Technology is awesome. I would be a sloth without it, or maybe I am a sloth because of it. Ugh! That’s probably one of those Chicken and Egg paradoxes. However, there are certain things tech can’t get rid of. For me, that’s physical copies of books. I love me a paperback book. Even hardcovers are pretty good, though I have fewer of those. Maybe I’m being a retro 90’s kid or maybe it’s just my nerdy self but libraries, book shops, and music stores make me happy.
I’m not someone who is stuck in her ways, without checking out the alternatives (Ok, some of the time, I am but that’s beside the point).
A few years ago, I was given a kindle e-reader. So, this was motivation to try e-books. They are a lot cheaper and there are websites where you can get classics for free too. I like to believe I care about the environment, you know: “save water and electricity”; reduce, reuse and recycle! So obviously, I should be keen, right! It posed an exciting new way of enjoying the reading experience.
I got all these books, and it was fun at first. But it did have its drawbacks.
- It’s not as fun to read off of. Ok so maybe I am just stuck in my ways, but I didn’t draw as much pleasure when the story got amazing, and I needed to breathe for a minute before I lost my mind.
- That segues into my next point, I genuinely love the smell of books. When you pause to take in a deep breath to relive a moment from your reading, right when your senses are filled with the fragrance of paper, new or old, your eyes start to tear up, because it was beautiful so you have to read it again. Or is that just me? Oh well.
- Ever since reading Looking for Alaska, I wanted my own Life’s library. You don’t really need to build a floor to ceiling bookshelf if all your books are electronic, do you now?
- I kept forgetting to charge it. There were days when I would stay up reading, eventually falling asleep with the kindle in my hands. So, what would happen the next day when I went to school? Boredom, that’s what. But to its credit, it didn’t use much power. So maybe this would occur, say once every two weeks.
- Over time the battery wore out and would die within a few hours. This is probably due to my own negligence. It got to a point where I would charge and not use it; but when I finally did pick it up, it would be dead.
On the plus side,
- You could carry around a million and one books in this small compact tablet. Something I really appreciated when my bag was already full of giant textbooks for physics. And sometimes people give you weird looks for carrying around a book, that you might not even get a chance to read that day. But no one bats an eye when they see you carrying something that resembles a tablet. Disclaimer: Some do show disappointment when they realise it can only hold books in it.
- Oh, e-readers use paper-like display technology, e-ink it’s called. So, it looks like actual paper. You know that dull brown/grey paper with the simple black font. It had paper’s ruggedness (unfortunately not its smell). This made it better to read off than a tablet.
- Back when it was new, it could last hours. The E-Ink technology it uses has ultralow power consumption. Which is great if you are stuck at school from 7 to 5. Paperback books don’t need charging at all, though, just saying
- I have a friend who prefers them because, you can get into bed, switch off all the lights and enter a new world. Unlike with physical books where you need a light which means at one point you will have to get out of the warm blanket and switch it off, especially if you don’t have a bedside lamp. I totally agree with her here.
- Did I mention they’re somewhat eco-friendly, and e-books are cheaper? Well, they are.
Call me old fashioned or geeky or whatever but I still get excited over paperbacks. I could go shopping for new clothes or something, but I promise I will nearly always end up at the bookshop afterwards. It’s a not-so-guilty pleasure.
Oh, and then there are audiobooks. In all honesty, I used to think they were for exceptionally lazy people – cause I’m only a moderately lazy person – but I’m slowly changing my mind on that. I recently listened to the original radio broadcasting of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I absolutely loved it. It’s not exactly an audiobook, but it’s audio so I will count it. It was funny, and they went to great lengths to provide vivid visuals using sounds -Yes, that’s what I meant to say.
I also listened to 1984 read by the late Frank Muller. I highly doubt I would have brought the characters to life the way he did if I had read it on my own.
Audiobooks are awesome. You can get so many things done while you listen to them. I like to do boring chores while listening to them. They are perfect for the busybody with no spare time or the lazy body for minimal effort. My one fear about audiobooks is the dumbing down of the literate population because no one in the future will be able to read or spell.
But then again, those are just my views. You are more than welcome to give me some of yours in the comments below.