Friday, December 23, 2011

Paper books in the age of Kindle, Nook and the rest

I do not have an e-reader, so far by choice, though I do see the utility. Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth is much more convenient to lug around on an e-reader than its massive paper form.  My reason, so far valid, is that I still own so many paper books that I want to read that I don’t need to buy any, in any form. That said, I am sure I will eventually break down.
But that does not mean I will abandon paper books, ever. I am one of those people who enjoy the smell of the ink and paper and the heft of the paper in my hands and even the changing distribution of the weight as I read; the weight shifting from the right to the left. One other big reason – I am an eclectic reader. I like old stories as well as new ones. Many of the books I am interested in are not available in electronic format, and may not be in my lifetime.
And therein lies the rub for any reader. You find a new, to you, author and you want to read their earlier works. Or you want to re-read a book from your past. Or you get a recommendation from a friend for a book published before the advent of the e-reader. In all these cases the paper is often the only choice.
In this increasingly digital marketplace this means that used (“pre-read” or “pre-owned”) books take on a greater importance as they become the only option as even libraries reduce the amount of old paper books on their shelves.
I hope that many new horizons will open to you and that paper books will continue to be a part as I know they will for me.

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