Here’s the thing. I often hear people extolling the virtues of what they deem ‘proper books’. And I get it, I really do. Christmas and birthdays, bookshops and yes, occasionally supermarkets provide me a few books of the physical variety. Yes, they are terrific, the smell and feel of the cover. I like the way I can put bits of paper in amongst the real pages to mark places or leave notes. If there are pictures and illustrations, that is a bonus. I love books. My house is full of them. And there is something inherently pleasant – and this may well be an old generation thing – about looking something up in a book. No internet required, just a quick glance down the contents or index pages. It’s old magic that still works and I have a feeling that it always will. So no, this isn’t an either or argument. I don’t like one thing over another. But, pin me down and I’d have to say that my eReader is in fact one of my favourite things.
When you get right down to it - it is more a matter of gluttony. I am a greedy reader with a very varied appetite for all things readable. New reading material is instantly available no matter the time of day or where I am. I can quickly find and sample pretty much anything that takes my fancy. And I can have several books on the go at once and carry them all about with me without any trouble at all.
The great portability is one of the main attractions. As I leave for any appointment, I always slip it into my pocket because I know if I am kept waiting, I will be happy if I can steal a few extra reading moments. In fact, whenever I get the chance, the eReader is in my hands. I have always been a ‘so many books, so little time’ kind of girl.
Which brings me to my next point. The trouble with reading a lot is that it used to amass a great many books and I would need to have a huge cull once all the shelves were stacked double lest we got buried by the written word. Whilst it is a pleasure to take a few sacks of books to the local charity bookshop, there are a few I would rather keep private. Did I mention that I read everything? Give me the old eReader any day for those more private reads. In the old days, I used to bury gruesome books about weapons and murder (and yes, okay, there was a bit of smut as well) – deep within the sack in case the nice old ladies volunteering would think less of me. With an eReader, you can read whatever you like because no one can see what you’re reading. Even better, my latest eReader lights up, which is pure bliss for an insomniac like myself. No need to put on the light and disturb anybody. Just a quick fumble for my spectacles and I’m ready – no rustling pages, as it always remembers my place.
Another thing I really like is that even in bed in the small hours, or waiting in the car to meet my daughter from a delayed train, the dictionary is always at hand. If I come across something I want defined or explained, one flick of a finger is all it takes to broaden my knowledge.
So it’s all good – so long as I remember to keep the device charged!