Monday, August 3, 2009

e-books vs. the real thing

NPR did a story this morning on e-books, such as Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader, versus the hardcover paper variety. The report discussed people who are moving solely to Kindle, but also the problems that Amazon is having with the product, some relating to copyright issues. People who love e-reading, as well as those who don’t, were interviewed. It was an interesting piece.

I have to say, I can’t imagine that I’ll ever convert to a Kindle. I am such a purist when it comes to books – I need to hold an actual book in my hands. I enjoy the cover art, the sound of turning a page and placing a lovely book mark in the spot where I left off. And, if I go to a book reading, I'm not going to have the author sign my Kindle.

I guess as someone who works in front of a computer most of the day and who has access to the latest technology in the workplace, I don’t feel the need to carry that over at home. My eyes need a rest at the end of the day. I don’t want to stare at an electronic screen anymore. I’m the same way with downloading music to my iPod. In fact, I’m not sure where my iPod is at the moment (I think one of my kids has been pretending it’s a phone – it’s probably in the toy box). For a while, I was downloading all kinds of music on my iPod. But, I still like to buy CDs. In fact, when I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I usually put a CD on the Bose and listen to tunes while I’m chopping veggies. That’s just how I am. I can now relate with people who still like to play LPs on a record player. There’s something about the cracking and popping of an LP. Very cool old school.

Curious, dear readers, do any of you own a Kindle or some type of e-reader? Any of you out there who refuse to go that route?
Photo courtesy of www.amazon.com.

13 comments:

www.elizabethavedon.com said...

I can't imagine carrying around a box as a substitute for a book! I love reading out of print books. How inviting are their covers waiting for you on your bedside table instead of something that looks like an extension of work.

Enjoying all great posts!

Molly Lou Gifts said...

I agree with you. While the idea of a Kindle or other e-reader intrigues me, I just don't ever see myself switching. I love books, holding them, smelling them, and getting a twitch of excitement when I see it on my nightstand, etc. I love how I can curl up and lose myself in a book and am fearful that I could never do that with something else.

Technology also has glitches. We love technology when it works, but inevitably, it will fail at times.

Thanks for posting this. I will have to try to get a hold of that NPR piece.

EntertainingMom said...

never never never never NEVER! I love books... I love the touch, feel and scent of paper. I love to open up books and peek at them... there is something sensual about reading a book that is totally lost in the Kindle. My sister in law has one and while she likes it she reads so quickly that she has to keep hitting the next page button and that irritates her slightly. My aunt has one and she travels extensively and she loves it because it is so lightweight.

But not for me...

Then again, a writer by trade, I once said I would never write on a computer, only with paper and pen... now I can only compose on my laptop as my hand cannot keep up with my head!

So perhaps I should say I'll never say never!

JennyMac said...

I have always been a book purist too and have a hard time letting go of books (poor husband wants ALL of my law school texts burned..haha..they take up a LOT of space). But, he just got me the Kindle for my bday. I will admit at first I wasnt sure. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it now. You can download samples of any book they carry for Kindle on Amazon for free too. So fantastic and as lightweight and tiny.

DesBisoux said...

I don't think i'l ever be a "kindle" kinda gal! i love paper, i like to do dog ear to mark my page,i like that i can just shove it my bag in a hurry,i like that it doesn't require to be charged along with my blackberry, laptop, ipod and co!
xxx

The Consummate Hostess said...

Call me old-fashioned but I will never let go of my beloved books! I love even the smell of a good book- plus how could this gadget make my shelf look better than a stack of interesting books? Great post.

Domestic Diva said...

I don't leave home with out my Kindle.....
I am also still addicted to my hardback signed books. There is nothing like a a book. However... I love to read numerous things on the run and the Kindle so fits the tote bag. So it will be both for me! Have a fabulous week!!

LPC said...

My guess is that, like most new technology, at this point it isn't either/or. Books are great for the curl-up factor. The history. That said, the idea of being able to download a new book RIGHT now appeals to me. As does the thought of having a Kindle to travel with to obviate the need for airport books and magazines.

Pamela's Pink Pencil said...

I work at Barnes and Noble and as you can imagine, I love all things books. Books are a part of me. We just created an alternative called the eReader which can be downloaded as an application on your iPhone or your Blackberry for free. You can also download it to your computer. I have downloaded it for times such as vacations when you are unable to pack and for being stuck at the doctor's office for 45 minutes. I think it is a great alternative and would never consider buying a Kindle.

Summer Wind said...

I think the kindle is a really great idea. I mean to carry that around with you would be great because it's not too big, and you would always have a huge selection of books to choose from whenever and wherever you have downtime. However, I can't see paying $300 for this because having a real book in my hand just seems to make much more sense than forking over $300.

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JMW said...

Thanks to everyone for commenting! I've really enjoyed the variety of responses.

Black Labs and Lilly said...

My BF, who reads more then any other person I have ever met, owns a KINDLE and loves it! He still buys plenty of physical books, but uses the kindle for daily newspapers from around the globe, including the WSJ, Times of London, and the FT!