To e-read or not
A totally funny thing happened to me yesterday. I was reading an actual, physical book, reached the end of a page, and tapped the right margin to turn to the next.
Have you ever done this? It wouldn’t happen, of course, if I read books in only one form. But I’m constantly switching between hardcover, paperback, iPad, and Kindle.
For me, each has a purpose. For instance, if I’m reading a serious something that I know I’ll want to add to my library, I prefer the hardcover. There’s something about its weight, about the ease of going back to reread something that confuses me, about the heft of the thing if the subject is, well, hefty.
On the other hand, if the book I’m reading is for my book group and not one I’d choose on my own, but one in which I’ll want to highlight passages or lines for quick reference, I buy trade paperback. They call it “quality paperback,” and, yeah, I like the feel. I also like the idea of supporting independent bookstores, which often specialize in this format.
I e-read the rest of my things. Going away for a weekend? Take the iPad or Kindle, and if one book starts to bore me, I have another at the ready without the weight of multiple books in my luggage. The Kindle is great when I’m reading outside and don’t want the reflection. On the other hand, my iPad feels special. And I do have a Kindle app on it, so I can access every last one of the books I’ve purchased on one device.
I actually just bought an iPad Mini. Why? Size, mostly. My hand isn’t that all that big, and when I read in bed, smaller is easier to hold. Also, smaller is more portable, easier to stick in my purse and take with me for waiting times wherever. My iPad Mini charges in no time and holds its charge longer. Yes, the screen is a little smaller, but the print size feels the same. Bottom line? I love my Mini.
If you’re wondering how the author in me feels about e-readers? I feel like whatever gets people reading is good. Kids nowadays grow up on electronic devices, so if they choose to e-read, I’d rather that than nothing. Then again, since they’ll be spending so much of their time with electronics, they may welcome the novelty of holding an old-fashioned in-print book.
One other thought. E-books are so easy to purchase that I buy more than I’ll actually read. I don’t do that as much with print books. So I don’t feel like quite as much of a traitor, since I’m certainly supporting more authors this way.
How about you? What are your thoughts, e-book vs. print?