I love books. Perhaps irrationally so. I've left boxes of books behind with each new phase my life, leaving a trail through three, possibly four, state. They pile up on my bedside table and in closets. Nothing will ever compare to the feel of a book, a nice fat paperback full of musky pages, waiting to spill all the secrets hidden between it's cover. Or opening a book to read some stranger's name written in a looping, irregular hand on the inside. Did that person love this book? Did it move her? Or frighten her? Did it change the way she saw herself or the world? I will forever collect hardcovers, lining up their spines on shelves to create life and warmth and color in my home.
My husband bought me a Kindle for Mothers Day and while it will never replace my books, I love it. I've read more in the last six months than I did the previous year. I've discovered stories and authors I'd never have found in libraries or book stores. I can balance my Kindle in one hand while rocking a sick child or curled up in bed. It's much easier to travel with single, slim e-reader than the pile of paperback I'm accustomed to lugging with me on trips. Now that I can borrow library books on my Kindle too, I'm never without unread books.
One of my favorite uses for my Kindle has been as an editing tool. I am admittedly terrible at proof reading. I seldom read whole words - my brain fills in enough that I don't need to slow down and absorb each letter. I fill in entire missing words because that's what makes sense. I read fast, but it's sloppy even when I try to pay attention. With my Kindle, I use the text-to-speech feature and listen to my manuscripts. It's amazing how much I hear that I've missed a dozen times on paper. It's not perfect -the name Nina reads like Nine-A, which drives me crazy - but it's a tool.
Nothing will ever replace books for me. Nothing will ever change the visceral reaction I have to holding a new, unknown book or the familiar warmth of an old favorite. But I love stories even more than I love books and I'm always happy to find a new source of stories.
What about you? Have you embraced the e-reader revolution? What do you love or hate about trading books for digital copies? And because I love books, what is your favorite part of real books?