Friday, December 12, 2008

eBooks - friend or foe?

Those of you who know me know that I am an avid reader. In fact, I'm not sure avid is a strong enough adjective. Voracious, perhaps? I can't go anywhere without something to read. Preferably a book but a magazine will do in a pinch while waiting in line at the post office or at the nail salon.

For my honeymoon, 2 weeks in Hawaii required about a dozen books. And I think I ended up buying a couple more because I ran out. Books are an investment to me. I typically re-read books because I read so much fantasy and authors are constantly continuing a series. Robert Jordan has 10 books out right now and I will re-read all of them before the final book in the series comes out (and it's the final book only because he's dead). At 500+ pages a book, that's a lot of reading! I think I've re-read some series as many as dozens of times.

I visit the library constantly to reduce on book expense and have been known to frequent used book stores and Amazon Marketplace (particularly for hardcovers). I could spend hours in Barnes and Noble but find they are somewhat lacking in the Fantasy/Sci Fi area. Online is typically how I purchase my books these days.

DH and I had a contractor build 17 feet of bookshelves in our "formal living room" which has now become the library. I'm sure it will eventually be the baby's playroom but for now, it's all mine. I've done a decent job filling the shelves and will probably have them all filled in a couple of years. DH gets one small section of shelves for his books. And I've taken them over with old MBA text books. Sorry, dear!

Library built-ins, in progress. They are complete now but this was the only picture I had handy. It's small because Snapfish now requires you to pay for full size downloads! What a rip off!

I read an article recently about Amazon's Kindle product. Apparently the small niche for eBooks is growing. There are quite a few advantages to eBooks. Weight alone of all my hardcovers can overwhelm my luggage. Not to mention the valuable clothing space they take up! They are also significantly cheaper than the typical $25 I spent for a hardcover. But despite those advantages, I'm not sure I will ever go the eBook route. I love the feel of books. Paperback, hardcovers, big, small, there is always room on my lap for a book. I wonder how that will fit with a baby too???

How about the rest of you? Should I be more open to the eBook trend? Are we going the Star Trek route when Kirk is viewed as "quirky" because he reads real books rather than computer screens?


Donna said...

I used to be as book crazy. The week before my doctorate defense, people found me in lab reading a fantasy book. They were just aghast that I wasn't studying or preparing (but if I didn't know it by then, when would I?). Reading now has become more of a luxury. Two kids = no time. I have to admit, though, I read a lot on line. You would be surprised how many amateur authors there are out there, publishing on line, who are great writers! Thus, no money spent and a lot of enjoyment. So, I have to say - I love my books, the feel the smell, but I do understand and will use the ebook system (not the kindle, I think it is too expensive still).

LauraC said...

I used to be a crazy reader before kids too and now I read maybe 1-2 books a week, at most. I don't think I could ever go to Kindle bc I love Paperback Swap and the library too much. I love reading books as soon as they come out and I love FREE.