The kerfuffle around the late release of the e-book version of the final book of the Wheel of Time has had me thinking about e-readers this week. More specifically, I’m wondering why people are resisting it. Maybe I’m the exception to the rule, but despite being a book lover for as long as I can remember, long before e-readers were even on the scene, there has never been a time when I’ve been skeptical towards them. I didn’t get one until my parents gave me one for Christmas in 2011, but that was always more about lack of money than a lack of desire to have one.
I understand that people love physical books. I love physical books. Flipping through the list of book on my Kindle can’t compare to standing in front of my overflowing bookshelves to pick out just the one I’m in the mood for. It’s the same thing with brick and mortar bookstores. I’ve spent far too much time (and money) in such places, and gotten far too much enjoyment out of browsing to ever want to see them go away.
However, all the things I love about a physical book are secondary. When it comes down to it, it’s not the act of reading I love. It seems like they’re inextricably intertwined, but the act of reading is to me simply a means to reach my true love, which is the stories. I don’t care whether they come to me in the form of audiobooks, if they’re carved into stone tablets— or if I have to press a button instead of turning a page.
I don’t think I will ever forgo physical books completely, but on the flip side, if my Kindle ever breaks, I would find it difficult to forgo that too. It has introduced me to stories I never would have taken a chance on otherwise, and quite frankly, it’s made my book habit a lot more sustainable, not to mention the favor it has done the people who have to help me when I move.
What about you? Are you welcoming e-readers, or do they have to pry paper books from your cold, dead fingers?