I’ve got a confession to make. I caved in a pretty big way this week. Those who know me, know I’m a total book-worm. I rarely leave the house without a book in my bag. It’s about as essential to me as making sure I have my wallet, phone, and car keys at all times. I’ve been a loyal fan of reading for as long as I can remember – back to the days of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, and let’s not forget the seemingly never-ending Sweet Valley High series. Friday nights killing time in bookstores and Saturday afternoons in the library were quite common growing up. As I’ve gotten older, I realize just how influential those days were to me the more I think about it. I’ve even blogged about it in my Ode to Bookstores.
The funny things is almost 20 years later, nearly all of the books that I read are still checked out from the library and are, in fact, “real” books! There’s something so nostalgic about being around and carrying physical books. I love the smell. I love to turn pages. I love to see the progression of a bookmark as I make my way through a great novel. And I love, love, love stories (hence my eternal devotion to film; a story that started on paper that became visual). So the big highlight of my week was making the decision to go digital when I gave into the new Kindle Paperwhite.
I debated for a while over making the switch not only because of the cost, but because I wondered if the experience of reading would be as “genuine” as a real book. And while libraries are slowing building their downloadable e-media content for Kindle’s, I know that buying technology like this inevitably also means that I’ll be spending more money on books, which is something I’ve avoided altogether by using the library. Unlike music or films, I hardly ever re-read books, so while I do enjoy them and have a small book collection at home, I’ve never been able to justify the cost and it’s also saved me a lot of space.
Ultimately, the decision came down to ease (and I won’t lie, a little bit of awe in having a new gadget too – it’s my much belated birthday present to myself!). I can access over a millions books at any time, storing over 1,000 of them in my device; at no where near the bulk that it would take up in my purse to carry a single book (and I’ve stretched out quite a few handbags lugging around 500 page hard cover books over the years). I think future handbags and my aging shoulders are already grateful.
This doesn’t mean that my relationship with books is over, it just means it’s changing…knowing that they won’t be too far away.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Have a great weekend guys!
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