There is a whole lot of hoohah about e-readers. Some of it is the usual rhetoric about the demise of traditional publishing, which is an emotionally appealing but fictional tale, to which I roll my eyes. People who use e-readers tend to use paper books as well, and the vast majority of readers, including myself, see the e-reader revolution as yet another big noise about a new technology that really isn’t as exciting as a particular kind of person thinks. Books are great: they’re reusable, lendable, reasonably compact, they don’t run out of batteries, and they’re nice to smell and hold. Perfection!
Or. So. I. Thought.
Last night my dad wanted to show me his kindle. I managed to put him off for a bit with this and that, but eventually I picked the thing up and opened the cover. And that’s when it happened: I looked at the screen, and it felt like a book. Not a computer, a book. But this is a book you can use to buy more books with. It’s a book that doesn’t have that annoying inner margin that makes you constantly bend it out of shape. It’s a book that has only one side, so when you lie down and read you never have that awkward position of holding it half off the pillow. The smaller ones cost around $100.
In short, I now want one.
My dad’s one is a larger-size kindle (about the size of an ipad), and it’s a little too heavy for comfort. Also, the amazingly comfortable screen *isn’t* in the newer models, so I’m going to have to examine and compare screens and sizes (and digital rights, because that’s a whole can of worms) before deciding what I specifically want. For example, the larger screen would be more comfortable to read – but less portable. As someone who loves those times when I leave the house with one of those ridiculously tiny handbags, I think the smaller one will be the one for me (and it’s cheaper) – and I suspect that once I have a tiny, incredibly portable library on me at all times, it is a technology that will change the way I live. Suddenly I’ll always have books with me, instead of making the decision on a daily basis whether I should take a book with me or not.
All in all, I’m sold. In the blink of an e-ink-reading eye.