Excursions Of A Bibliophile

What are u reading these days?

I am not on an e-reader — not yet

Posted by Vish Mangalapalli on January 27, 2012

Affordability should be the last reason to justify any acquisition. There is a merit in visiting this thought before every single purchase one makes. I think some of the world’s serious ills will get automatically solved if everyone were to follow this. For a while, I have been in a dilemma whether or not buy an e-reader. There were at least two occasions when I visited a couple of popular electronic stores to pick an e-reader but returned empty handed. There is nothing wrong with the current crop of e-readers from a features or capabilities perspective. Almost all of them that are available in the market are true to their promises on the conveniences they offer to provide. The motivation not to buy lies elsewhere. I am by any statistical measure an avid reader and this avidity has only been growing over the last decade making me an ideal proselyte so to speak. Yet in biting the bullet and acquiring one, something kept me in a hesitant mode. I think the single biggest dissuader in not buying an e-reader has been my reading style. At any point in time I toggle between two books. Beyond two books, I am lost. Given a chance, I would like to avoid this two book strategy too. The second book is there mostly as an assurance, an option or means to sustain freshness of reading experience and minimise any monotony that may arise out of a specific writing style, topic, theme or author. In fact, there is fair number of instances where I am with a single book from start to finish. In my reading temperament, I am like a single horse buggy with a penchant for long haul. So even though an e-reader can carry hundreds of books simultaneously, my need for them at a time is very limited. Even the single book that I am reading at any point in time, I prefer to carry on me in physical form. A physical book (with its cover visible to others around me) declares my taste in ways which can never be matched by an e-book reader. A bit of self-expression should not be construed as outright vanity.  Especially while traveling, whether it is a flight or a train, the book I carry has been an effective ice-breaker with strangers in initiating a conversation. I am not sure if an e- reader hidden in leather cover and exuding a mildly geeky aura can ever stand up to a book on that front. Yes, an e-reader can carry a lifetime supply of books and liberate enormous space which physical books tend to occupy and for those my answer is: books are not meant for decoration but they are the best things available for decoration

I am not on e-reader… not yet

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One Response to “I am not on an e-reader — not yet”

  1. Ereaders to me don’t satisfy my psychological and subconscious satisfactions from reading…..seeing the bookmark toward the end of the book and the subsequent excitement of being near to the start of a new book. Also the pleasure I get from looking at my bookcases laden with books. Finishing one book and putting it in the finished side of the bookcases. Other people seeing what you are reading. The smell sometimes of new print. Lovely print covers. The pleasure of buying a new book……..none of these are possible with ereaders.
    I do have an ipad1 which is indispensable for news and article reading, as well as web browsing.
    In summary, I think my grave will arrive quicker than an ereader receipt!
    Unless physical books are banned to protect the environment….

    Paul B

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