Friday, November 5, 2010

The digital book

As eReaders become the choice of readers, I become more and more sad. There are several nice things about eReaders, don't get me wrong. I have one too! You can read while being jostled around a crowded Metro. No need to flip pages, so you are able to hold onto a pole. They are slim and fit in most any bag. Most eReaders have great cases and other accessories.

What is the problem, then? You wonder. Well, with this move to the digital book, there are at least three things that bother me:
  • I can't lend my library to someone else. Being able to pass a book on to a friend when you finish it can fuel a later conversation. However, it isn't as easy with eReaders when you use it to read the books that you have saved on it.
  • You lose the conversation. Have you ever spoken with someone simply because they saw the jacket of your book? At times, these small exchanges lead to even more book recommendations or a new friend.
  • It's no longer personal. Having your own book makes it real and it makes it yours. You can write your name inside of it. You can doodle in the margins if you want (though that is not my preferred way to treat my own books). With things being digital, you don't have the same ownership. The book goes from being special to being another file on your computer's hard drive.
So, don't take this the wrong way. EReaders are helpful for many people and they come in handy often. Just don't forget that printed books save trees and start jobs. There is something about a book that I love and enjoy. What about you? Just how digital are you?

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