Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Talk: How Ereaders Changed Me


Since I was a little kid, I have been mesmerized by books. All kinds of books, tall, short, thick, thin, broken spines and intact spines, from white smooth pages to old yellowish and old pages. The covers, the titles, the fonts everything is a new world waiting to be explored by me. Sometimes, I love to look at my bookcase, the different sizes and colors of the books seem like a picture out of a coffee table book. These, are books that I bought three years ago, five, some more than 10 years ago and then there are books that I bought recently but I don't see the ones that I read yesterday or the day before or last week. Why? Because, these books exist in my virtual library on my kindle, pc, nook, laptop, smartphone anywhere else but on my bookcase. And now I wonder: How did this happen?

Until 2013, I did not have an e-reader. I lived in Greece, we don't have amazon or Barnes and Noble there and we don't have the e-reader technology ,although, Europe is filled with it. I was always browsing on Amazon.com things that I wanted to buy one day or had my then boyfriend order for me since his family ordered quite often from the online superstore. I remember the ads of the new Kindle (I think it was kindle 4 at the time? Not so sure) but I never thought I needed it. Besides, I was reading actual books everyday, I had the library next to my house and I could go there whenever I wanted. I was ok with actual, paperback and hardback books.

At night, I would turn on my light and read until dawn if I wanted to. I would throw it in my school bag and read at school, I could take the book anywhere with me. That changed when I moved in the U.S. in the beginning of 2013. I was seeing ereaders everywhere. I went to Barnes and Noble and they were there in different versions, promising customizable text fonts and sizes, line margins, fast page turning, built in light and many many more. I was intrigued. So, I said ''why not'' and bought one – and it changed my reading experience completely, the Nook Simple Touch also changed the way I see actual books.

The first three months, I was only reading from my nook. I did not touch a book. The nook did not have a built in light but I was fine with it, I had my table lamp. I felt like I read faster than before, I could look up words I didn't know without even opening a dictionary or my computer and I could keep notes. It was just magic to me. I was in love. After those first months, I started mixing ebooks with actual ones and kept some kind of balance. Up to 7 months later when I started the blog. I felt, like I was switching to my nook completely. I did not buy a lot of new books, only used from Thriftbooks and Goodwill because I was more accustomed to the cost of an ebook. I was thinking ''Why would I spend 10 or 20 or 50 dollars on a book when I can either get it half price on my nook or used or even free from the library?'' I don't know how much does it benefit the authors and the publishers if you buy ebooks but I am pretty sure a lot of people think exactly like this today. And it is not good.

Recently, I switched to a KindlePaperwhite and I rarely read actual books. It's like they dont meet my expectations – after all they don't have built in light, they don't monitor my time or how much time is left in the chapter, they don't have a built in dictionary or I am not able to change fonts. Most of them are not light, or take too much space in my bag etc. And this is crazy. I never thought, that an ereader would do this to me. Would make me see the actual books redundant and not worthy to even touch. If I knew it, I would simply never buy an ereader.

I am planning to change that soon. I am trying to read more books again. I will at least try to put my kindle aside for awhile and rekindle with my actual books. Buy more actual books, go to the bookstore again and even visit the library.

E-readers may be the future of books but books have been around forever in all kinds of forms – stone, wood, paper ,e-ink-digital- and they will continue to be around for a long time to come but no matter in what form they are available we should never forget the enthusiasm we felt as kids when we were buying a new book. I'm sure all of us stuck our noses in there and inhaled the scent. That beautiful scent of a new book or an old one. Besides, every bookcase makes a house even more beautiful and shows that a person is indeed cultivated what does the e-reader show?

If you went or going through something
similar or want to post your opinion on this feel free to comment below!
Ciao.


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