I love to read. I don’t mean that in the way people say they love french fries, Desperate Housewives, or cute puppies. I mean, I absolutely love to read any chance I get. I’ll read anything I can get my hands on. If I can’t get my hands on something, I’ll start reading billboards, license plates, bumper stickers; you get the idea. Mostly, though, I love paperbacks. I’ll buy a hardcover in a pinch, but I prefer the pliancy of a paperback. Bibliophiles stop now! I’m about to traumatize you. I love breaking the spine of a new paperback. I love to fold the book back over on itself so I can hold it in one hand. I love how I can shove a paperback into my bag and not worry that it’ll get ruined. So far, the only thing that has really threatened my paperbacks at all is the bath-tub. I hardly ever read in there anymore because it’s just not comfortable for me to try to keep the book from submerging along with me.
I am also a major techno-geek. (not to be mistaken for nerd, pleasethankyou!) I love gadgets and technology. While others are stressing about the lack of privacy online I am cheering for full steam ahead on the techno-train. How can you not love how far we’ve come technologically? We can shop, watch TV, play games, and talk to our friends, all at the same time and without ever leaving our bed. (if that’s your thing, and it happens to be mine)
So with the advent of the e-reader, I’m undecided. Do I take the plunge and move forward with my techno-geeky side so that I can get any book I want within 60 seconds (as long as I have a wi-fi connection)? Or will the hard, glossy plastic alienate me and force me to have yet another piece of electronic equipment that sits around my house collecting dust? One of the things that bothers me about the e-readers is they look inherently uncomfortable to hold. They have no give. No way for my fingers and hands to mold themselves to what I’m reading. I imagine it’s like trying to read a DVD cover… Uncomfortable and uninviting, but necessary to find out what the movie is all about.
Then there is the cost. With a spectacularly low-paying job in D.C., which sucks me dry of money just on the daily commute and lunch, I have to spend wisely. I have two kids in daycare, one of whom is in diapers. Those things don’t come cheap. Besides that, my husband and I would eventually like to buy our own house and I still have yet to replace my Jeep, which died traitorously on the Beltway. I admit, I’m leery of dumping $260 on a device I may not even like.
There is also the issue of upgrades. Every time I buy some new gadget or computer, a better one comes out the very next day. As a techno-geek I am aware that is just the nature of the beast. But I try to keep my depression over obsolescence to a minimum. If a brand new, better Kindle (or Nook) came out the day after I bought mine, I’d be crushed. The knowledge that just one day stood between me and a better gadget would be too much to bear. (Ok, really, it’s not that dramatic, but for a day or two it’ll feel like it is.)
So do I save up some money and take the plunge? Or do I stick with my well-loved, well-worn, and much cheaper paperbacks?