I am a bibliophile. I love books. I love to collect them, hold them, smell them–I mean, I really love books! Today’s Mind the Gap challenge asks if I prefer to read with an eReader, like a Kindle or Nook, or with an old school paperback in hand. Personally, I prefer hard-bounds, but I will take a paperback over an eBook any day!
I understand the attraction to eBooks; you get to hold literally thousands of books in one hand at any given moment, but that is not enough to change my love for print-on-paper.
I also understand that eBooks are the wave of the future. Many of my fellow bloggers here at WordPress are authors that rely on the eBook market to get published. I will buy their books and read them on my iPhone’s Kindle app, and I may have to go that route myself to get published, but an eReader will never replace my affinity for holding an actual book.
My parents are responsible for this love of books. You should see their house; an embarrassment of literary riches. As far back as I can remember, we have had makeshift, homemade bookshelves lining every wall space in our house. We were too poor to have beautiful mahogany bookcases, their own preserving oil-scent blending with the smell of aging paper and dust. Instead, our bookcases were made of cinder-blocks and 2×6 pine boards.
We would go to rummage sales and used book fairs and haul away as many books as our thin wallets would allow, and then buy more cinder-blocks and pine boards. I would grab a stack of books that had cool looking covers, and even if my parents and I knew that I would never read them, they still bought them for me. They still have almost all of those books. They cannot throw them away, and neither can I.
I still have all of my college textbooks. Even when I was desperate for cash I could never sell my textbooks back to the campus bookstore. What I will ever do with them, I cannot say. I tell myself that my son will use them when he is in college, even though I know that the books will be horribly out-dated and shunned by any University by then.
My dream home will one day have a rather large room dedicated to all the books I have collected over the years. Floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall bookshelves carefully nesting my darlings. For now, they are in piles in my tiny, shoebox-sized apartment.
I bought both the Kindle and the Nook apps for my iPhone, and I purchased about a dozen books to read on those apps, but it never took. I want paper. I want to feel the embossed hardcover. And I do not want to stare into yet another glowing screen!
My 12-year old son is an avid reader, but he has yet to show any signs of being a book hoarder. Once he outgrows a book he is content to give it away to Goodwill or the Library. Except for the Dr. Suess and Winnie the Pooh books; those are being saved for his kids!
I guess I would like to adapt and be more open to the idea of reading books on an eReader, but for today, my answer goes to the paperback, or hardcover. The next question that we should ask is, “Does it matter?”