Getting to Know an eBook Reader
This year I managed not to duplicate books I already own, but I was overcautious to make sure that didn't happen. But I still managed to bring home nearly 20 new-to-me books.
The same week as the library sale, as I moaned a bit about minimal bookshelf space, a friend mentioned how easy it was for her to check out ebooks from the library. It's a new service in our area, but one I had yet to check out.
I admit, ebooks are growing on me, but slowly. One day I may be pushed out of my home for all the boxes of books I cart home from the book sales, but I still find comfort in curling up with a good book. My book sale treasures, neatly pile up, each year, I try to make headway and plow through these book sale treasures that I've elbowed neighbors to get to (accidentally!). As far as I'm concerned, these book sales prove that print is not dead. Yet.
While I resisted the ebook movement for a while, as a writer, I decided I need to do some homework and work to embrace what is obviously not a passing fad. About a year ago, I was given a Kindle when a relative decided to upgrade.
One thing I've truly embraced is the ability to email PDFs to my Kindle. For a distance-education class I'm taking, I'm able to email the assigned reading to my Kindle, carry the chapters with me, and highlight text. I'm not sure if it has made me a better student, but it certainly has made it easier for me to pull out my reading in all sorts of places without messing with pages that I have a habit of getting out of order, losing or getting wet.
I find it easy to take notes or write a paper with the Kindle open in front of me, the chapters open up flat in front of me. I'm wondering if it will start to change my writing habits--it certainly has changed my studying habits.
Because of the ease-of-access for the PDFs, I assumed that my pleasure book reading habits would keep pace. I'm slightly intrigued with downloading library books without having to make the drive--or accessing books that the library doesn't have a physical copy of.
But when it comes to books, I still enjoy curling up with a physical book. I still enjoy combing through book sale bins or visiting bookstores. I still very much enjoy the tactile experience of reading and the heaving bookshelves.
I know I'll start using my Kindle more and more--I have to, since I have a list of books growing on it that is getting as big as the box from the book sale. And I know that I'll be at next year's book sale and ready to fill another empty box.
Has the eBook revolution changed your buying, reading or writing habits? If so, how?
Elizabeth King Humphrey, who lives in Wilmington, N.C., is a writer, editor and Kindle-newbie.