Why am I posting my response here instead of there?
When my comment surpasses the 100-word mark I feel it’s more polite to share it here rather than bogart so much space on someone else’s page. Perhaps I’m just being weird but, hey, when has that ever stopped me from doing something?
While you read my response keep in mind I didn’t get my first cell phone until 2005 (and only then because my mother guilted me into it) and I just received my first MP3 player in June 2010 as a birthday gift. I limit my use of technology to a need-to-have-to-function basis unless it’s a gift; I’ll play around with the gift for awhile and then either shelve it, donate it to the library or freecycle it. The simple personal life I strive to maintain requires the limited use of stuff I deem as unnecessary luxuries.
Electronic readers and iPads and whatever other incarnations of these in the future, are, I believe, here to stay. But will they completely replace physical books? Technology has proven to be very, very good at providing small changes that are capable of big differences in people’s lives. This, surely, will be one of those things. I do think they will eventually replace physical books – but not for a very long time. There will still be hold-outs like myself. (Excerpt from “The Future of Books.”)
Great post, Eileen! And I agree eReaders are cool, fun and convenient. In June 2010, a relative let me play around with her Kindle, a neat little device that impressed me with its ease of use, storage capacity and lightweight design.
But I won’t buy a Kindle or any of its species.
I spend somewhere between 10-12 hours each day reading a computer screen for my business. Then, add on the time I spend writing my fiction in MS Word, reviewing my daughter’s lessons, researching / mind-mapping, networking, reading blogs, and doing my personal bookkeeping. By the time I’m finished with those recurring items, the thought of reading any electronic device makes me antsy and grumpy — even the microwave’s timer or the digital clock irks me at that point. All I want to do at the end of the day is curl up in bed with a good old-fashioned tangible door to another world that requires only three things to operate: my eyes, my hands and my imagination.
Where technology, electricity and batteries fail, books never let me down.
In addition, one of my favorite things about the morning is waking up to the crowded bookshelf across from the bed that reminds me I’m only a few feet away from the escape I’ll get after the day’s exhausting technology-packed activities. It certainly would not fill me with the same warm fuzzies to see my bookshelf housing only an eReader.
Are we honestly going to allow real children’s books to become extinct? To become mere “collectibles” our children only hear about? An eReader cannot give parents and kids the same experience – namely bonding outside the world of technology – that beautifully told and illustrated stories like The Tale of Peter Rabbit or Guess How Much I Love You have for years and years. I won’t even mention the Dr. Seuss books. Oh wait, I just did.
Seriously, would you get more nostalgic thinking back on your first childhood reading experience if it was centered around reading an electronic device or reading a hardcover story with colorful illustrations? Kids love to turn pages. They love to trace their fingers over words and shapes and pictures. I don’t know why we’d want to eliminate that experience from their early development especially if we’re trying to nurture new readers into lifelong readers.
I will always have real books and I hope they don’t end up as just “collectibles.” Surely there’s a way to balance this technological advancement with the demand of old-timers like myself and with the needs of those who cannot afford to purchase an eReader and eBooks. Low-income families already have a tough enough time when it comes to reading and having enough books on hand, this will only make that gap even larger. It’s sad enough that libraries are falling by the wayside, please don’t allow books to do the same.
If I’m forced to buy an eReader for lack of the real books I want to read, I’ll be a very unhappy camper, I mean, reader. And should someone attempt “to pry a book out of my cold, dead, hand” they’re gonna end up haunted by one cranky chick for the rest of their life. Just sayin’.
So, chime in: Have you already converted to the dark side; that is, have you joined the eReader revolution?
I’d love to hear some feedback from those on either side of this issue.