Ephemeral, Incorporeal Books

I even made my own illustration for the book!

I just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was a great book and if you want to know how I really felt about it, here is a great little article. I could not agree more and I could not have said it any better.

Anyway, I loved it so much, I marched right out and bought the next one … oh no, that is not how it happened. I loved it so much, I hit a few buttons and ordered it wirelessly and had it delivered to my Kindle and started reading it immediately at 11:30 PM.

When I first announced in a status message on my Facebook page how much I wanted a Kindle, my friends’ responses were surprisingly disapproving. The hue and cry was a decisive ‘no!” The general feeling seemed to be a protectionist stance, a kind of defensiveness for books, beloved books. “I will never give up books!” one told me. “I love the way a new book smells when I open it,” declared another.

I was a little bemused and found myself defending my love of books. I saw the Kindle not as a repudiation, but as a way to access MORE books. I knew I would never give up my love of the physicality of books, the spine, the end boards, the paper in between. I remember writing, “I have books scattered on nearly every surface of my house!” which was part of the reason a Kindle intrigued me so. I am literally running out of space. Books are my guilty pleasure and while I could resort to only using the public library, as an amateur writer I decided years ago I wanted to support the publishing industry by being a consumer. So, I buy a lot of books. Unfortunately, I began to see that I will run out of room eventually. Fortunately, Kindle came on the scene.

At first, I wanted a Kindle because it holds thousands of books and they are less expensive to buy. Now that I have one, I love it for it’s compact size. It is light weight and has revolutionized reading in bed. No more bulky book to hold, no more having to take my arm outside of the warm covers to turn a page because with the Kindle, I just a click the button and the next page appears. I also love the built in Oxford English Dictionary and the book marking ability. Plus, I never lose my place since Kindle remembers where I stopped reading.

It seems, however, that I am an oddball in all of this. According to this article, it is primarily men who are attracted to e-readers. Older men. Baby boomer men.  The only criteria I fit for all this gadgety reading is the fact that I am a baby boomer. I have thoughts about this. I truly believe reading is not a priority for most of our children, I think the true readers, the reading public, if you will, is aging. Books are becoming less necessary. I know people will squeal when they read that (IF they read that!

Now, I have taken a look at the iPad. It is sleek and lovely, like all Apple products. When the iPad was announced and I saw the way the e-book components worked, I was sorry I had not waited for the iPad. But, I have visited the Apple store and determined the iPad needs to become lighter and smaller for comfortable book reading. In my opinion, Kindles and Nooks are superior for truly dedicated book worms. Having a Kindle has not made me love books any less. I still buy real books. There are MANY books that are not available to read on Kindle.

We live in an e-world. Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers are just another option, not a replacement for traditional books. If anything, Kindle just makes room for more. The way I see it, you can never have enough books … especially if they are incorporeal.

3 thoughts on “Ephemeral, Incorporeal Books

  1. Fellow baby boomer in France (English expat) waving ‘hello, here, delighted by your recommendation of the Kindle which sounds like a Godsend of practicality, saving space and time. A Kindle could be a worthwhile investment for me – an inveterate bookworm who lives out of a suitcase. Thank you!

    1. It really is wonderful. It is funny, though. Amazon mentions that almost 600,000 books are available for download and that sounds like such a fantastic number, almost limitless. But, I am finding that it is a drop in the bucket. For instance, I wanted to download Rebecca and some other novels from the 20th century that I have read, but would love to have ‘just in case.’ I have found that many books published in my youth are NOT available. It seems to be limited to (A). Classics (which are free) and (B.) books published in the last few years (there are some exceptions.) I am still loving it, but realizing they have a loooooong way to go to make all books available. Right now, I want to download Barbara Pym, Mary Stewart and Rumer Godden, but they are not available! I rather imagine there must be some expense involved for publishers. Thank you so much for stopping by. Don’t hesitate to share your ex-pat adventures. Waving back!!!!

  2. Bonjour Dody Jane, and thanks so much for visiting mine! Am aghast by Kindle’s limitations – like you, I’d really want to stock up on classics and am not getting on well with up-to-the-minute fiction (with the odd, the very odd, exception!). So I am very grateful for your qualifications. Haven’t read B Pym at all, which is disgraceful considering (a) I lived in her birthplace for a while, and (b) she has been highly recommended by readers whose judgement I respect. Love Rumer Godden: much under-rated; Mary Stewart? Haven’t read MS for years. Am about to revisit Norah Lofts (historical novelist) after decades of absence …
    Have enjoyed reading other posts on your blog, btw.

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