My beautiful wife and my wonderful (and beautiful) mom stopped by work last night and unleashed Father's Day upon me: they bought a Barnes & Noble nook eReader from me. Yes, they were buying it FOR me, but thought that it would be fun to also buy the unit from me while I was manning the nook counter at work. Let me tell you, they lit up the little techno-geeky reader in me!
I picked out the pleasantly antique-looking Chesterton Quote cover, and rung the whole shebang up at the register. My immediate first thought centered around which book I'd buy first (I'm actually still trying to decide that one...I also got a $50 gift card as part of the purchase) . My second thought? How often would I buy actual books anymore? Barring those books which I cannot get as eBooks yet (as it's up to the publisher to actually release any given book in that format...and some don't), I began thinking just how liberating the nook could turn out to be.
You see, I'm a hard core reader. I love books. I've read hundreds of books in my lifetime, and I don't see that trend stopping any time soon. My job at Barnes & Noble is perfect for me: I get to mix tech AND books every day. But, will I become heartsick for the feel of a good leather-bound classic? Will the thought of turning paper pages create a hole in my experience? Will my senses long for the smell of freshly-printed works? Actually, I don't think it will be as bad as it might sound.
Why, you ask? Well, I've been throwing around the pluses and minuses for a good, long while now, and I've come to the conclusion that it's all a matter of simple practicality, space management, and some good old love of tech. I realized that, in the old days, I used to carry around an entire bag full of books and magazines when I traveled. Nowadays, you can't take a flight with books like that without incurring a nice, fat fee. Plus, who would want to carry around an entire load of books when we're usually carrying around so much more in the first place?
I also have to consider my dwelling and its ability to house a library...I just don't have the bookshelf space I'd like to have. Sure, I'd love to have a "Library of Congress" sized space to put all the books I could, but the fact is that a lot of my books end up in rubbermaid tubs in our garage. That's no way for a good book to hang out, in my opinion.
It's no secret that I love the look, feel and smell of books. It reminds me of childhood when I stared at the bookshelves of my father and marveled at how one person could read so many books. I was raised reading and appreciating literature, and I still do to this day. But, having an eReader like nook makes my reading life just a little less cluttered and cumbersome.
Now, I can carry thousands of books on one device and they don't take up any more space or weight than the 11.2 ounce device itself. I can download books, newspapers and magazines over WiFi or 3G connections (which means virtually everywhere nowadays), and I'm usually paying less for each book than I would to own a physical copy. But, if a book I want to read isn't available in the eBook format, I CAN always purchase the real deal anyway. Options, options...
To me, the positives outweigh my innate need to hold or smell a real book. Practicality overrides simple tactile sense. I'll still buy real books when and if the need arises. But, my tech-crazy tendencies definitely win out in this situation, which happily coincide with my alter ego, The Geek Source...
-Posted from my iPad.
Posted by Hamsammich at 9:03 AM