Wednesday, June 23, 2010

To E or not to E ? that is the question


Having some time on my hands recently & spending that time constructively i.e. checking out Book blogs, I’ve noticed that this question keeps popping up in one guise or another -  should I get an E-reader/kindle/Sony etc, or are books as solid objects better?

Now for me this is a strange situation, I’ll stick my hands up I love GADGETS, I have my 32 gig creative Zen x-fi, my Nokia smart phone, my laptop, & I’m thinking about an I-PAD, in short I LOVE GADGETS.
So it should be easy, nip down the shops/order online,load it up & away I go with my electronic book,

I’ll have read The Complete works of Shakespeare by suppertime on to all western literature by bedtime.
But, there's something about holding a book,turning those pages, the smell of a new book & the smell of an old one. There’s the weight and the solid presence of something that's filled with dreams, fairytales, ideas that float above the surface, that seep into your thoughts & feelings.

Whether you would still feel this way with something like an E-reader,I don’t know, personally I doubt it, don’t get me wrong I can see their uses, brilliant for travellers, ideal if your away from home for short periods of time. Maybe for all my love of gadgetry I’m a Luddite. Yet books, solid, pristine, torn & battered, finding books with old bookmarks or notes inside - there’s just something about them, about the ritual of positioning yourself, finding the page & settling down for a period of time that can’t be replaced by a gadget.


Harvee, Book Dilettante said...

I agree with you on tis. I'm thinking if I get an eReader my better half might use it as he is not as fond of paper books as I am and loves to be reading on a "screen."

Tamara said...

Hi, I have tried an e-reader and my decision was to keep it for certain occassions. I commute on the train 1 hr each way - sometimes having a hard copy book in my bag just adds to what else Im carrying and my PDA is already with me. But generally, I prefer a book to hold and turn, and show my friends what Im reading. It's a little strange pulling up a screen on my PDA to show them the cover! I support E books for the environment, yet in Australia we have such bizzare copywrite laws that many of the authors I like aren't avalable here in e-format. Sad but true.

@parridhlantern said...

Hi, Book Bird Dog, I love gadgets can stare at computer screen for hours, but when it comes to books paper wins every time.

Tamara, I think a lot of people will find the authors they like may not be supported, especially if the books they like are obscure, or the writers not popular, also think how few books don't get published in english translation because of a supposed lack of interest ( or minority interest) are they likely to make it to an E format ?.

gina said...

I have to agree, it's the weight and feel of a physical book that has prevented me from investing in an eReader. I also enjoy the time I spend away from my laptop or work computer or television. That said, you are right about its use for those who travel or are away from home for extended periods. I have to add that, having moved to a new apartment last month, I definitely felt the value of having hundreds of books stored on a server somewhere:)