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!