I found my e-reader yesterday. That I didn’t know where it was, and didn’t miss it, says a lot about how important this particular device is in my life.
I want to like it. I really do. I bought it on a whim, but with the best intentions – reduce the number of books piling up in my house. And at first I was really good at resisting the call of the book store and shopping online.
But slowly, the quirks of my e-reader started getting to me.
- I can only buy one book at a time because having to process my card for each book makes me think about what I’m buying, and that doesn’t happen when I just hand over my card once for the handful of books I pick up at the book store.
- I can’t see how much I’ve read – the “40 per cent” read message isn’t the same as watching the centre of a book get closer and then feeling the weight of the book shift from your right hand to your left as you pass the centre point.
- I find the “## reading hours left” message a bit discouraging.
- I can’t easily flip back a page or a few to re-read a sentence, or flip back to that family tree or timeline at the front of the book.
- Tapping just isn’t the same as turning a page.
I gave it a good try, but I slowly started heading back to the book store. And today, about two years later, I’m almost fully back to my hard copy books. So are a lot of people I know. A quick scan of the subway car today revealed most readers turning pages instead tapping or swiping screens. So was the e-reader just a fad? Or is it just me – am I just a book person?
I’m not ready to totally give up on the e-reader just yet. I dutifully charged it and discovered that I have The Luminaries waiting to be read (yay!). But if I’m honest, I won’t panic if I misplace the reader again. I’ll just pick up my next book.