Finally dipping my toe in the e-reader pool

No one would ever accuse me of being an early adopter. The last time I plunged into cutting-edge technology was when I bought a first-generation iPod back in 2001, and only then because I was buying a new laptop and figured, in for a penny, in for a pound.

Since then, I never install software until at least the first revision (preferably the second), I am never the first person on the block to have the newest gizmo (we just got a flat screen and a Blu-ray late this past year), and when I finally do cave in, I’m not liable to get the top-of-the-line model.

So it took me until this month (along with a sale price and a gift card) to finally take the plunge and buy an e-reader. Call me a luddite, but I have a hard time relinquishing the feel of a bound set of paper pages and the ease of flipping directly (or near enough) to a page in the middle of a book without having to wait for screen redraw.

However, a compelling argument in favor of my getting an e-reader can be found in just about every room of the house: the bookshelves stuffed to overflowing, with books stacked sideways on top of others and rows two deep on the shelf. No, not all of them have been read (I shudder to count all of the books that make up my multipart “to be read” stack). There’s a certain amount of guilty feeling to be had there, but if I’m going to be addicted to something, I’ve always thought books were a sort of noble addiction.

But, like Scotty, I canna change the laws of physics. There are only so many books we can squeeze into this house (which is not a TARDIS), and something’s gotta give. So, I gave—myself a Kobo.*

As of yesterday, I was reading three books: one a hardback of the latest Michael Cunningham, one a murder mystery by a friend of mine (she published via Amazon, and I have to say, this book is hilarious), and Conquering Venus, by Collin Kelley, whom I met last May at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in Atlanta. Collin’s was the first of the three that I finished (it was excellent—but more on that in another blog post), and I think, much to my surprise, that the e-reader format had a lot to do with how quickly I read.

I doubt I’ll be clearing off the shelves and replacing everything with a digital copy, but I do think I’m going to be consiering more carefully whether I want one or the other. For one thing, all of those books are heavy, and I don’t look forward to packing (and paying for) them the next time we move. Certain choices, on the other hand, are no-brainers: books by writers I know, I’ll want to get a paper copy. After all, it’s hard to get an author to sign your Kindle or your Nook.

At least, it is for now.

*They’re not paying me for mentioning them. I should be so lucky.

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