EBooks are here, and apparently they are here to stay.  I have embraced the internet, digital music, my ipod, smartphones, email, blogging, texting, and all kinds of other technological advances, but I haven’t yet embraced the digitized book.  If the “e” stood for excellent, I might be sold, but it doesn’t.  It stands for electronic, and since anyone can publish an eBook in minutes, how can I know if they’re any good?  I like the idea that a traditional book has had more than a few people read it, work on it, and edit it before I spend my money on it.

Apparently this makes me old-fashioned, but as of now, I’m okay with that.

I am also a book store junkie. I love digging through giant book stores, small used book stores and even the local thrift shop to find literary treasures, and I can spend hours there.

I adore the stale smell of stacks of old books as well as books with old gift inscriptions inside the front cover.  I lose this experience with digitized novels.

When I pick up a book, I know how to decide if its one I want to read. I look at the cover, read the back, read the front page, and read a page or two in the middle. I check the font and the amount of white space on each page.  I have no idea how to do that electronically.

I am overwhelmed by the whole idea of Kindles, Nooks, the Motorola Xoom (is that zoom?) and the Sony Reader. There’s even a Kindle DX. I thought that might play games like the Nintendo DS, but apparently it’s only a larger version of the regular Kindle which makes me wonder why they didn’t just call it the Kindle XL?

The world is transitioning to eBooks. Two years ago, none of my students had e-book readers. Now, there is one or two in each class. Students bring their eReaders, and I check their progress in percentages. On Monday, they might be 17% done. On Wednesday, 24%. That’s weird.

If I ask how long their book actually is, what do they say? 100%? Um, ya.

Perhaps there is a page count feature on an eBook reader, but I don’t know since I still haven’t succumbed despite some friends’ valiant efforts.

Everyone who has one loves it, and they tell me all about how great they are. The world is heading that direction. Borders’ demise is a sure sign of it. I’m sure eventually I’ll succumb, but I’m dragging my feet and hanging on to my piles of paperbacks for as long as I can.

No Comments

  1. Anthony Spotts on September 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I will admit I too am a Luddite. I could use Nook or Kindle on my iPad, but I refuse to do so. If I want to read a book, I want to be able to hold the book in my hands, feel its weight and the weight of the pages as I turn them, and not have to worry about not being able to finish because I forgot my charger at the house.

    • Amy Isaman on September 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      I admit it – I had to look up the meaning of “Luddite.” Great word! You bring up a great point about the charger. I hadn’t even considered that, but I can’t even imagine how annoyed I would be if, just in the middle of a great scene, my battery died.

  2. K.S. Schultz on September 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I also love bookstores and my fear is that they will all got the way of Borders if we all embrace ebooks. I agree that the sensory experience is lacking and affects how much I enjoy the story.

    • Amy Isaman on September 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      Since I haven’t read anything on an eReader, I imagine that there is some sort of sensory experience, just a very different one. I like everything having to do with actual books, and I agree that the different experience might affect how much I enjoy it. Thanks for commenting.

Leave a Comment