Tuesday 22 May 2012

E-readers and Little Old Me

All my friends know that I am not the biggest friend of modern technology. I found my peace with my computer, I know how to write a document in Word, I even learned how to put a picture in my blog or on any of the social media platforms. I love that I can tape a movie or buy a DVD and watch my favourites over and over again ...

However, there is one thing I don't think I'll get used to very fast, if ever: the e-reader, or, as better known in my circle of friends, books with batteries. I know a lot of people who move a lot and therefore can't buy too many books. There might be a reason for a sick person who cannot hold a book, someone who travels much and can't take too many with them every time they go on a trip. All good reasons to buy one. But for me, wife and mother of two almost grown kids who loves her books, there is nothing that can tempt me into getting an e-reader. I love the smell of my books, I love to hold a book in my hands. I love to be able to go back and forth in my book, well, back more than forth, I try not to take a peek, even if it is very tempting. I carry my books around everywhere, no waiting room will ever see me without my little book baggy. There is just something to it, when you get a new book, choose it from among a group of books at home or in the shop, open it for the first time, smell it, feel it, glance at the first sentences. Aaaaah .... bliss. I also love going to the library and browse through their offers, chat with the librarian, just something that belongs to a "real book". Besides, "used" books tell you a story about how much someone else before you loved it. Of course, I also like opening a fresh new one but used ones do have a certain something. I confess, I'm a dinosaur, left over from a past generation.

If you think, an e-reader is a good idea, go ahead, buy one. But there are disadvantages, so I've been told. You have to decide which one you buy, some companies offer more books to download than others. Then, you have to load the books, if you change the system, you might have to reload. You can run out of batteries, the system can break down (all of these complaints I’ve heard from people who love their e-reader), a friend of mine dropped hers and it was broken etc. etc. Who tells me that I can still read the books I download today in ten years? In twenty? Are they still compatible with the systems we buy today. Probably not, because the companies like making more money. We live in a throw-away society. Guess what, my books will still be compatible with my grandchildren. You cannot easily lend your e-book to a friend and ask her what she thinks, you have to tell them to spend money first. In our book club, we lend books to each other, so we don’t all have to buy them. Of course, that would be out of the question, as well. Too many disadvantages in my eyes. And I don’t like holding a machine like that for too long, I already dislike my mobile phone for that. And it's not that everyone who tries it loves it instantly, I know people who have one and don’t like it.

I guess, there is still something that speaks for the good old fashioned book. Long may it live!

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