Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Paper or Plastic?

I have at least 1000 books in my basement.  They migrate.  They are piled on my headboard, on my living room floor, on my desk.  And every so often, while I'm trying to walk past a bookstore without making eye contact, one of them calls to me ...

I read stupidly fast.  I don't know if I read every word, and I hate that question.  Who says there's a right way to read?  (the kids timed me on holidays this year.  I read in my head three times faster than I read out loud.)

So it's hard to keep me in books.  Not quite as hard now that I'm writing one, because I can't often justify sacrificing an entire afternoon to a book.  (There have been some exceptions.  When I read The Thirteenth Tale, I read until 3 in the morning and when I got to The End, I flipped back to the beginning and started again.)

It's especially hard to keep me in books when I am travelling because there's always the issue of how much weight do I want to schlep around? and yet!  I will have TIME TO READ.

Enter the eReader.  Oh blessed blessed eReader.  You can buy as many books as you want before you leave home, and they don't weigh ANYTHING.  And then, if you find WiFi somewhere, you can buy MORE weightless books if you run out.

I read a LOT.

I have read a lot MORE since I started ereading.  I have Kindle software on my computer (free.  You get it for free)  and Kindle on my phone, and someone GAVE me an entire Kobo.  So as long as there's something unread - I can read in the lineup at Starbucks.  Even if I forget my book AND the Kobo, I've usually got my phone.

So which do I prefer?

Pros and Cons.

1.  A paper book never runs out of battery.

2.  An eReader (mostly, usually) keeps your place.  (the Kindle on my phone likes to mess with me on that one)

3.  A paperback can handle being dropped in the bathtub.

4. eBooks can be purchased at three in the morning, in your bathrobe, in your dimly lit kitchen.  Really, with enough of the right software on things, you wouldn't even have to get out of bed.

5.  Paper can be written on.  Underlined.  Etc.

6.  Nobody can yank the bookmark out of  your eReader just to be funny.

7.  A paperback loads instantly.  If you are me, and reading before bed, this might mean the difference between reading and not reading that night.

8. eReaders don't weigh anything, at least mine doesn't.


So it's pretty even.  eBooks are also, often, cheaper, so I get to buy more and still spend less.  I have found, though, that if I really really really love a book (see the post I have yet to write about The Book Thief) - I want it out here among the people, not electronically hiding somewhere.

5 comments:

Colleen Taylor said...

I bought about 8 books at "G Books" today. They're having a sale: $2 for oversized paperbacks. Dare ya to find one there that you haven't read.
http://www.yelp.ca/biz/g-books-calgary

Krista said...

Your library also lets you check out ebooks: http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/books-more/ebooks. Main reason I want an ereader!

Anonymous said...

SO...how is YOUR book coming along?

corrie said...

A good friend came over one day and saw my (what I considered) modest bookshelf of books. She knows me, she knows I like to read. "But you haven't read all of those, have you?" she asked. "Ummm... yes." I answered, not mentioning that I only picked out my favourites to display, my real library is in bins down in the storage room. We only have so many bookshelves in our house...

Karen said...

When I moved last year I experienced a great deal of ribbing from the moving men as to the number of my boxes labelled "books"...there is just something about the physical presence of books. I feel about books like other women seem to feel about shoes and no version of an electronic shoe would seem to replace the tangible :) Then again, I am likely about two steps away from being deemed a Luddite.