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eBooks: To Read or Not to Read
Whether we like it or not (and I often think not), our world is constantly changing and quickening it’s pace. We live in an inconstant age of electronics. We are obsessed with owning the latest generation of iPod and newest, fastest version of internet service. Our old cell phones look like they belong in the stone age when we compare them to the new ones with foldable keypads and “big” displays (oh my goodness 1.5 x 3 inches!). We run to our virtual destruction with our thumbs texting on tiny keypads. And now we have a new growing fad: the eBook Reader or Kindle.
As I was traveling this past summer, I noticed that the man sitting across the aisle from me in the airplane (occupying the seat of the man reading the freshly folded newspaper who is usually and supposed to be there) was reading an eBook. Even the words “reading an eBook” sound foreign to me. Anyway, the man was sitting there holding his Kindle or Nook or whatever, presumably reading a book right off the screen. It was the first time I had ever seen someone using a Kindle in public. Wasn’t he embarrassed? Wasn’t he aware that everyone was staring at him? But no, I was the only one staring; no one else seemed to notice the man who supported the destruction of our beloved paper-and-ink industry.
So am I the only one to feel this way? I don't want to be biased here, so let's look at the good qualities of a Kindle e-Book Reader.
Here are some ways Kindle likes to advertise itself:
“Slim” – Apparently, not only do people have to look slim, our reading material has to be anorexic as well.
“Lightweight” – As we all know, a book just weighs too much for one person to carry.
“Books in Under 60 Seconds” – No more bookstores. Now we have yet another way to limit our interaction with other people.
“Paper-Like Display” – Oh, wait. I thought if you wanted paper, you would buy a paper book.
“Carry Your Library” – I’m sure we’ve all been frustrated at our previous inability to carry 1,500 books with us wherever we go.
“Long Battery Life” – You don’t have to recharge your book for several days. Wait, recharge your book???
“Read-to-Me” – Well, if we’re too lazy to turn real pages and carry around “bulky” books, we might as well be too lazy to use our eyes to read words from a “reading device.” Better have the reading device read out loud to you. I’m sure the device will do a great job with expression and inflection.
Books don't have to advertise themselves. Paper-and-ink books carry with them a sense of permanence. Call me old-fashioned, but I like permanence. Books can be read, re-read, and shared with friends. Books are touchable; they breathe. Smell a book: flip through the pages with your nose pressed up to the pages. Can’t you smell the stories?
What was ever wrong with paper-and-ink books? Have we really gotten so busy that books take up too much time and space? I suppose some of us have. The solution to this problem (yes, busyness can be a problem) isn’t to buy yet another electronic toy to make our lives easier. Take time to sit down, away from your computer, and read a good book. You’ll feel better. Stop staring at all the different screens you might have and look around you. Go to a bookstore, and talk to people. You know, people, those strange beings that walk around and breathe and say “hi how are you” when you walk up to them.
It is my belief that Kindle will never replace the paper-and-inks. Books just have too many benefits and followers to be overrun by a flimsy piece of plastic and metal.
What do you think?
Do you have a hunger for good books?
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