I'm a book lover from way back. Instead of riding bikes or building forts all summer like the other kids on my block, I'd hide under a tree with a stack of books I got from the library downtown, my favorite place in West Texas. I'm from a long line of book lovers. When my grandfather passed away, his legacy to us grandkids was not money or knick-knacks. It was floor to ceiling stacks of books, everything from World War II History to Lovecraft to Harry Potter. If you were to walk into my home right this second, you'd find a stack by my bed, a pile on my desk and a big shelf of books in every room. I've never walked by a bookstore without going in. What I'm saying is, I love books. I love the way they feel, the way they smell and the way they instantly make me happy. Books are my first love and I'll never stop loving (and buying) books. Books books books!
However (you knew this was coming, just roll with it), I also love my eReader. At first I felt bad about it. I got the Kindle as a gift and I didn't want to fall for it, but the heart wants what it wants, guys. (I learned that from a book.) I even tried hiding it from my books for as long as possible like a guilty lover. But, it was no good. I'm an eReader lover. Yeah, I said it. And I'm fine with it. I am standing proud and telling the world that I love my eReader. If you're like me, feel bad no more! Here are seven reasons it's OK to love your eReader:
1. Because you're not a gladiator.
Or Jillian Michaels. Or Captain America. The last book I read before getting my Kindle was the Ken Follett book, World Without End, which could double as a kettlebell. I lugged that thing around for weeks. It weighed more than my laptop. I carried it on planes (it counted as my personal item and, to be fair, it was bigger than the infant who sat on his mom's lap behind me), to the coffee shop and to doctor's appointments. In bed at night, I precariously balanced that sucker on its side and tried to hold it up with one hand. I ended up with a cramped shoulder. It was a lovely book and worth all the trouble, but the sheer ease of carrying a Kindle made me vow to read all giant tomes on eReaders from now on. I recently read David Foster Wallace's massive book Infinite Jest on my Kindle. Look Ma, no cramps!
2. No one knows what you're reading.
You could be reading Twilight on that bad boy, but when someone asks what it is, you can say War and Peace. No one will be the wiser. Also, you are giving creepy people no opening line. When I was reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, I carried it around with me, of course, and every coffee shop dude with a beard in Los Angeles asked me what I thought of it. Sometimes you just want to read without giving a book report. I mean, unless it's a hot coffee shop dude with a beard. Then, by all means, report away, ladies and gents.
3. You can read in bed without a light.
Nope, you don't need a flashlight or one of those clip light things that never work right. You just put your eReader on dim, roll over and read Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch ALL NIGHT IF YOU WANT TO without waking up your partner. So much better than tip-toeing out to the living room with your pillow at 2 a.m.
4. You can instantly buy books.
Buying books is my favorite activity, so naturally, this is the number one reason I'm head over for my eReader. I love being able to download something else immediately. I love it so much that I've got a surplus of books on there now just waiting for me to finish the latest Stephen King. You never know how quickly you'll read something, so it's great to be able to move on to the next adventure half a second after you finish a book. I keep track of how many books I read each year and the number has skyrocketed since I got an eReader, which I figure is good for the authors, since I'm buying more titles.
5. Load up for vacation.
I used to bring a giant suitcase on vacation. If we were going somewhere for a week, I figured I needed anywhere from four to seven books, depending on the length of the books, how long the flight was and how much time I'd be spending by the pool. (Ideally, all of the time!) Now I just put seven books on the eReader, slip it into my purse and everyone's happy. Especially my husband, who had to lug my suitcase around because it weighed more than I did.
6. You can make the text bigger.
Or smaller. Or a different font. Mine even keeps you from having a glare when you're outside by the pool on that vacation I'm now obsessing about. Not that books give you a glare. I am not book-bashing here, I'm just highlighting the merits of the eReader and I gotta say that I love being able to make the text bigger. It's especially great for Saturday mornings when your head feels like you drank three glasses of Shiraz last night (because you drank three glasses of Shiraz last night).
The last time I moved, half the truck was filled with boxes of books. I'll never stop buying actual books, but I love knowing that next time I move, I will not have dramatically added to that amount. The books I'm not in love with enough to buy the real version of are safely stored in my cloud. They won't be taking up room, making things heavier and they for sure won't mysteriously disappear like my copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon did during my last move. (I still haven't recovered.)
I'm sure there are infinite reasons to love your eReader, but that was seven of them and they're great reasons. So, don't let anyone tell you you're not a book lover because you have an eReader. Obviously you're a book lover, you own a device specifically for reading books! Get on with your badass selves, fellow readers. Happy reading, no matter what you're reading on.