You see I am a committed print lover, I love the feel of a book in my hand, whether brand new or secondhand. I love turning over the pages, folding over corners to mark my place in the absence of a bookmark. Being choosy about book covers – I have a preference for books that don’t feature the film poster as the cover. I like the original artwork thank you. For me nothing beats a hardcopy novel. Even when friends and colleagues started switching over to the Kindle and iPad, I remained steadfast. Viva la print, and reading books in the bath! Then I got my new HTC phone.
Ok so it’s smaller than a Kindle or iPad, but having stumbled across the Reader app, with it’s nicely thought of free e-books courtesy of Kobo, I thought I’ll give it a shot. And to my immense surprise I really enjoyed the experience. I felt like an Amish person discovering the forbidden joys of modern conveniences (incidentally the book I read was about Amish people, so forgive the analogy). First of all it was surprisingly easy to read, I say this because I don’t usually enjoying reading on screen. I am the fiend who has no consideration for the environment before printing off documents to read. But here I was on the bus faithfully reading away bitesize chunks of text on my small screen (I think that actually helped), and not losing the enjoyment of reading and quite liking the fact that I could slide to the next page. Bookmarking was still available and if I forgot, when I returned to the Reader, it very helpfully went to the page I was last reading!
All in all a pretty good experience. However, I don’t think I be giving up on books completely, in favour of the e-versions. There is a nostalgia attached to books especially if you are re-reading them, that I think is missing from e-books. It’s just not the same but that, as I’ve discovered doesn’t necessarily make it bad. Also, I read a comment somewhere in the case against e-books, which I totally agree with: With e-books, gone are the days in which you can nosily glance at what your fellow passengers on the bus or tube are reading, a pastime I quite enjoy. Plus you can’t read e-books in the bath – way too risky!
Image: Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net