Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ebook Reading Experience

After Christmas we bought a Kindle to read ebooks - classics and others available in public domain. It turns out none of us like reading virtual books on a small device. Fortunately, my husband found the Kindle very useful for his audio books, music, and random internet access from work. I've decided that nothing beats the sensory experience of holding a book in your hands, the crisp sound of turning pages, the smell of an old library, and their constant visual presence in the bookshelves. They become a part of your home, beckoning you to come visit. Similarly, public library visits have become a part of our routine, an enjoyable outing, and a stress reliever to quietly browse and wander among the stacks of books.

We still access school materials online, but when it came to reading for pleasure, the ebook readers just didn't cut it for us. The physical presence of books feels more like home.

Richard Norquist of About.com Grammar and Composition ponders:

"My dad never made it beyond Andrew Jackson High School, but the books he lovingly collected set me on a course that led to grad school and a career teaching English. So I'm not surprised by the results of the study.

But I wonder about what lies ahead--after the bookcases have been dismantled to make room for wall-sized LCD panels and all the books have been replaced by Kindles and iPads.

Sure, every book you can imagine will be available for download (along with every movie, TV program, and video game). But without the physical presence of books in the house, will kids experience the same sense of discovery and adventure? More importantly, will they still feel at home with books?"


Catherine Hansen Peart said...

I heartily agree with this. I haven't bought a Kindle because I thought I would miss the tactile sense of reading. I love having books in my home. Can't imagine what a house would feel like without them.

Alexandra said...

I thought I'd like it because I read a lot online, but it was surprising how little attention it held while I was trying to read full length books. I found my mind wandering. Maybe it's the small screen, not sure, but I'll be sticking with real books for now. Both children tried it and preferred regular books as well. My husband loves it! He's an audio-reader and Audible.com is owned by Amazon, so it's perfect for him to immediately sync downloads right to the Kindle.

The Good Little Housewife said...

I love real books as well, but many of the books I load to my Kindle are free public domain and I haven't been able to find them anywhere else. The kids like the Elson and Beacon readers. My eldest likes to read youth noels on it as well. I think I have only paid for one thing to add to my Kindle. I buy as many hard copy books as possible because I love them so. I a really into antique books when I can find them.

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