September 17, 2011

Paper Pushin, or E-Readin'?

E-Readers: Do you, or don't you?

A lot of readers I know insist they would hate reading electronically. Their argument is usually the same: I would miss the feel of a book in my hands. How can you justify turning a page with the touch of a button?

I can relate.

Books are my passion. Not just reading them, not completely. I love holding books. I love turning the pages. I love the smell of brand new books, and really old books. I love the different styles of publication. I love paperbacks with dust jacket flaps. I love a book you can hold by the spine and the pages flop back-and-forth. I love smooth pages, thick pages, and 'hand-ripped' pages, wafer-thin pages, and even the 'standard' publication pages that you find in mass market paperbacks. I love buying books. I love having books. I love looking at my books on my shelves. I love sleeping with a book (or several) on my nightstand. I love carrying a book in my purse, everywhere I go. I love books any way I can get them. I think you get the picture.

This did not stop me from buying my first e-reader last July (2010). After doing a little bit of research, I settled on the Nook. Most of these reasons are impertinent now, since there are so many styles to choose from, and the two leading companies (Amazon Kindle, and B&N Nook) have adapted each others features to grab the others clientele.

I read seven books the first week. I devoured everything I could get my (virtual) hands on. This got expensive pretty fast. One thing I've noticed since purchasing the Nook, the free book selection isn't great (unless you enjoy serial romance series, and pretty much nothing else). Also, the Nook store is comparatively more expensive than the Kindle store. Both things to keep in mind, if you are trying to decide which to go for.

Feeling a page in your hand versus turning pages with a touch of a finger does not keep a funny book from being funny or a serious book from being serious. A story is still a story -the magic of reading is drawing you OUT of your surroundings and INTO the setting the author assigns you. While you may feel better carrying a paperback with a cute cover with you to class/work/a coffee shop, the story remains the same. Sure, the atmosphere in which you read can determine, in a small way, what you bring from it, but only in mood, in emphasizing the similarity between your situation and the situation of what you are reading. It's like reading a book like Out Stealing Horses while there is a foot of fresh snow outside, and and a backdrop of forest trees. Like reading Marley & Me with your own dog sprawled out next to you, or begging you to play. Don't you know what I mean? This feeling doesn't change because of what you are holding in your hand.

I've read many books on my Nook that I've loved enough to purchase a paperback copy to add to my shelves. What I love about having my Nook, is the portability. I always have a book in my purse. Sometimes I have several books in my purse. For instance, right now: a small collection of poetry, a Stephen King novel I've almost finished, AND my Nook (with an unlimited amount of books on it). The only reason I have that Stephen King book as a physical book is because I found it at a thrift store for two dollars (and it's old and has color pictures and I love it!), otherwise I would have it on my Nook. The convenience of buying books from your home and immediately being able to read them is so awesome...sometimes I go a little overboard and buy more than I can read, but that is true of my physical books also, so...I guess it's just a trait of mine :-) Also, having a Nook, or any e-reader, does not prevent you from buying physical books. You can still go to the thrift shop and find untold treasures on the shelves. You can still go to a local bookstore and peruse the shelves and sit and read and drink coffee and lose yourself in the books there. You can still go to the library (usually you can even check out virtual books on your e-reader to read, though I haven't figured out how to on mine yet). You can still do everything you do now with books, having an e-reader is just like having a bonus book. A book with blank pages, that fill themselves in with the story of your choosing. I love mine.

Other cool features:
-Like any electronic gadget now-a-days, you are able to customize, make it your own. You can choose font type, size, and screen savers. You can download music to it, to play as you read, or without reading. You can buy any number of cases to keep it damage free, and stylish. I even made a beaded 'bookmark' that wraps around my case and rests on the 'spine'. Very fun.
-Organize your books into shelves. Keep all your classics in the same place. Have a lot of books from one author that keep clogging up your library? Shelve them together to keep them organized.
-Share books with your friends! If you have friends with a Nook (I think the Kindle now has the share feature as well, but they didn't used to), you are able to share books with them. This is only possible on 'lendme' books, which I think have to do with the publishing rights, but there are quite a few of them that are compatible (probably close to half of the books I have are lendme's). You can only lend/receive one book at a time, and you can keep it for two weeks. If you lent a book, you are not able to read it at the same time, just like if you had really lent a book to a friend.

I've had the first generation Nook for a year and a half, and just decided it was time to upgrade to the new Nook. I didn't know that much about it at first, and sort of wrote-off getting a new e-reader since everyone was all coming out with 'tablets', which are back lighted, completely defeating the purpose of having a designated electronic book, whose major selling point is a non-eye-straining screen. Then, I saw the new design - a new e-ink Nook - New and Improved (and square and cute). This time, there is no bothering with a reading screen and separate navigating screen. The e-ink screen IS the touchscreen, and a promise of no 'flashing' page turns (which you get used to, but sounds like a great improvement). I can't wait to receive my new Nook, and keep all of my beloved stories in my purse to take with me everywhere :-)

Do any of you have a Nook?
We can be Nookies :-)  - (Nook Buddies, sharing books and whatnot)

Note: I am not being compensated by any company. This is my genuine opinion of e-readers and the Nook.


jillianreadsbooks2 said...

I want a Nook!! But... I do not have one yet. :-) said...

I do have a loyalty to paper books. There is nothing like the feel of holding a book in one's hands, turning the pages and breathing in that wonderful smell. However, I did buy a Kindle for travel purposes, and I like it very much. I still buy the majority of my books in bookstores, but I'm very content owning a Kindle as well.