When I was young, I was an avid reader. I read as much as I could, anywhere I could — even in the car on long trips… a practice I couldn’t possibly do now as I tend to get car sick if I do. At the time, I dreamt of a future where books could be read on a small electronic device that made it possible to read without having to turn pages, or would be backlit so that they could be read in the dark. Even better yet, you could store multiple books on the same device and read them at your leisure.
Now, almost 30 years later, we have just such an ability with the current run of e-book readers, such as the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes and Noble Nook, and the Sony Reader, just to name a few. One would think that, due to my childhood dreams of just such a device, I would be ecstatic about this new technology and would have rushed out to embrace it a long time ago.
However, I still have yet to buy one. In fact, I have yet to actually even test one.
After all these years, the actual feel and smell of a real live book is something that I’ve come to enjoy more and more when I’m reading. Over the years, as digital formats began to replace the paper format of reading material bit by bit, I’ve come to enjoy that nostalgia of actually holding a newspaper in my hand, or picking up a new book and smelling that ‘new book’ smell when I open it. Nothing quite compares to starting a new book and feeling the crisp, dry paper under your fingers as you begin to read.
The latest statistics suggests that more people are buying e-books than paper books, especially whereas hardcover books are concerned. So one has to ask, are the days of actual paper books numbered? As much as I hate to say yes to that question, it’s the obvious direction the book industry is headed.
So, as technology advanced, one of the things I wished for the most as a child we now have, and now that it’s here I’m loathe to embrace it. Is that irony, or what?