Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The eReader Dilemma SOLVED

3 subjects have had far too much of my mind space for the last week:
  1. How to effectively rid my Paris apartment of les souris. (Just tossed another body out the door.)
  2. Where to buy the best boot for autumn. (Minelli and they are lovely.)
  3. Do I get an eReader? If so, Kindle vs iPad.
I asked my friend Cassandra and she loves loves LOVES her iPad and hasn't touched her Kindle since she bought said iPad.

So, being brilliant, I asked if I could buy her Kindle. She's decluttering. I'm getting an eReader and she's throwing in the Kindle accoutrement free o' charge. Everyone wins.

I asked my friend Jeff about eReaders and he said he's putting off the purchase because he's tired of plugging things in to charge them. Charge fatigue. Been there.

My other friend Jeff wrote about his love of the book here... and I quote:
"I can't imagine giving up the tangible, visceral experience of holding a book in my hands while reading it. The texture of the binding, the smell of the print, the sound of the spine cracking when it's first opened. To me it's a deeper, richer and more satisfying experience than reading on a Kindle or iPad (as bitchin' as the iPad is)."
But then I was hanging out in Poland at a cabin to... gulp... relax.

And I only had 50 pages left in the book I brought with me... gulp... panic.

And I knew I couldn't rely on Sudoku to get me through. 

So I downloaded the Kindle for Mac and a few books I had looked for in Paris but couldn't find.

I don't know what took me so long.

I've been scouring English bookstores in Paris, searching for the books I want to read, only to realize that all the books I want to read that are not available in Paris ARE AVAILABLE INSTANTLY ONLINE.

Sometimes I amaze myself with how NOT brilliant I can be. Boy am I ever late to get in this game.

Electronic books rock. They are all right there on my computer (and soon Kindle). I can click on a word and instantly get the dictionary definition. I can highlight whatever I want, go back later to read my collection of highlights and sigh once more at how brilliantly one can turn a phrase. And if I want to read something later that I didn't highlight, there is a search function. Oh yes. Ohhh yes there is.

Sure, like Jeff above, I'll miss the smell of ink on paper, the feeling of flipping through a book, the anticipation of being gripped by a good story as I walk my new purchase home from the bookstore. And sure, like the other Jeff above, I'll likely not enjoy the inconvenience of recharging YET ANOTHER item. For living out of one suitcase, I sure have a lot of stuff that requires charging.

I used to clip photos from magazines, too. I had a pretty folder full of bits of paper. But now I can pin electronic photos on Pinterest and get goosebumpy whenever I want by the combination of nice photos and the neat and tidy organization.

I still miss records but I learned to get on without them. Sure, the big square album art was nice. And then CDs came along with their cute square booklets of lyrics. That was cool, too. But one thing is better than all that: iTunes.

I want to support the mom and pop shops. I do, I do, I do. And I will, but honestly, my support will likely be limited and dwindle with time because eReading is making a believer out of me.

I remember wanting to support my local camera shop, too. But one thing is better than getting my film developed, no matter how fun it was to receive an envelope of photos: iPhoto.

Rotary phones? Any phones? The answer is the iPhone... as long as it's not roped into a devilish AT&T contract

Yet I still feel slightly conflicted. The bookstores. The aimless wandering. You've Got Mail is one of my favorite movies. But, just like when Facebook revamps the site, the initial outrage subsides and we all get on with it, barely remembering how it was before.


  1. That little gem of a blog deserves to be published.

    And on the mouse front:

  2. I read so many blogs online, I don't have time for eBooks. Except yours, which I downloaded last week. :)

    Like Jeff #2, I just love the feeling of an actual book in my hand. Maybe I'll convert. But I'm still using a phone that requires me to tap out A-B-C on the number keys to text... Sometimes vintage is fun...

  3. First of all, excellent quote sources in this post. Kudos. Secondly, I think there's a way for books - actual books - and eReaders to peacefully coexist. In the same way ordering on Amazon is okay if you know what you want, the same holds true for eReaders. And being in another country where certain books aren't available in person but are online makes perfect sense. Still, like Mel, to me nothing beats holding a book: you don't have to charge it, you don't have to re-adjust your eyes while the backlight is flickering and fading, it doens't heat up while sitting on your lap (although not always a bad thing) and the sound of it closing when you're done is infinitely more satisfying than powering down. I also think the camera shop analogy is a little off in the sense that camera shops are still here - what's changed are the mechanics of the device. You still have to buy lenses, cases, digital storage, equipment and ask questions to people at the store who have answers. Digital books are gradually eliminating real bookstores, or at least cutting into their sales enough to make a dent (bye Borders). I'm sure the next time I'm in Poland with 50 pages to go I'll reconsider my position. That or bring two books with me.

  4. Oh, sigh. the one electronic thing I can't wrap my big fat head around is reading a book not in book form. I want to agree and say it's for all of the romantic physical book reasons, but really it's because I stare at a computer screen enough throughout the day, and a real live book isn't bright and computery.

    Oh yeah, and those boots are pretty awesome. Hope you don't ever find a mouse in one.

  5. This is a message to you and also to Jeff and Jeanette... It's a link to a story that talks about, of all things, bookmobiles, and their possible fate during and after the eBook explosion:


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