Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I browse through the catalog of e-books on Amazon.com, find a book I want and download it to my kindle reader on my PC. In a matter of seconds, the book is on my computer and ready to be read.
It is so convenient, and for a person with a disability, like me, it makes reading a lot easier. I don't have to ask someone to get a book out of the bookshelf for me, and since I can no longer turn the pages of a book, the click of the mouse, or in my case a hands-free mouse, is all it takes to turn pages. If not for e-books, I would have to listen to audio books or have someone read to me. Listening to audio books can be enjoyable, but it is not the same as reading the written word on a page.
Though e-books are a great benefit to me and many others, I still miss the old-fashioned book. I remember going to the book store, perusing the stacks and buying a pile of books. The alluring smell of new books filled the store. I recall the crack of the spine of a new book as I opened it for the first time, and the sound of pages flipping as I moved through the book. The sight of various books filling a bookshelf was always a pleasant sight and much preferable to a shelf of knick-knacks.
I enjoyed going into used bookstores and looking for low-priced treasures and coming out with a bag full of books. The dusty smell of old books reminded me of neglected relics of the past. Or going to the library and roaming through the stacks and being overwhelmed with so many choices of books to check out. There were so many ways to interact with books.
I look at my once crowded bookshelves, and now see a paltry selection of books. It's like losing friends. Books were a tangible thing that could be touched, held, smelled. An e-book is a file on a computer, which you interact with in a more sterile way.
Though I may miss these things, I have learned to embrace this new technology. Without it, I would be unable to continue my love of reading.