Which eReader Should Replace My Books?
Should I Buy a Kindle, Nook or Other eReader to Replace My Books?
Electronic readers are small and light, while books can be heavy. And Lord knows books are bulky and take up way too much space.
So a tantalizing question forms: Which eReader should I buy so I can get rid of all the books that seem to pile up around the home?
And the answer is none. There simply is no way a Kindle, Nook or tablet can ever replace books in the home. I'm not saying eReaders don't have any value. I see evidence of their usefulness on my commuter train every morning among the passengers who use the handy gadgets to catch up on news or enjoy a good read.
So go ahead. Buy an eReader. But here are some reasons you should just accept that the electronic device will complement those books in your house, not replace them.
The intro image is courtesy of Ian Wilson.
Reading to a Child on Your Lap
Opening a Child's Eyes Through Picture Books
There is no simpler and deeper pleasure than having a son, daughter or grandchild on your lap while you open a large picture book and read to them. That is the No. 1 reason you must have books in the house -- for the children. Their eyes sparkle with amazement as they scan the beautiful images, and listen intently as you read the story.
And if it's a child's favorite, he will want to flip back and forth and make you read the same passages over and over. Or she'll want to talk about each picture.
That just won't be the same joyful experience on a Kindle.
This public domain image is from Stories of Beowulf, 1908.
Sneaky Reading Under the Covers
A Bedtime Tradition That Needs to Live On!
The easiest way for a parent to develop a child's love of anything is to say ''no'' at times. One of the favorite memories of any book lover is sneaky reading after bedtime, curled up under the covers or next to a night light and squinting to make out the words of a favorite story or comic book.
But to engage in that secret pleasure there has to be reading materials available in the child's room. An electronic reader won't do simply because it's too easy to take away. But no parent is going to haul every book out of the room every night.
So for the sake of this time-honored tradition, books, comics and magazines must stay!
How to Train Your Dragon - The British Series Not the Movie Version!
The books that my son never tires of reading once he's snug in bed and supposed to be sleeping are author Cressida Cowell's tales of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, which kicked off with ''How to Train Your Dragon.''
They are very funny, clever books. Everyone in the family enjoyed them and they have little in common with the disappointing movie of a few years ago. Check them out -- you won't be disappointed!
The Beauty of a Book-Lined Room
Is There Anything More Soothing in a Home?
When we were looking for a home in 2009 after returning from abroad, the first thing that caught my wife's eye when we walked into the house that we would eventually buy was the living room with its glass-front, built-in bookcases. They just made the room feel warm and welcoming, and it's hard to believe that a house without bookshelves could ever really be a home.
In fact, the few times I've been in a house where there were no bookcases the place seemed sterile, artificial. There's just something soothing to the human soul to see rows of books lining the walls of a house's rooms.
Deep Emotions Just Can't Be Stored Electronically
Holding an Old Book Lets You Slip Into Your Past
True book lovers hoard their favorites for decades. I have my Dashiell Hammett collection on the bookcase in the upstairs hallway, for instance, and my wife keeps her favorite French-language books in the aforementioned glass-lined bookcases downstairs.
On a lazy afternoon I'll pull ''The Maltese Falcon'' down and reread Spade's final speech to the villainous Brigid O'Shaughnessy, perusing the same pages I did when I was a young college student. Would the scene have the same impact if I looked it up on an eReader? Maybe. But there's something about reading the words from the same book for decades, something about the actual feel of the pages, that brings out a deeper emotion, that enables the book not just to transport me into Hammett's story but also to tap into my own past.
No electronic device is ever going to do that.
The image here is from the public domain trailer for The Maltese Falcon movie from 1941.
Passing Your Favorites to the Children
Handing Over the Exact Same Book to a New Generation
Some family heirlooms are precious because of their monetary value: jewelry, furniture, the silverware. Keeping old photos within the family can be a duty as much as a pleasure.
But digging out an old book that you loved as a kid and reading it with your child for the first time almost always is a joy. Especially when the tale captures your child's imagination the same way your imagination was captivated years earlier.
For my wife, it was Alice in Wonderland and Beatrix Potter.
For me, it was the Three Investigators, a series of mystery tales starring a trio of young teens. When I first gave them to the younger half of Goldenrulecomics, she zipped through my entire collection and begged for more.
This photo of children reading Dr. Seuss' ''How The Grinch Stole Christmas'' is by scbailey.
While electronic readers will never replace books, they do have their uses. Our family has two Kindles, and my wife finds hers particularly useful because she can stick it in her purse and do a few minutes' reading between classes.
Sometimes I will find something on Amazon that I will download and read as well.
We have never had any problems with ours, which are the mid-level device without a lot of fancy frills or wi-fi.
So we can recommend a Kindle. We've never tried a nook or a tablet.
What Are Your Plans?
Are You Going to Replace Your Books with an eReader?
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