; I don’t always understand new technology, but I sure do love it and appreciate it. If it’s shiny and it beeps, I’m a fan. As long as the plot of George Orwell’s 1984 doesn’t start to take place in reality, then I’ll remain a staunch supporter of technology, so really, my eventual conversion to E-readers is not much of a surprise.
So, if you are a book purist like pre-2013 me, and cannot fathom replacing lovely, traditional paper books, with their smell and their unique feel, just know…. there is a balance to be had. There are some books I prefer in their paper form, like comic books and graphic novels. But the convenience of an E-reader certainly worked wonders for me, and books don’t lose their magic just because they’re being read in a different form. I have read 98 books so far this year, since it’s much easier to carry my E-reader around and read at the gym without having to keep pages open while trying to work out on the treadmill or elliptical. And it has the internet. I love the internet.
The age of paper books is still ongoing, but e-books are coming on strong, and giving in to them is not like losing a battle. It’s more like forming a peace treaty, between two valid forms of what is essentially the same media. Do not sneer at e-books, just because they are the new kids on the block and different from what you know. Instead, welcome them with open arms, because it’s certainly possible for all books to co-exist in harmony, especially if it helps to expand literature and gives greater access to books for readers of all kinds.