Gasp! I know, right?
Gingermermaid, lover of books, page-i-liscious books, has converted into a Kindle owner. Dun dun duuuuuuuun!
Look, I have millions of excuses as to the switch-over, and I am happy to say, it has nothing to do with peer pressure—a statement which is only partially factual.
For years, I have fought this e-book trend. It’s sad to lose the magic of floppy paperbacks, the bulkiness of Harry Potter-sized hard covers, and the crisp folds of dog-eared pages. It feels like an insult to all the writers and readers before us and, yet again, another object in life digitalized.
But it’s the evolution of life. There used to be a time when books needed their pages sliced in order to proceed to the next page. Did pro-page slicers protest books that no longer required such arduous, manual reading skills? I suspect they did not.
My tipping point came recently—I’d venture to say a little over a week ago recently. I’ve been on a reading binge and I’m currently assembling 100 books I’d like to read that is not one of those stupid “100 Books I MUST Read Before Sinking 6 Feet Under” but a list of books I want to read and I believe are worthwhile reads and will be read in my own time (let’s do this, Dr. Seuss). I’m a fast reader, so I think I can move through the list Jonathan Swiftly (ha ha, I’m lame).
The reality is there are a great many books available as e-books and a great many of these are free. Free. FREE. Which means, I get to read Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Bronte, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and many more for no cost and without needing to leave the comfort of a reading chair. That butt doesn’t grow itself, after all. Aside from works not obligated to copyright, and thus free, there are other, more modern books heavily discounted or at zero cost in e-book form. I just downloaded a book by Ronald Malfi, whom I never read before but was recommended as a great writer of horror. It’s not like it cost anything to own and I have plenty of bookshelf space in my e-library, so why not give it a go?
I’m such a sell-out. Shame.
Aside from easy and cheap access to books (get your mind out of the gutter), the Kindle is small, light-weight, and contains thousands of pages everywhere I tote it. I’m going to Israel for work in a few weeks, and I don’t have to bring five different books to read on the trip; I can have my copy of Mice and Men, Far From the Madding Crowd, and The Great Gatsby with me and I don’t have to check it as excess carry-on baggage.
Furthermore, I have access to local libraries (way to adapt libraries!) and can check out books from the comfort of my home like I would a physical book. Cost-effective, time-effective.
Look, I do cherish the physical manifestation of a book, and I’d love first editions of my favorite books, and if I can’t get a first edition, I want a copy of that book to snuggle with at night. How could I ever justify not owning Anne of Green Gables? I wouldn’t even be able to look at myself in the mirror.
I know I said the tipping point that broke me had to do with a reading binge, blah blah blah. I must confess, it also largely had to do with my 7-year-old niece who received a Kindle for her birthday earlier this month and knew how to master it before I even knew there were buttons on the basic device. She cannot outdo me. She’s already received an excellence in literature interpretation in the first grade and all I had was a purple dress with a big, stupid bow on it. It’s on, little Ruby.