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A new dimension to reading

July 16, 2010

Blog Marathon Post 16

I owned my first real book(something other than children’s magazines/books) when I was 10 years. I had to coax my dad a lot to get my hands on that book. He complained how costly it is, however was more than glad to buy that for me. Ever since, my relationship with the books had been a long lasting one. I got books as gifts; I borrowed them from libraries; I rummaged through huge piles of them during book exhibitions; I exchanged them with my friends and when I started earning, I used to spend a huge share of my salary on books. They gave me company when I was sad; they gave me company on a rainy night; they inspired me through quotes; they told me stories of places and people which I have never seen or heard of. They were my companions in exploring the world unknown.

Nowadays, whenever I open to search for a book that I read about or to check for its price, their home page always greets me with an advertisement on Amazon Kindle. They say its Amazon’s No.1 bestseller(What is the need of using No.1 and bestseller in the same sentence. Any thoughts?). They even have free reading apps to go with it. They have two versions of it currently – Kindle(6 inch one) and Kindle DX(9.7 inch one). It’s slim, can hold upto 3500 books and has features like automatic battery backup, full image zoom, adjustable text size, bookmarks, built-in dictionary and audiobooks. I find a pretty cool device to have. You can carry 3500 books with you all the time, pretty nice, right?

Lets go three years back.

“An e-book and me? Oh, please. I would never love to read an e-book. Sitting in front of a computer and reading an whole book? As it is, I spend so much time sitting in front of computer, I don’t want to read an whole book sitting in front of it. I love the feeling of holding a book close to me, turning the pages with my fingers, a lazing around in my couch or bed. I don’t think I will ever read an e-book”

The above words were uttered by yours truly exactly three years back. So what happened in the next three years?

The first e-book I ever read was “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. It somehow came inside a folder which I downloaded from my b-skul LAN. I started reading it out of curiosity and got hooked to it because of the amazing fundas he gave about money. Before I could realise it myself, I was scrolling pages after pages and in no time, I finished the book. I totally liked the book, above all, I was surprised that I could actually finish reading an e-book. I was amused at myself.

The next one was ‘How Opal got drunk, got kissed and got a life’. I read this as an e-book because I didn’t want to spend money on a paper back for two reasons: It was a chick-lit and I didn’t expect it to be any good. Still, I wanted to read it because for all the controversy it created about Kavya Vishwanathan plagiarising from two books of Megan F. McCafferty. I didn’t enjoy the book much, but there I finished reading my second e-book.

It broke a huge barrier inside me. I came to realise that its not so difficult to read an e-book. I read articles, news, papers and so much other online content, then how different is it to read an e-book? Not much. Since then, I have read a few e-books and I don’t find it a daunting experience anymore.

Still, I have bought all the books which I really wanted to read and find reading a paperback/hardbound a more enjoyable experience than reading an e-book. Seeing all these ads of e-book readers make me realise they are the future of reading. Who has the space and resources for carrying all the huge books when you can do it all in an e-book reader? An e-book reader or e-books are much more convenient and with e-book readers coming up with so many features, it makes reading a pleasurable experience too.

But, if we digitalize every book that is available to us, won’t we have libraries any more? Won’t we borrow books?

How will we show off our book collection?

How will we exchange books to read?

Would the parents read their children bedtime stories through a Kindle or Nook? What will the children read without all those colourful picture books?

No more book exhibitions? 😥 No more second hand bookstores? 😥 😥

No more spending hours on a Landmark or Crossroads? How will I pass time when I am all alone? 😦

Sigh, the one advantage that I can see is lesser number of trees being cut for making paper and hence, a greener world. Though I have kind of accepted the fact that e-book readers/e-books are the future, I refused to buy a Kindle while I was in US. I would hold on to my paperbacks/hardbounds/second hand books as longer as I can. I may go to a phase wherein my books and an e-book reader can co-exist. But what can replace that joy of holding a new book in hand, smelling its fresh pages, flipping through the pages slowly and arranging it all in a book shelf. Nothing can beat the euphoria of being surrounded by so many books either.

Happy reading folks and have a great weekend ahead !!!

  1. Even i hold same opinion like you, i think you missed one part, going to the book shop and spending time so that you can choose from a lot. Just to remind someone is getting away from 55Fiction 🙂 your uniqueness.

  2. I have read the entire twilight series in pdf format on my mobile phoneI read some books on my computer also but I had to go through backache and eye strain problemsYou are right…somehow the joy of holding an actual book is different…the musty smell of old books and turning through pages yellowed with time. I've been very careless with maintaining books.Sigh!but in this digital age kindle is a welcome changeI seriously think kindle or sony reader should cut down theor prices…they are ridiculously high priced making it unaffordabe for a student like me

  3. Just imagine. Year 2012. An old huge book shelf at home. She opens it. All the racks are empty.But there is an e-book reader at the corner of one of the rack. This is an advertisement of iPad V2. When the ad is finished, you switch off your Android Powered Google Tablet. You are in the newly constructed Metro Rail with high speed internet.

  4. I havent read any e-book so far, even I always thought I cannot, but as you say I read so much of other stuff online so may be I should try…And libraries/book stores may not vanish any time soon(i hope!)..:)

  5. @anon: Thanks for the encouragement. I will write 55 fiction in between, but I want to explore other types of writing too :)@aparna: I missed the backache and eyesore problems, maybe, I didn't read anything at one go like that. I am always so careful with my books, I don't like anyone messing up with my books either. I take care of my books like my own babies 🙂 Lets hope Kindle reduces it price soon and make it affordable to all.@Madhu: I dislike, dislike that ad 😦 I don't want that to happen. Let the books, bookshelves and libraries stay, please.@Pratibha: Attay gal, I hope your words stay true my dear. Try reading an e-book and let me know what you feel.

  6. I dunno whether to be happy or sad that the Kindle hasn't stopped me from buying books 😐 🙂

  7. I would be happy, for the books, not for your wallet 😉

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