To Read or to E-Read; That is the Question

Seeing as I am an avid reader, there have been numerous opportunities when I have had the option of buying some sort of e-reader. And while I love the designer covers for the Nook, I just haven’t really understood the appeal.

The other night over dinner, one of my sisters was talking about e-readers (we’re a nerdy bunch) and mentioned that while I’m in the Bahamas, I should bring a Kindle because the screens are anti-glare. I could read it on the beach without the grease and glare of a typical touch screen.

But then we both came to the realization that books themselves are anti-glare, too. No grease or grime, no glare and you don’t even have to charge them. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of the vintage feeling of reading hard copy news. When I read it online, I tend to skip over uninteresting parts, or simply read the photo captions.

I’m kind of the same way with books, too. Not only do I love the organic, often moldy smell of books, but I like having them, holding them, owning them. I find libraries difficult because I can’t stand to part with my books. Since I first fell I love with literature, I’ve dreamed of collecting an expansive library.

I want to have and hold physical books, to admire them and be able to reference them at a later date. I want to look at that copy of Eat, Pray, Love and feel inspired. For some reason, looking at a Nook or a Kindle or an iPhone just doesn’t have the same effect.

And then, of course there’s the tiny detail that I scribble all over my books. I like taking notes and underlining interesting or inspiring passages, so that when I go back and read the book again (which I actually do. You notice things differently the second or third or fourth time around), I can feel the same inspiration that I felt the first time.

I should, however, note that I do think that e-readers are generating new fiction fanatics out of techie lovers. People who wouldn’t typically read (or at least as much) are more inclined to because its easier, more accessible. More readers is never a bad thing, I must admit. Even if they’re reading Twilight on an e-reader.

But personally, I guess I’m just not sold on the digital readers. Despite the minuscule discount on books and the fact that it saves trees, I don’t really see the benefits. Until the e-readers can bring something new and exciting to the reading experience, I don’t think they’re a good investment. Not for a die-hard vintage bibliophile like myself.

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