Mind the Gap: Reading Modalities

This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge with the Daily Post is one of their “Mind the Gap” Challenges (and this time, I am following directions properly, unlike my last mind the gap attempt where I ignored half the directions completely).  Basically, they pose a controversial question, you respond to the poll question and then explain your response in a blog post.

The question this week is, “How do you prefer to read, with an eReader like a Kindle or Nook, or with an old school paperback in hand?”

My response was the old school paperback.

I am a huge book geek.  And part of the joy of being a book geek to me is not only the fun of reading the books, but the fun of going to the library or the book store and rooting around for good books.  I like to flip through the pages.  I like how they look on shelves.  And  I like to always have a book with me for just in case I have a moment to read.

Having old school books around is just normal to me.  I grew up with them.  They are easier to access from the library.  I can actually flip through the ENTIRE book in store if I wanted to (I may get some odd looks… But still.

The book thing is also cosmetic.  It is part of my persona to have a book in my bag.  I suspect I have a freakishly strong collar bone region as a result.  I think people look more studious with books.  I like having shelves of books at home.

Furthermore, paper books to me, just make sense from a learning/studying perspective.  If I just need a book to look something up quickly.  Or as a reference on the run, an e-book on my phone or laptop is fine.  But, I am a highlighter/margin writer/post-it-note person.  I know there are apps that allow you to do all that on an e-book, but I like the tactile effort of holding a highlighter.  And organizing the post-its (sure, that sometimes takes half of the time I spend studying).

I see the draws of an e-reader.  In fact, I have contemplated acquiring one myself.

It isn’t that I am against them.

You can get books cheaper.  They are relatively compact (shoulder protection is good).  In fact, they can replace whole heaps of books.  You can read them in the dark (I needed one of these when I was a kid… Then, maybe I wouldn’t be quite so near sighted).

But, they are pricey up-front.  And we don’t have that kind of cash floating around.  Plus, my husband kills phones like they are going out of style…  If we got e-readers (I feel like if we got one we would need two… Because we read.  That is what we do.), they would be at risk of early demise secondary to water, being dropped and all that good stuff.

Plus, I kind of feel like I spend so much time in front of a screen the rest of my day that I don’t want to have a screen to read.

I have a book or two on my phone.  But, I never read them.  Because it is so small.  And weird.

I guess at some point, it would be more responsible for us to get e-readers.  Better for the environment.  It would prove to offer some long-term savings.  Especially once libraries start carrying more and more e-books.  They are lighter and easier to travel with.  There is a big convenience thing that comes from having multiple books and textbooks on one device.

My parents got a tablet free with a newspaper subscription.  So, they are looking at using it to read.  They are apparently light years ahead of me.

In summary, I prefer paperbacks.  I may change at some point.  But, I am still in the contemplative stage of that process.  There is just something about a real book that makes me happy.  I can’t give that up just yet.

4 thoughts on “Mind the Gap: Reading Modalities

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I love bookstores and it’s killing me to see so many of them going out of business. I don’t own an e-reader and don’t have any desire to get one right now anyway. I also just like the feel of a book in my hands and if I was still in school and studying, I think I would have to also have the copy of the text book in my hands (I’m a heavy highlighter too). I can see the advantages of e-readers but I still love the feel (and the smell) of my paperbacks too.

  2. As a child, my mom worked at the county library in the Children’s division. The library had a valuable collection of Children’s historical fiction locked away in the vaults, and as a favorite of the library head, she would let me browse for hours and hours in there. There is nothing like the 100 plus year smell of thousands of old books. It was like opening the door into Narnia. Probably one of my favorite childhood memories. There is nothing that can replace the charm of a real book.

    • That is so cool! I would love to go in a room like that and check out all of those great old books!
      I once went to this amazing used bookstore that had old book smell and had all kinds of little rooms full of different genres (it was previously a historic home). That is the closest I have come to something that neat!

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