Why I Won’t Own an E-Reader By Darlene Forsman
People often ask me why I don’t own any kind of e-reader, and every day my reasons change. At first, it was because I couldn’t afford one, but that isn’t the whole truth. And let’s face it; nowadays people want a complete answer. So, here are my reasons, and if one fits you, you’re welcome to try it out:
Costs are relevant as more models with various capabilities develop. By the time I purchase one, it’ll be the next “major purchase” in my family, so it’ll have to go the distance. And if it isn’t cost prohibitive, size will definitely matter as I need my eyes to read a bigger area than my driver’s license! At my age, my eye health is a growing concern, and I do mean growing! Sure, they have models that are big, but they’re heavier than a paperback and in a self defense moment or two, I’m apt to grab the e-reader and throw it at any nasty bug that comes along. And let’s face it, the cost issue comes up as I cannot afford to replace/repair an e-reader on a weekly (let alone daily) basis!
If that reason isn’t adequate, let’s talk about the looks/styles of these demons in disguise (aka e-readers). I love the smell of a newly-printed paperback. I cannot stand the smell of plastic. As for touch, paperbacks are soft and bendable, while e-readers are hard, plastic items resembling a TI calculator at best and at worse they remind me of etch-a-sketches which have the tendency to break upon impact or if shaken too hard.
Another fear I have of e-readers is how it seems to look like a cell phone; so I’m always paranoid I’ll dial a number on my etch-a-sketch, while I’ll shake the crystals on my e-reader in hopes I’ll either get a cool design or dial up a story. So sue me!
It’s not that I’m not willing to go forth and join the trend. But I refuse to get on the next wave of technology just for the sake of being a techno. I owned a business in the ‘90s using ATM’s and LED boards coupled with the Internet. So I know my dilemma is NOT a fear of being a techno geek!
As for paperbacks, I can resell them at bookstores, give them away as gifts, use them to prop up my coffee table or sofa, and still be able to smile as I peruse the covers or reread my treasures. At one point, I owned over 10,000 books (and yes, I read them all and had less than 25 repeats in the bunch). I do see the value of electronic storage (owning that many books is too cost-prohibitive in terms of storage). But I also see the value in bookstores, book sales, and bookmarks. If the world went solely e-readers, these items would be lost forever. What a dark spot this would be in the world. And I worry we’re moving closer to achieving this (Ray Bradbury was right in his novel, Fahrenheit 451).
Books provide a sense of safety, security, and an artistic angle never before achieved in a plain e-reader. Plus, the TSA has yet to tell me to close my book as having it open could cause the plane to malfunction! Go ahead, if you wish, and scoff at my reasons for being a book reader as well as a book lover. But all this technology is enough to make me pull out my rotary phone to call my Mom!
How do you feel about e-readers? Do you own one or are you hoping it is just a fad?
Darlene has spent several years in the King County area teaching English classes, all portions of the GRE, and Adult Basic Education (ABE). She’s done phone soliciting, banking, data entry work, and currently is a book reviewer at nightowlsreview.com. She’s happily married to a great guy and has a therapy dog: Pookie, who keeps them busy. She’s owned enough books to rival the Library of Alexandria in her lifetime!
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