Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Reluctant Lover of the Digital Age

I've been putting rather a lot of effort this weekend into trying to be a little more present and not just be hypnotized by the television. I've watched some TV, to be sure, but less than usual certainly and I've spent more time sitting and reading. The nice thing about the TV not being on is that if I'm sitting and reading on one couch in the living room, now D. can come and sit on another couch and read too. In this kind of heat and humidity, the living room is the coolest room in the house with the blinds shut and the fan on. It's been really peaceful.

I started (and finished) a book (SUCCUBUS BLUES) I bought yesterday at my local used bookstore. He was having a half off sale for his Twitter followers, and while I didn't really intend to buy anything much, I ended up leaving with the first five books in Richelle Mead's 'Georgina Kincaid' series (his argument being that I would certainly like the first book, and when I came back to buy the rest they would be gone and if they weren't they would certainly not be half price). Once I finished that I had a yen to read the third book in another series I've been reading, Deanna Raybourn's 'Lady Julia Grey' series, but I couldn't find it at the bookstore or the library branch we visited. In my search of the library website though, I discovered the e-book of SILENT ON THE MOOR was available for borrowing. A few downloads later and I was reading the book via Adobe Digital Editions and Overdrive on my laptop. I was able to settle on the deck outside and read for several hours, until the sky opened and outdoor reading became less prudent.

I'm a reluctant e-book reader. I work in publishing (in an area that depends on physical books) and my parents own a bookstore (who require physical books to make a living). And beyond those selfishly financial considerations, I just can't seem to part with the idea of a printed book in my hands. I want it sitting on the shelf, where I can see it and touch it, until I've read it and then onwards after. I can't argue with the convenience of e-books, and certainly I can think of instances in my life where a reader full of books would have been invaluable (our summer in Germany, for instance, or three weeks in India). Those were occasions where English books were dear and our luggage could simply not accommodate the number of books I would likely blow through. Curling up in an armchair with a warm e-reader certainly holds little appeal for me, but I'm beginning to accept it as a necessary (and convenient) evil. I wanted to read SILENT ON THE MOOR, I didn't want to go out and buy it, my library didn't have it available, but the e-book was there to instantly gratify me. All the same, I can't help but feel something of a traitor.

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