Friday, March 18, 2011

Lost in a Good Book: E-book or Hardbound?

I'm in the middle of a book I've been waiting to read for so....... long!  But, I feel like I don't have any time to really read it.  I bought the hardbound copy of One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Novel by Jasper Fforde because I absolutely love his Thursday Next series, and I wanted to see it sitting on my shelf with the other books from the series.  However, I have come to realize that when I download a book, it suddenly becomes more portable and I find more time to read it.  Between my e-reader and the Nook app on my iPhone, I am a lot more likely to find a few minutes to read a page or two than I am to sit down and read a page or two in a hardbound book.  So, the question is:  why am I still so drawn to hardbound books when I am reading an author I love?  I still own the book in e-form, so it's not about ownership.  I can still lend the book out, although not as easily, in e-form.  What is it about holding a book in my hands that makes the experience more enjoyable to me?  I've tried using the e-reader for some of my favorite authors, but I feel like I've missed something in the experience. 

I don't use e-books for any kind of non-fiction or reference books.  I like being able to pick up the book and flip through to find what I'm looking for--especially if it is a well used book.  It's much easier for me to recognize where the information is with the book in hand than to look at a Table of Contents on my e-reader and try to remember what chapter I need.  Maybe that's what I'm missing with my favorite authors on the e-reader.  I'm not creating an experience with the e-reader.  The sensory memory of the feel/smell of the book is missing.  I don't have fond memories of reading the ebook curled up in my favorite chair during a few stolen moments, anxiously turning the page to see what happens next.  I love being able to hold a good book in my hands and have a memorable experience while reading it.  I realize that e-books are the future of publishing and that my children are a lot less likely to need bookshelves than I am.  However, there will always be bookshelves in my home for those books I can't do without and the experiences I want to share.

1 comment:

  1. I only recently got an eReader. I am loving it, but I still love physical books too. There is definitely something about the feel of them. But I will admit that I seem to read the ebooks faster since it is easier to read a page or two while on the go.