I’ll start this in the defensive manner of many fellow readers who have come to terms with this and are now discussing it with other purists who may not have: I love my books. I love my personal library. I love perusing the shelves in my home office and pulling a favorite book from it. Just the other day I was taking a picture of my leather-bound The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books for an article, and I loved the experience of going through them, looking up a favorite part, feeling them. I can’t imagine not having this.
But I have to admit…I love e-readers. I am the proud owner of a Nook, and I can’t imagine a reading life without it. I’ve had it now for a couple of months, and although it certainly hasn’t replaced my love of bound books, the simple fact is that by simply having one of these readers it has allowed me to increase the amount of reading I can do because my books are instantly accessible.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put off buying a book because I simply forgot, or never got around to it. There have been books from my favorite authors, such as Terry Pratchett, that I’ve neglected for years because I let life get in the way. But the Nook comes in to save the day.
A couple of weeks ago I’m chatting online with a friend of mine. He casually mentions that Terry Pratchett has a new novel out (Unseen Academicals). Like a flash I grabbed my Nook, went to the online Barnes and Noble store, and within 5 min I was the proud owner of the new book. The Nook has opened up the purchase experience for then and now, verses later. Because of this ability I’ve bought and read more books over the past three months than the entire year before.
So, I am a fan. It is most certainly the wave of the future. How our beloved print books figure into this in 10 or 20 years, I really don’t know. I have to admit that the idea of surfing the web for a new book doesn’t come close to wandering the books store, grabbing a coffee, and perusing them. I hope the market finds a way to let us have both for reasonable prices.