The day I've dreaded ever since I first heard of an "e-Reader" has come. Amazon is reporting that eBook sales have surpassed both hardcovers and paperbacks. Hardcovers are so pricey that it was no wonder eBooks won out over them back in July 2010, but then in January of this year, paperbacks fell behind, and now ... I'm hearing music in my head that would be perfect for some flick about the apocalypse.
Maybe that's because deep down ... I'm lame. I may have an iPhone and snicker at my boyfriend who has an old-school Samsung flip phone that looks like it came straight out of 2002, but when it comes to reading, I'm on Team Old-School Books & Proud! As a lifelong bookworm and an aspiring author, I just never ever in a million years imagined I'd have no choice but to read books on or write books for a screen.
Here, the top five reasons why I'm not ready to be dragged into the 21st century on this one ...
1. Libraries rock. I've heard people who are "in the know" on this kind of thing say that not long from now, most of our libraries will shut down. There will be one main library for every county, perhaps, but nothing else, because most people won't have much of a need for "real books" when they can just borrow them or get them for free or buy them real cheap for their e-Readers. How will people ever know the joy of being hushed by a librarian or the musty smell of old book stacks? They'll miss out on a valuable lesson in discipline when they no longer have to worry about returning books by their due date!
2. E-ink? More like e-stink! I've seen the commercials. Apparently these e-Readers use high technology to make their screens look just like a real book! You can even read it in the bright sunlight without a glare. But I've SEEN you Kindle people on the train, and your screen flickers when you turn a page. Seems like a migraine-inducer to me!
3. I like my books without glaring spelling errors, thanks very much. There's something about this new technology that makes us produce and consume at warp speed. These e-Books are getting churned out so quickly that a lot of them seem to get lost in the editing shuffle. I'm not interested in reading Jane Eyre filled with typos and grammatical mistakes. That's like an English major's worst nightmare.
4. Bookstores are my happy place. I'm a shopaholic, so obviously, I love the experience of going to a Barnes & Noble (or preferably a mom and pop bookstore that somehow hasn't gone under as a result of the big box stores and Amazon), getting a coffee, and then spending at least an hour roaming the aisles for the perfect paperback or bargain find. I love it! It is not the same as pointing and clicking and "beginning to read instantly." Don't take it away from me!
5. The touch, the feel ... of an actual book. The e-Reader commercials just love to make fun of people who enjoy turning a real page or cracking a real binding. But I do. I also love the look of a filled bookshelf. Many of them. A fantasy of mine growing up was to have my own library in my house one day. e-Readers, don't ruin my childhood dreams!!!
What team are you on -- real book or e-Reader?
Image via Amazon