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Paperless Continued: Books Shmooks…

A couple of days ago, I posted on my desire to have a paperless classroom someday.

Well, my wife and I are looking at the possibility of getting e-reader devices. And I think it might be really cool and convenient to have one of them for when it’s hard to bring my (generally) 700-1000 page books on vacation.

But, oh boy, can I hear my intensely literate ancestors screaming in my head about the death of the good-old-fashioned book.

Now, for me, I don’t think I’ll ever truly stop buying actual physical books. There’s just something comforting about a heavy stack of paper and the physical feeling of turning the pages to find out what’s next that can’t be matched by a digital experience (not to mention that eyestrain on any electronic screen is brutal, especially for someone like me who has bad vision and astigmatism to begin with). There’s no distractions with a novel: no pop-ups advertising iPads, video games, cars, or other unsavory things. It’s just one of those great pleasures that life can offer.

Another consideration for me is that within the decade, I’m fairly certain we’ll all have our libraries, e-mail, word processing, telecommunications, and file storage on tablets that we carry around with us. And I hate the idea of having an ‘always-on’ umbilical to my work or just the nagging administrative details of life. My wife and colleagues know that there’s a good chance that I don’t have my phone turned on occasionally, and I don’t always respond to e-mails within a day. I don’t need that pressure, and I’d like to not have that when I’m trying to read, even in a convenient, easy-to-travel-with form.

I don’t know yet if I’ll actually end up with an e-reader, but I wonder how many people my age or older feel the same hesitation about actually taking that plunge. Heck, I even wonder how many people much older than me are already way ahead of me.

Does anybody out there have an e-reader already that they either regret buying or can’t live without? I’d like to know what I’m getting into.

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2 Comments

  1. writerdood says:

    I bought a Kindle about a year ago. To be honest, I’ve only read a couple of books on it, but that’s largely due to time constraints. I spend far more time writing than I do reading anymore. When I was younger it was the other way around.

    My daughter’s school has Kindles in their library. Kids can actually check them out. I don’t know the details around checking out a Kindle though. My daughter has never done it, sticking with printed books.

    I do think the world is moving in this direction and ebooks will be adopted more and more. I bought mine mainly to see how my own books would appear on it. To that end I’ve learned how to generate the files for them. They’re a great tool for writers. Want to know how your book will look in print without going POD (Publish On Demand)? Then just create a Kindle or Nook file and have a look. Fantastic for editing. I particularly like the e-ink on the Kindle, it looks just like a page. And, as most writers know, you find a lot more errors in your own work if you switch mediums once in a while. It’s a fantastic tool for editing.

  2. kayymm says:

    My husband has a Kindle and it’s actually not so bad on your eyes. It’s the one that doesn’t have a backlight to read it. Lovely thing!

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