The e-book conundrum

There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t be able to make the shift from physical books to e-books. I was sure I would miss the heft and the feel of a physical book in my hands. I thought I wouldn’t like reading on a screen, even a small, hand-held one.

Turns out I was wrong. I love e-books. I have 800 of them on a single device and I love the fact that I can hoard them in this way without having to worry about shelf space and feeling bad about having piles of books lying around the house.

I don’t think there is such a thing as too many bookshelves, but I have only so much space in my house. And now that my kids are reading, all available space has to be given over to their books.

I know they will make the transition to e-books one day, but not for several years yet, I hope. At eleven and eight, they are at an age where they should experience books in their physical form. It is fortunate that they agree with me on this.

Considering the space constraint, it is a good thing that my husband and I have both switched over to e-books. But I will admit that I miss reading physical books. And there are so many e-books that I have acquired recently that I would love to see on my shelves.

It’s not just about reading for me. I like being surrounded by books. I like to look at them and I love the way they take over a room and give it a personality that it would otherwise not have.

But set against this is the fact that I wouldn’t have been able to afford even half of them if I’d had to pay the paperback or hardcover price. E-books are a lot cheaper. So there are all sorts of reasons to go electronic, but there is such a thing as going too far.

A friend of mine told me recently that he’s given away all of his physical books, because he has no room for them and that all his books are now electronic. He lives in an apartment that is less than 500 sft in size, so I understand the space constraint, but I simply cannot stomach the idea of a living space without a single book shelf.

Perhaps I am romanticizing the whole book shelf thing, but I like the sight of row upon row of books. I find it soothing. An e-book reader simply does not have the same emotional impact. This image at the head of my blog

image

wouldn’t have quite the power that it does if it was the picture of a nook or a kindle paper white, now would it?

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One thought on “The e-book conundrum

  1. No, it wouldn’t. Owning e-books is handy, true, but you captured it perfectly when you said, “I love the way they take over a room and give it a personality that it would otherwise not have.”

    You can also tell a lot about the library owner’s interests and values by looking over the book titles on their shelves. Hard to do that if the Nook or Kindle is turned off. *wry smile*

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