THE WEEKEND REPORT : Confessions of a former ebook hater

Apologies for the sudden silence! I got sick again last week, and have been recovering ever since. The worst of the relapse came over the weekend, with some lovely flu-like symptoms. I am feeling much better now, although I’m still taking pills—of the anti-histamine variety, that is. Seems Zyrtec is doing a much better job of declogging my sinuses than the meds that I was popping before. So… I guess that means I had allergies, not a sinus infection? Doesn’t feel like it, but okay.

Without further ado, The Weekend Report … a few days early. Er, late. Er, whatever.

* * *

Two years ago, my sister came up to me in the living room and asked, rather out of the blue, how I felt towards Kindles.

“I would throw them out the window,” I replied, not batting an eyelash. And I was mostly serious. I did not like the whole ebook thing at all.

“Really?” she asked as I typed away at my laptop. “Even if someone bought one for you for your birthday?”

“Yup.”

She paused thoughtfully for a moment, and walked back down the hall.

A few minutes later, I get a text from a friend, which went something like: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’LL THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW???

It was then that I realized two things: 1) my sister is REALLY good at hiding ulterior motives; and 2) I should steel myself, because in the next few minutes I will either resign myself to the fate of receiving a totally useless gift, or lose one of the only friends that I have. And it wasn’t going to be the former.

Two years later, I’m happy to say that I managed to avoid both outcomes. The Kindle was returned, a nifty pattern book was gifted in its place, and my friend did me the kindness to not ditch me for being overly zealous about my book preferences. But I can’t help but laugh as I look back, because last Friday I did the previously unthinkable: I bought myself an e-reader.

I know, I know. WHYYYY, right? Frankly, it’s the convenience. I came to the realization earlier this year that my lifestyle has changed since my more fanatically anti-ebook days—not drastically, but enough to make carrying a physical copy of a book or two a task I don’t relish doing, even if the book is a paperback novel. I’m more on-the-go now, and my bags are more often chock full than not. The reduction of space that an e-reader would provide was tantalizing, too tantalizing, for me to refuse, at least not without some serious reconsideration.

There was also the cool factor. I got up close and personal with a NOOK over the holidays and I was impressed by what I saw. E-ink technology, I have to say, is really cool! I mean, yeah I’ve heard that it’s supposed to look like ink on paper, BUT IT REALLY DOES LOOK LIKE INK ON PAPER. I guess it’s different once you actually see it for yourself.

There’s also the annotations feature. I thought I wouldn’t like it, but after test-driving some ebooks last month on a phone app I discovered that I quite like it. It makes margin-writing faster, which in my current crunch for time absolute sweetness.

Oh, and the search feature? Gloooorious! You don’t know how many times I wished I could CTRL+F my textbooks in college.

Ebooks aren’t without their cons, of course. While convenient for sure, they don’t provide the same familiar experience of reading with something weighty and papery in hand. They’re also not very shareable, unless I lend the entire ereader, which I find is rather a risky venture, regardless of the lender in question. They’re also colorless—unless I’m reading them from a computer, or tablet, or phone—which isn’t that big of a deal, since the text is black & white anyway, but I do miss approaching a book and being greeted by a full-color cover.

But all in all, I’m quite satisfied with my new gadget. Will I stop reading real physical books? Don’t count on it. I’m too much in love with the printed word to do otherwise. So fear not, bookstores, I’ll still be around. That’s why I bought the Kobo and not the Kindle, after all. I want to be able to support you guys, even in the digital age.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “THE WEEKEND REPORT : Confessions of a former ebook hater”

  1. I see myself making the plunge in the next year or so as well. One of the reasons being that technical books and design-related books are vastly cheaper in e-book form. I think I will likely get a generic tablet (eg iPad) rather than a dedicated ebook reader though.

  2. Did you know that the providers (eg: Amazon, etc) can take back the books you buy because we (the consumer) technically don’t OWN the e-book? That’s the only thing that’s keeping me from making the switch. I’m so conflicted.

    1. No, I did not! Well, not until yesterday when I did some research. Now I’m beginning to regret getting into the whole ebook thing…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s