Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A while back I mentioned to my friends that I did not like the latest in technological advances in the eReaders.  I like paper.  I love the smell of paper.  I love the feel of paper.  I love the sound of paper as the pages flip when you run your thumb across the edge of a book.  I have always enjoyed this.  As a child, I would come home with my scholastic book flyer and beg my parents to order books.  Most of them were never read.  I collected books. (It is not until I have become and adult that I have really started to read.)  But every time (even to this day) when I picked up my new books, I would flip through the pages held close to my nose so I can smell the paper.  Even when I read a book I hold it so that I can flip the pages I am not reading and smell the paper while I read. I use the hand not holding the book to feel the paper as I flip the pages... reading for me is a multi-sense experience!  To this day, I still love to collect books and as a homeschooling parent the opportunity to increase my collection of books has grown exponentially.  

Recently, I started to read a book at the Scholastic warehouse and wanted to finish it when I got home.  In an attempt to be frugal, I did not buy the book but came home and tried to reserve it from the library. I was around the 400th person in line for the book.  I figured sometime in a couple years I would have my hands on the book.  I was desperate to finish the book.  I thought of going and spending a couple days in Barnes and Noble reading it but my family would not appreciate my absence.  So, I gave in and asked my husband to use the lending library on his Kindle.  I was frustrated.  The paper smell was not there.  The softness of the pages was missing.... But I was determined to make the best of it and try to give it a fair chance.  After all, they are very trendy, the price of eBooks is cheaper, and it takes up a lot less space in the house to have 300 eBooks instead of paper book and is definitely less of a fire hazard!

So, armed with my husband's Kindle, I began to read.  eInk is definitely easier on the eyes than the iPad.  However, as I read further into the book I realized that I was not totally enthralled with the experience.  It was not just that my other senses were left out.  It was more than that.  I like to look back and sometimes re-read a page or two to see if I missed something or to refresh my memory.  I am a very VISUAL person.  I can't remember the page number I want to re-read but I will know that the text I am looking for is on the bottom left of a page about 1/3 of the way through the book.  With the Kindle I was having a terrible time finding what I was looking for.  There was no reference point.  Yes there is a % read at the bottom of the page but I did not pay attention to that on every page.  I did not know where the text I was looking for was.  I had to click back so many pages to find what I was looking for that I would get lost trying to find my way back.  I can't imagine if you were trying to read a book that you cross-referenced a lot-- I could never use a Kindle to read my Bible!

I also like a clean screen.  I saw a piece of dust on the screen and tried to brush it off.  I somehow flipped through 2 chapters with that attempt!  I called my husband over.  He told me I found a "feature" he did not know about.  Oh joy... I knew what chapter I was in but not the page in that chapter so I had to skim and turn page by page to find where I was.  I was not happy.

I am sure there are ways around some of these features, but for me I would rather allow all my senses to enjoy reading and skip the electronic version of the book.  I can see the benefits of the Kindle though.  If you are a reader who travels a lot it will cost a lot less to bring a Kindle full of books on the plane then all the suitcases full of the paper versions. :)

So, now I am working on my next home remodeling plan.  I have wanted for some time to turn part of what is supposed to be a dining room but is just an extension of our living room into a home library. I want to line of the walls full of bookshelves for all these books that I have here.  I had picked out shelves from IKEA but funding for that is not there right now.  I have been watching craigslist.  I even have an alert set up for when they appear on craigslist but I can't find what I am looking for.  Hopefully at some point I will have the library I am dreaming of... until them I have books EVERYWHERE!  

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