Being a Grinch about e-readers

There are a few naturally occurring phenomenons that can command peoples’ attention, even when not much is happening at all. Like – staring at a fire or the ocean. I mean there is even a website called www.firedvd.com! Something about the flickering flames or the sweeping waves of the sea can be absorbing, for some reason it doesn’t seem boring to watch them for a while.

In unnaturally occurring scenes I thought about traffic, I feel like we can observe a steady stream of cars on a highway in the same manner as a fire or the ocean.

But for me, I can pass the time just staring at bookshelves, just gazing upon their spines, maybe thinking about what each holds between their covers, or just admiring the various fonts, titles and colors.

I don’t have to take a book down, but I’m also never 100% satisfied with the way they’re organized. This is letting out my inner OCD book-geek but I enjoyed our recent big move as an excuse to reorganize them! Even though I feel like my bookshelves are a constant work in progress I am always able to sit quietly in front of them for a bit, and smile as my chest swells with pride and happiness seeing them all lined up in a row.

This is the main reason why I EMPHATICALLY DO NOT WANT AN E-READER FOR CHRISTMAS.

Phew, glad I got that off my chest.

It is assumed by my friends and family that I want one, heck I’ve read over 140 books this year! But it’s just not worth it to me. I am way too much of a tactile person and enjoy displaying my collection for other’s to admire too much to ever have my books saved as a file on a computer somewhere.

Ugh, just typing that gave me the heebie jeebies.

It’s all about the cost-benefit and although you can fit hundreds of books on a e-reader and considerably lighten your load on your commute or on your vacation the cost of not being able to hold or display my books greatly out-weighs those benefits.

Another benefit I thought about was specifically for my reading preferences, sure sometimes I’d prefer to keep it private what I’m reading, especially when the cover looks like this:

 

So that way people can’t guess I’m reading a passage like this:

He filled his palms with her, cupped her bottom and supported her, held her steady as he tasted her center. Explored her with his tongue, teased and tantalized her until she was sobbing with urgency, moaning with need.*

But even with that benefit of privacy, e-readers are just gosh darn expensive, plus you can’t loan your books to friends, plus there are restrictions as to when e-books are released and what format you’re able to read them in.

So I felt like a Grinch, but I purposefully told hubby, my mother-in-law, and my parents that I absolutely positively had ZERO interest in a kindle, Sony e-reader, or any of those new fangled things.

Maybe one day reading a book on the metro will be akin to listening to a Walkman while the person next to you has an iPod, but at this point I am staying far far away. My fingers to do itch to push a button they way the itch to turn a page on a good story.

ETA: The lovely Smart Bitches also have a post up on e-readers today, about delaying e-book releases in deference to gaining hardcover book sales. I.Rest.My.Case.

*From my current read, A Rakes Vow, by Stephanie Laurens

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11 Responses

  1. For me, I am both ways. I LOVE the smell and feel of a book, I have a TON of dead tree books but I also have an ereader…with a very large collection of ebooks as well. I switched because i can’t take all my books with me on deployments and such.

  2. Monica: wow, deployment? yeah, that would be an extenuating circumstance to justify an e-reader! when i travel i only have to decide between an extra pair of shoes or more books. but at least you have your gorgeous REAL BOOKS to come home too ;)

  3. I too staunchly denied an e-reader. My head hurts reading a screen after a few hours, and when I get a book I love, it can be an entire before I put the thing down. I love technology, but not for my books!

  4. HERE HERE! Dead Tree Books all the way!

    I thought about e-readers – very, very briefly. Than I thought – “wait, I have to pay $400 – not for books – but for the equipment that will let me read books when for the same amount I could have 40 books I could pick up and read in a nanosecond?”

    Not only money, but I can’t turn pages? That’s what always annoyed the crap out of me in University when I had to read e-articles for papers. I couldn’t turn the pages! I had no idea where I was in the middle of a big-ass boring treatise on reverse post-psychological marxist feminism readings of Everybody Poops except a dead little number at the bottom of the page, saying “3 of 90 pages”. There’s no little victory at FINALLY turning another page in this boring paper, just scroll, scroll, scroll….

    Plus – I’ll second you with the organizing books fetish (best present ever – new book shelves!), and being able to physically browse and feel books.

  5. Danni: supposedly since they’re not backlit they don’t have the same effect as a computer screen, but no electronically simulated page will ever come close to a real one.

    AnimeJune: three cheers for dead tree books! ugh i didn’t even THINK about the satisfaction factor of the bulk of the book moving to your left hand as you get closer to the end. i totally agree about the scrolling factor online too.

  6. I with you; I love displaying my books. I’m never satisfied with them, either, so I’m always re-organizing them and finding new ways to group them together (genre? alphabetical? alphabetical by genre?). And I love that new book/old book smell, and the feel of the pages. Books have personality =)

    Plus, I know I can never accidentally delete my dead tree book, or lose it to a reformated computer. Plus, what happens when your e-reader breaks?? You have to shell out another couple hundred for a new one. No thanks. If one of my books breaks, I can just duct tape it back together!

  7. I’m with AnimeJune – let’s hear it for us non-e-reader readers! I’ve considered getting one mostly to read some of the e-book only books that sound good. But with so many to choose from and one kind of reader doesn’t support one kind of book and Kindle thrown into the mix etc., etc, I’ve no idea where to begin. And the stepsof trying to download one from the site onto a hand held device scares that heck out of me!!
    For the books with explicit covers and passages – my solution is to carry around two books with me all the time – work safe cover books and ‘do I want people seeing me reading a book with this cover’ books

  8. I’m all for combining the two! That has to do with me living in Europa, the Netherlands where dead tree books in the genres I like are not that easy to purchase and when you can it takes ages before they are delivered. Ebooks I can buy online and recieve immediately, just with one click on the download button. That’s a great advantage. But at the same time a like the feel and smell of a new book once in a while!

  9. I do both. I don’t see myself ever giving up Dead Tree completely, but I like the convenience of e-books, especially for travel. Right now I’m electronic for some ARCs and Harlequins. Everything else? Dead Tree. Unless there is some killer sale going on that getting an eBook is just too good an offer to refuse.

    My beef with the format is that they haven’t settle on one format, and it makes it confusing for a lot of people. Which device should you buy, which format should you download – ugh! While eBooks certainly are growing, until they settle that little issue, I’m just not seeing world domination.

  10. I have a feeling I’m getting an e-reader for Christmas. When I gave my mom my Christmas list, she pulled a sad face and sad, “Don’t you want a Kindle?”

    I agree with you on enjoying looking at books on my bookshelves. It makes me happy.

  11. thekams: one of my fave ways to organize my shelves is alphabetical by genre! i also have a “smart person” shelf with all the classics and high brow lit ;) and i completely agree, at this time e-reader costs are prohibitive. but i remember when DVD players were too expensive too!

    KristieJ: yeah, im really curious to see what happens in the future, maybe they’ll make it easier to figure out. and i like your two book solution, if only because the more books i have on me, the happier i am!

    Janna: for the instantaneous purchase of an e-book that totally makes sense, i would probably do the same, good point!

    Wendy: i can see how more people would be like you in the future with both e-readers and regular books. that combo would work for most people, hopefully when its less expensive!

    heidenkind: if you do i look forward to hearing how it works out for you. and yes, looking at books “makes me happy” too, so simply put, so simply true!

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