I don’t feel very well. Distinctly queasy, in fact. It comes from eating my words. Apparently one should never say never, but I did, loudly and often.
I like technology; people can read anything anywhere for all I care – but never will an electronic book do for me.
I mean – books? My refuge, my best friends, half my world, since I can remember? I used to hug one in bed instead of a teddy.
Screens are great for work and for communication but never, ever will I be able to lie in the shade on a lazy summer’s weekend and read, for pleasure, from a screen. Paper (aka treeware) is for me.
Those are some of the words I have recently had to swallow. This summer, two of the electronic books on the market have been in my hands, and – I almost hate to write it – have passed the lounging-in-the-shade test disturbingly well.
The first was the Amazon Kindle, which has been available in the US for a year but still not in Europe (although you can use one if you jump through a few technological hoops). It is craftily designed to soothe the prejudices of Luddites like me – that is, it is much like a book in shape, size and weight, with a screen just the size of a book page and type that you can change and enlarge.
The screen is not backlit, but uses available light, so there’s no eyestrain. And (this is where I started to weaken) it allows you to hold in your pocket hundreds of books, as well as working documents or anything you want to load on to it.
In the US, books can be downloaded straight out of the air (there’s a little keypad). Imagine sitting on a beach or on the top of a mountain and being able to order up and within a few minutes start reading anything you want – instead of one of the six or seven books which you have lugged along in your suitcase and which all suddenly look strangely unappealing. It’s the fantasy library of one’s dreams.
Another review – by a couple that travels extensively in their RV – praises the Kindle for reducing the weight they have to lug around.
Jaimie and I are readers — we buy books wherever we travel, visiting both major chain and independent bookstores. We read fiction and non-fiction, each of us have our own favorite genres. I enjoy sci-fi, westerns, mystery, suspense and others, Jaimie reads mysteries, memoirs, spiritual/inspiration and more. The point is that we buy, read and collect a lot of books. The weight adds up. At one point my fifth-wheel was seriously overloaded (the tire below my largest bookcase eventually failed) and I was forced to find a place to store my favorite reads.
Now there’s a revolution brewing – eBooks. Electronically distributed books that can be read just like a book, but exist in the eBook reader as bits in memory, not in a dead-tree version taking up storage space and creating weight problems in your RV.