Friday, 12 November 2010

Books vs Ebooks

I used to be one of those people who loved books. I don't mean reading, I mean I actually loved books themselves. The scent of a new book is quite unique and it's s scent I love, it makes me feel warm, safe and comfortable.

When I read a book, I took great pains not to bend the spine any more than necessary and I hated giving books away; keeping every book I had ever read was almost an obsession and I dreamed of one day having a library. Of course I had to part with them sometimes, usually when moving house and I was forced to choose between them, those I would read again and those I probably wouldn't. Sometimes if i loved a book and had read it many times, I would buy a new copy, not to read, just so that I still had a pristine version.

Maybe it was an intellectual snobbery but more likely it had it's roots in insecurity. Sure, i might be dyslexic, but I'll bet you haven't read this many books! Ha!

When I moved abroad I still took half my books with me (the other half I sent to an adoption centre, AKA charity shop). While living abroad though, my foible encountered a kink. English language books are very hard to come by in foreign countries, so much so that aside from the few new books I had sent to be from the UK, every book I read was second hand. There were no new book stored handy to browse, so I scoured markets and car boot sales instead.

I soon discovered that a battered, tatty second hand book was just as enjoyable as a new book, even without the new book smell. Then a second hand book shop opened up locally and I would pop in there at least once a week.

I also began to feel that, in an environment where books are so scarce, perhaps I was being selfish by hanging onto my copies, especially since they looked so ratty next to my older, pristine books. So I began to trade my books in. Surprisingly it wasn't as hard as I thought.

When i had to move back to the UK I was faced with a dilema, did I ship my books back again (most of which i still hadnt read a second time) or sell them? In the end I chose to sell all but perhaps a dozen of them, times were uncertain and carting boxes of books around just wasn't feasible.

So by the time i got back to the UK, i was over a lot of my book hangups. Still, I didn't really like Ebooks, they just weren't real books and when you finished one, you had nothing to show for your efforts other than a few MB's of space on a hard disk.

Then it happened. One of my favourite authors books was being released later in the UK than in the USA and it would take a few days to be posted to me (and if you know anything about me, you'll know that I have zero patience). So i bit the bullet, bought the Ebook version on the day of release and read it on my laptop.

And do you know what? An Ebook is just as enjoyable as a paper book. Just as captivating, just as thrilling, just as scary.

Since then, aside from a few books bought in charity shops, every book I have bought has been an Ebook. They're prefect for todays instant society. You want it, you buy it, thirty seconds later you're reading it. Plus, carting your Ebooks from house to house is SO much easier than paper books.

So that's how I joined the digital revolution. Now I just have to get an Ereader, i have a feeling it'll be even more fin if i;m not chained to my laptop!

No comments:

Post a Comment