Monday, September 5, 2011

What E-Readers Are Robbing You Of

I am pro-(literal-hold-in-your-hand-paper-and-ink-pick-up-off-the-shelf)books

I get that e-readers are cool. I understand that they're handy, and that they might be good for some things like the way that a lot of agents use them now to go over manuscripts, and I'm sure they work well for many other reasons. I understand that they save space and a little bit of money and it's kinda schnazzy to have a bunch of books practically in your pocket.

But, as much as you can say that, when it comes down to it, it's really just the content that you're looking for, I just can't buy in. To me that's like saying that if they found a way to manufacture porridge so that it filled you up and tasted EXACTLY like pizza or ice cream or whatever your favorites are, that you would be fine eating it for the rest of your life. After all, it fills you up AND you get all the flavors you crave, and maybe they'll even make the textures seem the same on your tongue. Same experience, just cheaper and easier, right?

But what is pizza without holding it and folding it and slurping off cheese, and what is ice cream if you can't put it on a cone and let it drip down your hand as you eat it on a hot day? I have memories of going to the bookstore and buying certain books, memories of sitting with them and scanning their pages and cover art before reading: and every book has a different feel to me. I'm sure you all have these memories too. Memories and emotions are stored in the pages, and when I look at my books on my bookshelf, I get a certain comfort knowing that they're there and that they were x to me when I needed x. You can't get that with an e-book.

<3 Gina Blechman


  1. I used to feel exactly like you...until I got an ereader ;)
    I still scour bookstores, but I love the convenience of reading from my kindle. It's light and easy to read and I can carry around with me my entire library.

  2. It's not really just about that. There is more to be wary of than just the actual feel of the page. There is the distractability factor. That each book comes equipped with the internet and that instead of burying yourself in a book, you are tempted to check your email and look up a word or an article real quick which takes you away from your reading all together. You rationalize it but all the distractions are doing something to our brains and studies are showing this more and more- making us less capable of paying attention, more ADHD, if you will.

    Unfortunately most people don't want to hear it. There are other problems with the ereaders for authors which I discussed on my blog a few weeks ago but again no one wants to discuss it.

  3. Oh, I thought e-readers were a flash in the pan until I got one. I love it. My carpal tunnel appreciates the weight and ease of use, and I appreciate going on vacation without five pounds of books. But I hear you. I still love physical books. I just buy only the ones I really love (and the author getsf royalty on the ecopy and the hardcopy or paperback). I miss the smell. :)

  4. I'm with Lynda. I used to feel that way, but now that I have my Kindle... I almost finding reading paperbacks cumbersome!

  5. I get what you're saying. If I had more shelf space and money, I never would have gotten a kindle. BUT I live abroad. And between the money spent on the book and shipping and the two week wait- lets just say spending money on JUST the book and waiting two seconds for it to download has been heaven.