Sunday, July 20, 2008

E-Books or Paper?

I have a confession to make.

I don't have a Kindle, and I have no intention of buying one. Quite possibly ever.

See, I'm not a big reader of e-books.


Maybe I shouldn't admit to that, since I'm an e-pubbed author, but I don't particularly care for ebooks. I have a few, stored on my old laptop (read with Microsoft Reader because it was free and easy to get up and running), but that's it.

I'm old-fashioned. I like paperback books. I love the way a new book smells (yeah, go on and sniff a new book. You know you want to...), I like how they feel in my hands - the cool, sleek covers (with or without Fabio), the crispness of never-turned-before pages... All of that you just can't get with an ebook. Besides, I spend enough time as it is on a computer, the last thing I want to do is spend my leisure time curled up in bed with... my laptop.

Now it seems like everyone's gotten their Kindle. I don't have one. I have no plans to get one. First off, I'm cheap - there is soooo much more I could spend that $350 on - so unless Amazon really comes down in price, forget it. Why do you think I don't have an iPhone yet? Hell, I own an iPod shuffle because it was the least expensive iPod (confession-within-a-confession time - I am considering upgrading, since my iPod software doesn't work with my newer laptop.)

Second, I really don't need another gadget in my house. My son has the time of his life banging away on my AlphaSmart, on my laptop keyboard, on anything and everything he can get his hands on. I certainly don't need one more thing I have to keep waaaay up out of his reach. That pile of stuff is getting too high and is going to come crashing down on me, most likely killing me in an avalanche of expensive and/or breakable stuff (and car transmitters, since he's real good at unlocking and setting off my car alarm and popping the trunk open without my knowing it.). I really don't need that.

I don't see paper books going the way of the dinosaur just yet, which makes me happy. I like bookstores. I like going into them. I love how they smell and how they are almost as quiet as a library, but not quite (unless, of course, you're in the same aisle as the jerk shouting into her Bluetooth headset as she fights with her credit card company about transferring points. This just happened in a B&N a few days ago. If you're reading, lady, no one else really needed to hear about your points problem.)

With a Kindle (or any e reader. I'm not just bashing Kindle here), there is none of that. There is you and a download connection. That's it. No bookstore smell. No new books. No dolt with the Bluetooth (although that I would not miss at all, to be honest). No cashier asking if you've found everything, or commenting on the books you're buying ("Oh, this one is great! Evanovich's best Plum novel yet!" - or something like that).

True, you can carry every book with you, so there's no, "Damn, I really wanted to read XYZ but I forgot to pack it," but there's just something so.... cold about reading books on a screen. Maybe someday I'll get used to it. Maybe someday I'll do a post on the wonders of the Kindle. I can't say never. But for now???

Give me paper...


Webster Twelb said...

I'm not a fan of ebooks's hard to read them. I'm still a good ol' book reader, paperbacks and hardbounds...they're definitely better.

Kim said...

If the Kindle ever comes down to a more reasonable price, I might try it... but for now... I'm just not giving up my paperback. =)