|The Kindle... The end of all real books???!!|
That's basically what my 2009 post about the digital revolution in reading sounded like. I was the crochety old lady who was more than happy with her good old-fashioned paper books, thank you very much. All this gumph about new-fangled devices for reading, I huffed. I had no need for such shenanigans.... Did I?
By early 2011, I had softened considerably. It wasn't that I was against e-readers you see, I just preferred the entire reading experience. I'm one of those people who unashamedly sniffs books. I buy notebooks when I have no need for them. I like the way paper feels between my fingers. The clinical diagnosis, were I to get one, would likely be Severe Paperphilia. A diagnosis I embrace wholeheartedly - but the question that kept nagging in the back of my mind was, did my love affair with paper necessarily have to be so tightly linked to my love of the written word?
This question was answered at the end of last year, when my beloved husband bought me an iPad for Christmas. This gift came at a time in my life where reading for pleasure had become nearly non-existent due to the required reading necessary for the thesis which had taken up nearly all of my time and severely depleted my reading mojo. It was also a matter of timing - when I was thesis-free (that is, out of my house) and had the mental space for reading I was typically on some form of public transport or at a loose end somewhere. I had fallen out of the habit of carrying a book with me in my bag, for some reason but now, the iPad would be with me pretty much all the time.
Casually, I downloaded the Kindle App. I looked up. Checked behind me. No-one was screaming. I didn't hear any bookstores bursting into flames in the near vicinity. Excellent. Now, to find something to read. I downloaded Book of Mercy - an appropriate title, given my feelings about this whole foray into digital reading.
|My swagload of real books (Image credit: Kath Liu)|
So there it is. Who knew. The Digital Dissenter has been turned and having access to e-books has shattered my reading slump. I have embraced the positives of this new way of reading and ceased worrying about my beloved physical book - I reckon those babies are going to be around in this world for a lot longer than I will, and I ain't planning on going anywhere for a good while yet.
And just to make sure, I bought myself a swagload of real books - and delightedly sniffed each and every one of them. Bliss.