Books · Libraries · Life In General

My Secret Hatred of eReaders

I have a confession. I hate eReaders. I don’t personally own one, though my husband and both of my children have them. I’ve read a handful of books on my husband’s Nook. I’ve read to my children from their Kindles. On an intellectual level, I understand the allure: They are lightweight; they store tons of books; they double as an Internet device.

To me, an eReader is lifeless. It’s like looking at a book through a glass case, where someone else controls the turning of pages. They are cold and sterile. There’s no embossing on the cover. No freshly-printed smell from the pages. I can’t run my finger along the spine, or feel the binding give just a little bit upon that first opening. There’s no making notes in the margins. There’s no visible proof that I’ve read that book 100 times before. I can’t spend hours in a bookstore, lovingly opening and savoring each potential Kindle purchase. No, that just doesn’t work!

Books. I love them. I always have. I have shelves full of them at home, and I’ve lost more to time and moves than I can count. I give them away to friends and family, and I receive them happily as favorite gifts.

It’s true that an eReader can hold hundreds, if not thousands of titles. You know what? So does this:

Admont Library, Austria
Admont Library, Austria

Throughout history, some of our most beautifully architected spaces have been devoted to the storage of books. University, city and abbey libraries stand several stories tall. Ornate cases hold ancient tomes that have stood the test of time. Librarians quietly check each shelf, making sure that our history of ideas is preserved for future generations.

With the advent of the eReader, our bookstores and libraries are threatened. Our ideas are reduced to bits on a hard drive that can be lost with a simple power surge. We devote less and less space to our public libraries, with much of the floor taken by computer systems and DVD rental space.

I would love to tour the world and see the great libraries before we fully determine them to be useless, and turn them into super-fancy Starbucks locations.

And I will continue to buy books. Real ones. Printed on paper and requiring storage space in my home. I don’t care if my bag weighs a little more when I go on a trip. It doesn’t bother me that I have to find my own light source to read. And it rather delights me that the book in my hand cannot be used as yet another means to waste time on the Internet.

Maybe it’s my age showing, but I’ll never stop loving real books.

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7 thoughts on “My Secret Hatred of eReaders

  1. Agree with you but sometimes I want to read an old book not at the library or book store. Belonging to a book club their choices are sometimes hard to find but always in my nook.

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t stand the things either. Paper copies are far far better. People forget that reading is a tactile experience as well. Thanks for sharing! If you’re ever interested in some awesome book reviews and musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely appreciate this opinion. There is something comforting about the smell of a book. If I could afford the space to store books, maybe I wouldn’t have switched. I’m also finding I can afford more books at the e-book rate than I may otherwise. I am afraid for traditional publishing, though. It would be heartbreaking if it goes away entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Agreed! .. I do own kindles which are great for huge study books or for holiday back up but no way would i ever give up my actual books. Curling up with an ereader just does not have the same effect šŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ohhhh. I’ve had so many debates about this. I love eReaders and one major reason is that I now have access to so many more books. The power dynamic of traditional publisher-author-reader is fascism undiluted. When I think of the power that just a handful of people have/had, the power to decide what I can or cannot read by virtue of what they deem worthy of publishing, I practically have an aneurism. Who the fuck are these people anyway? And every time I see a piece crap that a tree died for I think “Jesus wept, who didn’t get a shot, a chance, so this twaddle could be brought to market?” This has been blown wide open. eReaders have cut out the supposed gatekeepers and now I can decide what I will read. I do feel bad for bookstores but with each technological advancement people are displaced.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is true that ePub has changed the industry, and rocked a much-too-stable boat. I’ll give it that. The flip-side is that anyone who deems themselves worthy of publishing can just go ahead and throw their half-edited manuscript into the ether. Have you seen some of what’s out there? LOL There are gems, but they’re buried under 4 miles of compressed crap. Still, I do think that the shake-up to the publishing industry was in order. And I won’t be so bold (or stupid) to refuse the ePublishing option for my own works. That would just be ridiculous. I’ll gladly take money in exchange for a Kindle copy of my work. But! When it comes to buying my own books… there exists this wonderful option of print-on-demand. šŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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