Imaginative Discussion: Defender of e-Books

Posted September 17, 2014 by Lyn Kaye in Imaginative Discussions, Lyn / 13 Comments

Time to bring up a sticky topic: all the hate for e-readers and e-books. I can’t say how many times I see comics and jokes aimed to poke fun at people who use a Kindle or a Nook instead of a paperback. I am here to say that I use an e-reader, and I defend this new form of digital book formatting just as much as reading itself.

 

It seems that there is some epic, ground-breaking war between digital and paper happening on the internet:

I’ve seen this comic, and many others similar to it, pop up on various social media feed.  I understand that the intent is humor and poking slight fun at both sides, but the comments that accompany such shared photos are not shared in the same jovial spirit. People have claimed that e-book readers are lazy, not “real readers”, and have fallen prey to hype and social pressure.

This makes my blood boil.

For the record, let me say this: I love books. I love shelves overflowing with paperbacks, hardcovers, library binding – you name it. I love the smell of books. I love book cover art and the feel of the pages between my fingers. I love reading over the credit pages and the giddy feeling you get when you find a first edition of a novel. I love the haunt local bookstores. Friends that come in from out of town KNOW that I am going to take them to the most awesome bookstores in the world. I love books. They’re my porn. My power, my pleasure, my pain.

But I also love my e-books. There are certain perks that come with an e-reader, and e-books have opened the field to a wider range of stories, readers, and authors. So what are these certain advantages? What edge do you gain with an e-reader?

Size and protection.  My purse is a black hole. Things gets lost, and things get damaged.  If I carry a book on me, more often than not, it ends up damaged.  My Kindle is slimmer, and it is better protected than a book. When I am at work, I tend to read during lunch. If I drop food on the Kindle, I can wipe it up. I don’t get the pages dirty with my fingers, and physical books are spared any trauma that comes with travel and use. I can keep my tomes in good shape when I opt to carry my e-reader.

Privacy. Not that I read anything that would land me in the morning paper upon discovery, but I find that people are nosy and rude. That is just a fact of life.  When I carry a book, I have had people come up to me and complain that they have no time to read, give me dirty looks from afar when I tote non-adult books, and people have even TAKEN MY BOOK FROM ME TO READ IT. No one bothers me when I have my Kindle. No one has tried to take it from me, and no one can soothe their bruised and bloated ego by deeming me as bookish scum.

Price and ARCs. Let’s face it – we are all always needing more money. I can’t eat my books. I couldn’t, even if I tried. Also, the apartment complex gets slightly fussy when I skip on payments. Can’t have a reading corner without a living space.  Electronic books tend to be cheaper, and if something costs me less, the chances are higher than I will take a chance on it. I can keep up with my friends when they rabidly send me a recommendation that states something along the lines that this book is better than any physical action under the sun.  Galleys and ARCs are also more available to a wider range of readers, thanks to the electronic movement.

Space. There are seriously only so many books I can own. I have already taken up as much free space in our postage stamp-sized living quarters as humanly possible. Do I need to share the horrible picture of my stacks of books again? Let’s just not go there at the moment.

Assistance. Not to beat a horse dead, or dead horse, or whatever, but reading can be hindered by certain conditions, such as bad eyesight, dyslexia, sensitivity to light, and other related conditions. Reading the electronic ink is easier on my eyes, and I can read a Kindle book faster because my dyslexia doesn’t pose an issue, like it can with printed books. E-readers can assist users with larger font, text-to-speech, built-in dictionaries, and other bells and whistles to promote reading.

border

There are numerous reasons to own and use e-readers. Even if it is “I like it more,” why do we find people taking offence to the electronic form of our beloved stories? When it all boils down, isn’t it better to tote to a wider range or people? If kids want to ready Harry Potter or Percy Jackson on the iPad, then doesn’t everyone win? Technology is a key part of our lives. Converting books to span this new development in our society helps ensure that reading isn’t tossed to the wayside in the age of outraged ornithology and decimating desserts. Our society is changing, and stories need to change to stand a chance. I want books to stay relevant and reverend with the public. I don’t want to see people confused how to open a page and witness children befuddled by the strange rectangular object. However, my desire to see people just simply read trumps these wishes.

