Down With E-Readers…?

Have you read Gary Shteyngart’s novel Super Sad True Love Story? It is a good book, certainly very smart, but I was mad reading it. Really. So mad, in fact, I contemplated not finishing it. But because I have a thing where I like to finish a book no matter what and yes, I know life’s too short and I’m too busy to spend time reading a book I dislike, but the writer did put their heart into it so I like to support them albeit anonymously in reading it cover to cover…There should be a support group for people like me, but I am getting better at putting a book aside if I hate it.

Anyway, I was mad while reading Shteyngart’s novel. And all because in the book people don’t read actual books anymore. They think books smell and only use technology to skim or speed-read through summaries of books. The main character has books, but he’s a bit embarrassed by them because it marks him as being weird, old, uncool.

But as I’ve thought about writing this post, and about how I would raise my fist and declare, “An E-Reader is Not for Me!” I’ve felt hesitation enter my heart. Are e-readers really so bad? Could I be wrong in my loyalty to the printed and bound books?

I love books, which I discuss in great detail here. So I’m just speechless that I’m not as anti-e-reader as I thought. I suppose it could be great carrying several books with you via an e-reader instead of the actual books. My bag is already pretty heavy as it is with diapers and wipes, sippy cups and snacks, Hot Wheels and crayons… and then there’s my stuff! And it would be nice to highlight favorite passages without marking the physical books up, since I’m such a nut about keeping my books in pristine shape. (I’m just assuming you can highlight with e-readers; I’ve never looked closely at one to see what it actually offers.)

I’m not prepared to make the switch right now, but I can no longer say I’ll never have an e-reader. Instead, maybe one day I’ll succumb to technology. Maybe.

What about you? Anyone else taking a stand against e-readers? Anyone recently succumb to the temptation and find themselves the proud owner of an e-reader? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!


12 thoughts on “Down With E-Readers…?

  1. I have a Nook, and I do like it, but I still prefer holding a book. I use my Nook for a couple of reasons, one if the book is thick I will buy it on my Nook ( I ride the train to work and the nook is lighter) or two I want instant gratification. I love roaming the bookstore and even more, love turning the page. I am not anti ereader because sometimes having one is just easier.

  2. I don’t have an e-reader yet, but I love the idea of not having to find places for all the physical books any longer. I will still always love certain books to hold, though. And, yeah, moving boxes of heavy books that I will never read again is the worst.

  3. I was a grudging Kindle buyer a couple of years ago. After a move where I schepped 6 double wide plastic cartons of books out of the U-Haul, up the stairs into my new ‘partment. My legs hurt, my back was killing me… and I had 12 more boxes to go.

    Since then – I thought I would hate it, but I love it. I do still buy “dead tree books,” but it is lovely to take a trip, knowing my Kindle is loaded with a couple hundred books, so if one of them bores me, or I get through my “trip book” faster than I anticipated, I can just read a different one, without breaking my back lugging them around. I can read any number of books that are Kindle-only. Also, if a book intrigues me, I may download the sample chapter, see if I like it, and then either buy the full book (usually) or delete. I also plan finally to read things like Moby Dick and War & Peace that I never got a round to.

    But, there is something to be said for reading in the bathtub – and I won’t risk my Kindle there.

  4. E-reader all the way. As you well know, I use the iPad and totally love it.

    Not because (as I’m sure you will accuse me) the clutter of books drives me nuts. E-readers are just plain cooler. This debate is akin the the snobbery of why LPs are superior to CDs/MP3s for music lovers. The point is that the changing technology helps the art to live on, albeit through a different medium.

    There was probably a cave-woman just like you fiercely holding on the the purity of cave paintings and refusing to adopt writing on animal skins. Adapt baby! I’d be over the moon if your books we’re being read via a book-brain implant in the future (note to other readers of A’s blog: if this idea is stolen based on this post, I will find you!)

    I also realize this argument is completely pointless, and as your devoted husband I will continue to lug your several thousand pound book collection across the US.

    I will probably be enjoying a book on my Ipad as I watch the poor movers struggle with your book collection again.

  5. Yes! I am currently looking into buying a Kindle. My husband has a Nook and loves it! I want something with multiple sources available to me at one time that I can stick into my purse. I tried the Kindle for PC software, but have found I just don’t go read the books. I do enough at my computer every day and don’t want to add that to the sitting time. I think it’s akin to changing from cassette tapes to CD’s. It’s a changing of the times we’re going to have to adapt to and learn to use as we see fit. Still, I will never get rid of some of my special hard/soft bound books. There are certain ones I just want to keep, but space also becomes an issue when you are an avid reader and getting rid of them later is tougher than you’d think. I can’t stand to burn them and even resale shops won’t take old ones sometimes. I say, just give one a try and see what you think. You might like it more than you expect.

  6. Brenda, I know what you mean about being convenient. And with using my phone to do so much these days, I can see where an e-reader could be so easy to get used to.

  7. No worries, Julie! I won’t disown you despite having succumbed to the dark side! 🙂 I like the custom skin idea. Maybe we should create a board on Pinterest for when I MIGHT make the leap!

  8. Laticia, That is what I’m afraid I’d end up doing: buying all the books in hard copy that I’ve bought as e-books! Not exactly cost-effective! Plus, I want my kids to be able to share books with my kids when they get older and I’m not sure I like the vision of them reading from an e-reader…harder to monitor what they’re reading that way too I imagine!

  9. I never ever thought I would use an e reader until we were living in Japan and we couldn’t buy books in English (or may be we could have, but I never found them) Both Josh and I down loaded the Google books app on to our phones and both read books that way while we were there. I actually did not mind it as it was super convenient to just take out my phone and start reading vs lug a book around in the already heavy diaper bag…. (but I do still prefer actual books…)

  10. I have been absolutely terrified of you finding my kindle and having an emotional break down. I was prepared to say … but I won it so it doesn’t count because I actually didn’t buy it. If you do ever get an e reader – I suggest we get you a custom skin etc that way it will special just like when you write your name in the cover.

  11. I have the nook color.I love it. I have about 150 books and counting that are with me at all times. I can highlight passages that mean something to me. But the best thing is that I can buy a hard copy of the books that mean mire to me than just a quick read without them.herring.destroyed by use…as long as I keep me book worm daughter from reading them.too…LOL

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