I have been meaning to write a reflection of how I feel about reading on an eBook reader. I suppose it’s the sort of thing that I should have written about two and half years ago when I bought my first iPad. Maybe last spring when I replaced my iPad.
This is a non-obvious time to write it.
I bought a book the other night. This is, in and of it’s self, not a surprising thing. I suppose some people get an eBook reader and they never buy another book, but I find I miss books.
It could be that I have to put my iPad away when the plane takes off or when it lands, but a book I can carry with me. A book becomes a companion in a way that my eBook reader never could. A book contains memory – where I was when I read it, the receipt I used to mark my place, the coffee I spilled on page 39. A book tells me where I bought it and when – it tells me the story of place and time.
My eBook reader is immensely practical. It’s an entire library of books, a veritable bag of holding filled with reference material and old friends. I will never run out of things to read with my kindle app on my iPad. They are always there – a list of things that I have bought because I wanted to read them or thought I should read them or enjoyed them and wanted to carry them with me.
It’s just, well, it’s just a less personal way to interact with a reader. I thought I would stop the buying of paper books when I got my iPad. I bought it because I couldn’t take enough books to Jamaica with me. It’s saved me during delays on planes, it’s saved me when I have had a spare moment or a terrible day.
I just finished Alexander McCall Smith’s new book Trains and Lovers. Which is the thing that most caused me to write this.
The book was perfectly sized to carry with me – smaller than the standard hard cover, much smaller than a trade paperback. It was hard cover, the paper a nice and heavy weight.
And in the back – at the end, a note on the font used in publishing. A font used since the time of Shakespeare.
And I folded the dust cover correctly again and tucked the book mark back in it, and put it on top of the pile of paper on my desk.
There’s always room for one more book.