Stop the e-reader hate. Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iPad users are readers, too.

 

lyn

 

 

 

13 responses to “Imaginative Discussion: Defender of e-Books

  1. I’ve seen those comics too and while I love the feel of reading a physical book and turning the pages, I still love my Kindle to death and wouldn’t part with it for any reason. For me, the appeal is mainly because of how much easier it is for me to read on. When a physical copy of my book has far too tiny font I’m much more likely to read it on my Kindle instead. It’s so convenient too! I have TONS of books all in my spot. Again, I love the feel of reading a physical book but reading is reading. And we’re saving trees. lol
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – The Dead Lands: A Novel by Benjamin PercyMy Profile

  2. I think the comics are funny, BUT I agree that genuine snobbery regarding ebooks and ereaders is stupid. Reading is reading is reading, whether it’s physical, digital, or audio. You get the same adventures I do, so what do I care? Of course, some “super geek” ebook lovers do throw the snobbery right back, which can make me a little prickly (I’m firmly in the physical book camp FOR ME, because I know how my brain works best).
    Shae/Shelver @ Shae Has Left The Room recently posted…Samplers – Yea or Nay?My Profile

  3. SO. AGREE. I saw something on tumblr once that said, “Books vs. e-books is like saying cake vs. more cake”. Which pretty much said it perfectly for me.

    LIKE, THEY’RE ALL BOOKS. WHAT THE HELL. As long as you’re reading legally, who cares what format you do it in? E-books are awesome for so many things.
    Gillian recently posted…The YA Sorting Hat: Book Boyfriends EditionMy Profile

  4. I love my Nook Glow Light. It makes it so much easier to read wherever I want. I don’t always carry a purse with me on the weekends so I can just open the Nook app on my phone and start reading if I’m waiting in line, eating, etc.
    Stacy recently posted…2014 Goodreads Reading ChallengeMy Profile

  5. I have/had an Asus tablet with 600 books downloaded on it. I rarely used it because it was uncomfortable to read on and when I dozed off in my lounger it invariably fell to the floor. Last week while on vacation I was reading on it, put it down to take a break and when I came back it was dead.

    I’m very glad that I also packed 2 dozen books for reading.
    Nora-Adrienne recently posted…Here are Your September 2014 ReleasesMy Profile

  6. I love those funny strips. You also have them where the book wins over the e-reader. I like that type of humor, but the true e-book hate is something I can’t stand. It doesn’t matter how you read, as long as it works for you. I am someone who reads as many e-books as physical copies and I couldn’t live without my e-reader now. I take it with me on my way to school and it gives me the ability to take enough books with me on vacation without the weight. It’s an amazing extra tool. It shouldn’t matter, the same with people who read in the form of audio-books. I wish everyone would just stop judging everything all the time, it’s so tiresome.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…7 Deadly sins tag.My Profile

  7. I used to be a e-reader hater. My argument was about the smell of the book and the feel of it in your hands. How can you lend it to a friend if it’s really awesome? Until I got my first e-reader. Then I totally became a convert. I still love the feel and smell of a dead tree book, but for portability and cost, I love my e-reader.
    Judy recently posted…Review: Double Whammy by Gretchen ArcherMy Profile

  8. It’s sad every time I hear / read people mock e-readers. When you live where I do, and where mostly only the reeeeally popular books get imported, your options are kind of limited. We don’t have public libraries here like they do in western countries. Our libraries are extremely limited to academic books (and even those tend to be — get this! photocopies of the legitimate books. That’s how expensive imported books are, even the government turns a blind eye to this).

    So yeah. It’s not that I don’t like print books… It’s just really important that I select books to splurge on, and save a lot of money by reading ebook versions of the rest. And when I read people make fun of or discourage e-readers, well, it just feels like such a problem of privilege.
    Manda recently posted…Promise of ShadowsMy Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge