I’ve argued the importance of good ole’ page turning before, I feel there is nothing better than being insomniac ridden by a good book and the trembling of your fingers as you turn page after page. There is something about feeling the weight of the book in your hands or on your lap that makes you feel at home or that begs to take you away to another place.
Growing up, being read to sleep; the thrill of going to a book store and carefully selecting your next best friends were a big deal. There was a huge stigma attached to reading, a good one and the more books you had the better you were, the more well educated. As times are changing so is the stigma. For a while, reading was un cool but with the rise of the Harry Potter Series, Twilight and older books that had cult followings like Tolkien and Fight Club reading is making a come back but there are definitely new rules in the reading game.
I’ve never liked e-readers or The View but today I heard a very poignant comment and it was the most intelligent I’d heard in a while in defense of the E-readers. Whoopi Goldberg (and I’m paraphrasing) was talking about the amount of books that kids have to walk around with and how simple it would be if every child had an E-reader and could download their text books every semester. They would have less load to carry, won’t have to worry about what text book to bring to school what day and they would over all have everything they need at their finger tips. On the flip side there are a lot of reasons why that wouldn’t work or why it wouldn’t work for everyone. Who says that everyone will be able to afford them and even if the schools do get a break from Amazon (Kindle) or Barnes and Noble (Nook) there is no saying that Parents would be able to afford the extra cost and there is no way our government will pick up the tab.
More toward the Pro of the having an Ebook is that after the initial high cost of purchasing the hardware the e-books are cheaper than physical books. An average E-book costs $8-$12 depending on a title and a paper book can cost anywhere from $15-$25. and Amazon has reported selling more E-books than hard covers and they have made millions. According to Wired.com in the link here: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/07/amazon-more-e-books-than-hardcovers/ that it takes the purchase of 11 e-books to justify the cost of the $180 Kindle which is a huge deal and amount of savings (E-books for amazon are $10 and less) for a heavy reader like myself.
So the dilema remains, should I get an E-book. I’m fearful as it looks fragile and I’d be scared shitless if I drop it. I’m ultimately less angry at it for taking away from my romantic notions of real books but I see the benefits either way. I feel like a mid ground of using it on the go, and buying a paper version of books you love is a good way to compromise. I don’t know if I’ll get one, but I’m more open minded.
If you are a heavy reader and you have an E-reader, I’d love to hear from you.