|E-Book on an iPad|
Luckily this was all a bit of a wild overreaction but not without cause, it must be said. The way some folks were talking this nightmare vision I had seemed imminent. But just like the television did not kill off radio and internet has not made everyone unsocial hermits who sit at home all day in their underpants and have no idea how to interact with each other, digital readers aren't going to replace printed books. It has merely added a new, convenient and lightweight way to read - one with a multitude of benefits, for sure.
Being 28, I'm not quite a digital native but was a young enough digital migrant so that living with and using technology seems like second nature. So why haven't I run out and bought myself some kind of digital reader yet? Surely it seems like the next logical step but truthfully I have zero desire to have one and today it finally dawned on me while I was reading this blog post on Accidental Moments this morning why this is. It's not just the act of reading words that form a narrative that I love about books. It's the whole experience of it.
Photo by Kath Liu
Once the book comes home with me, it's time to find it a place on my bookshelves. I don't have a massive collection of books as my bookshelf space is necessarily limited by the fact that I live in an apartment in Taiwan but with a bit of 'creative stacking' I've managed thus far. I love the way my bookshelves look, stuffed full of all of the different coloured spines. It looks inviting and friendly. It makes me happy looking at them. It's nothing impressive but it's my own little library.
Which brings me to my favourite part of the experience: sharing books. On average about 7 of my books can at any time be found floating around various locations in Taiwan, being read and enjoyed by other people. It's one of the best feelings to recommend a book to someone and have them absolutely love it. The love of sharing reading experiences is why I love Bookcrossing, book clubs and book blogging so much. Passing a much-loved book around to be enjoyed by others feels like sharing a slice of happiness. You just can't do that with a book downloaded to a digital reader unless you're willing to surrender your reader to someone for a space of time.... not something people are typically willing to do, understandably!
Photo by Kath Liu
Which do you prefer? Printed or digital? Why? Does it change according to situation? Let me know!