17 December 2009

To e-read or not to e-read

I've just about heard enough of Kindle. That's just what every other geek is talking about. Kindle .

A quick confession here, I for one, am unable to appreciate the whole concept of e-books. I've tried reading them on my large desktop, on my little laptop, and once, even on a PDA.

And I admit, I hated it. Somehow it simply does not work for me.

Why would I want to read an e-book? What's the fun in that?

Would I have to forgo the pleasure of browsing through a bookstore? What about the pleasure of choosing just one book out of many? How does one pick just one e-book? All things being equal, I sometimes pick the better smelling book.
(Books: 1 | E-books: 0)

On a cool day, I drag my rocker to a sunny patch in my balcony, and cozy up with an old favourite. Half the fun there is to randomly open a page and start reading from there. The older and more dog eared a book gets, the easier it is find a favourite bit and start reading.
(Books: 2 | E-books: 0)

When I'm done reading for a bit, I plonk the book down and take a cat-nap. I don't need to worry about leaving a reader on and think of battery life, charging etc.
(Books: 3 | E-books: 0)

Oh, I could carry just a book everywhere. No need to worry about charger etc.
(Books: 4 | E-books: 0)

But then again, to be fair, an e-book reader would occupy a fraction of the space of a paperback.
(Books: 4 | E-books: 1)

And a reader with a gazillion books stored in it would occupy way less space that one big fat-ish volume of the latest in The Wheel of Time series.
(Books: 4 | E-books: 2)

E-books use up fewer trees and rainforest.
(Books: 4 | E-books: 3)

As I think up fair and equitable arguments I stare at my overflowing bookshelf. It's starting to look a hippo stuffed into a Michael Phelps' speedo. It's double stacked, overflowing and, yes, bursting at the seams. How many gigabytes of Kindle would that work out to, I wonder?
(Books: 4 | E-books: 4)

Now, with a Kindle each, the other half and I wouldn't ever have to fight over the same book. Like we did for the last three Harry Potter releases.
(Books: 4 | E-books: 5)

In which case, it would mean that I could actually see the surface of my bedside table. Which at the moment holds around 20 books.
(Books: 4 | E-books: 6)

But what if one of my brats pulls an e-book reader out of my hands and throws it unceremoniously aside?
(Books: 5 | E-books: 6)

What if the kids want e-books too? Would that mean, I need separate e-book readers for the kids?
(Books: 6 | E-books: 6)

What about all those pleasurable hours spent at book sales, second-hand book stores and library sales?
(Books: 7 | E-books: 6)

What about looking at a friend's bookshelf and going, "hey, I'm helping myself to these.."? I can't imagine browsing through a friend's Kindle to see what she/he has that I don't.. sidey as I made that sound.
(Books: 8 | E-books: 6)

The point tallies aside, how does one 'lend' an e-book? What would an e-book library look or smell like? Goodness, would bookstores just vanish?? Not that I have anything against Amazon, but it just is NOT the same as spending a pleasurable couple of hours at a book store.

As I type, my little one is curled up beside me, and is trying to sleep. It's a fairly cold day too. Just perfect for a cup of hot ginger tea and maybe a PG Wodehouse. Something from the Blandings Castle series, I'd say. Summer Lightning, is just within arm's reach. And the book naturally falls open to my favourite funny bits.

To e-read or not to e-read... that's my question.

Pardon me, while I try not to laugh too loud. This is the bit where Baxter is explaining where the pig is.