I will never have an e-reader. Ever.
Yeah, I said that. I meant it too. At the time. I was convinced if I knew my own mind on anything, it was this. I had good reasons. I said I liked holding the book, smelling the ink, writing in the margin if I wanted to. I wanted to flip back and re-read passages. I wanted the BOOK.
Well. See. Here's what happened. I was at the beach with my book club girls. (We really read. And discuss.) It was after breakfast, which I had cooked but had not cleaned up after because these women understand distribution of workload. I gathered my things into my vinyl hounds-tooth tote and headed down the pier. I knew my chair would be waiting for me under my umbrella because Dancing Queen and Heart Breaker Soul Shaker had set them up before the rest of us turned over the first time.
I spread out my towels and proceeded lounge, listening to the waves. No one was talking. Everyone was reading. I reached into my tote for my book. I had already talked Precious and Oldest Friend into bringing my pimento cheese, water, and little baby bottles of Riesling down in their coolers. (Yeah. I get people to do stuff for me. That will become important in a second.) Still, my tote was full of stuff so I had to ramble around a bit. Sunglasses, sunscreen, iPod, cell phone, reading glasses, bloody Mary in Crimson Tide National Championship Teva glass, Wheat Thins, and the new issue of Vanity Fair. I even had a garbage bag but no book.
No book. And I had just got settled. I cast my eyes toward the house. We were, maybe fifty yards from the back door but it was fifty yards I didn't want to walk. Beach brings out the lazy in me and I had already brushed my teeth and made cheese grits. That was enough activity until, at least, noon.
"So," I said. "The next time somebody goes to the house, please bring my book."
I knew it wouldn't be long. There were twelve of us and odds were high that there would be a bathroom break in someone's future very soon because at least six were already drinking beer.
"Yeah. Sure. Okay," were the sleepy answers I got. Lap, lap, lap, went the waves.
"What's the name of your book?" Godson's Mom asked. (She was sitting where I couldn't see her. That will become important in a second.)
"I dunno," I said. (I only know the name of what I'm reading about 32% of the time.) "It's blue and it's on the dining room table."
"Who wrote it?" She wanted to know. It was not an odd question. We are, after all, a book reading and drinking club. We always want to know what everybody is reading and drinking.
"Not sure, except for Kerrelyn Sparks. It's an anthology."
"What page are you on?" she asked.
"I don't know the name of the book, and you actually think there is some kind of chance I know what page I'm on?"
"Well, what's happening?"
That, I could tell her.
"Here," she said. And she handed me her e-reader. She had bought the book and found my place. Quickly. Very quickly.
After that, I didn't have a chance of sticking to my guns. I didn't even want to.
I now have one of the top two on the market. It doesn't matter which one. I don't know if I have the best one, but I believe I have the best one for me. I told my personal technology consultant (The Guy) what I wanted in an e-reader and he presented me with it on my birthday a few weeks after the beach trip.
What I love about my e-reader:
- The instant gratification. I can have the book right now.
- I can download my manuscripts on it and make notes electronically.
- I can look up the definition of words I don't know by barely moving my thumb.
- It will read to me. I don't really want it to, but I like the idea of it.
- I can download music to play while I read.
- The leather cover comes in Crimson Tide crimson. And it has a built in reading light that hides flush in the corner, but will jump out like a little peek-a-boo friend when I want it to.
- I choose books by, first, reading the blurb on the back. If I like that, I read the first page. If I make it to the second page, I will usually buy the book. I can do that because I can get a sample of anything.
- I can do a word search when I want to go back and read a passage, which is much easier than flipping around
- The two word games that I got for free are addictive.
- I don't like that an e-book is sometimes more expensive than the print version. I'm sure there's a good reason like, needing to clear inventory, but I don't have to love it. I am not necessarily looking for a cheap book I don't mind paying the same, but I don't like paying more. Of course, I don't complain when the e-book cheaper so I guess it balances out.
I'll never give up print books altogether. I still enjoy the tactile experience, but I've come a long way.
What about you? E-book or print? Have you embraced something that you thought you never would?