I've never used an e-reader. There, I said it.
It's not that I don't like digital things. As you may have guessed, I blog. I also e-mail, go on Facebook, watch YouTube videos, shoot photos with a digital camera, research stuff on the web, "attend" online meetings in a chat room, do freelance editing and proofreading in a pixel way, write a weekly newspaper column on my computer, and recently authored a book I keyboarded in Microsoft Word.
Come to think of it, all those digital doings are one reason why I don't want to go the "e-route" for book reading. My eyes look at a screen enough hours in a day. After that, it's a relief to read novels printed on old-fashioned paper.
I also like the feel of print books and the way their covers look. Well, at least the way the better-designed covers look!
Then there's the pleasure of visiting my town's library or two independent bookstores to get novels. I might chat with employees at those three places. I might run into a friend, or a parent of one of my daughter's former classmates. And as I scan the shelves for particular titles, I might serendipitously spot other titles that intrigue me.
For instance, I decided to read Louisa May Alcott's Little Women for the first time last year. As I searched for that novel in the library's "A" row, I spotted a bunch of Margaret Atwood books and realized I had never read anything of hers besides The Handmaid's Tale. Soon, I rectified that mistake!
The same thing happened in the same library when I put my hands on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, which led me to notice Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. The 3-H Club!
I then had a yen to reread The Time Machine. While searching for it, I spotted a red-covered book called The First Men in the Moon. I knew that H.G. Wells (along with authors such as Jules Verne) was a sci-fi pioneer with 1890s novels such as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, but I had never heard of the 1901 Moon. It's now my favorite Wells book.
No single library contains as many novels as you can choose from for an e-reader. But I have so many titles on my to-read list (including dozens of great recommendations from HuffPost Books commenters!) that I can always find some of those titles on my local library's shelves. And if a bookstore doesn't have a novel I want, I can ask the store to order it. I also buy books online, but sparingly, because I prefer to patronize my town's brick-and-mortar retailers.
Some people continued to ride a horse-and-buggy after many other people switched to cars. Some radio listeners initially didn't buy TVs after many other radio listeners did. Maybe I'm one of those late-adopter types. And I realize e-readers have some advantages over dead-tree, attached to-each-other pages.
But at least for now, I'm sticking with print books. There, I said it.
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