Even though I thought I'd made myself clear about not getting a present, the hubs took it upon himself to break that pact not once, but twice.
About a week before Christmas, I discovered a brand new coffee maker hiding in (drum roll please) the trunk of my own car. It was all digital and stuff, too. I felt new-fangled. Okay, so I let him off the hook for that one but only because caffeine was again coursing through my veins. Addiction kinda blurs lines, ya know.
You have to understand that in my neck of the woods, people around here don't have a lot of money, including my family. We don't get the NEXT BIG THING that hits the shelves, especially technology. So for as long as ereaders have been out, I still didn't have one. If I downloaded anything, I did so in .pdf and then dealt with the eye strain and the heat that comes along with reading on a computer screen.
I suppose that my addiction to caffeine mirrors my addiction to reading. In my rural area, bookstores are few and far between. Not that I could really afford to buy a new book every time one that interested me came out and I can rarely disappear to the public library without a kidlet hanging on my coattails. I was always on the lookout for something new to read. I despised reading on my netbook screen and always found myself out of books.
So hubs surprised me with a brand new early model Kindle. Now, I should have been mad because we both knew we couldn't afford gifts for each other and had discussed that we wanted to get gifts for all the kids instead. But I couldn't be mad at him for long. I was like a little kid in a candy store. I immediately headed to Smashwords and started downloading. Talk about feeling new-fangled, I certainly felt it then. I have about a dozen stories waiting on me in my new Kindle right now. Once I can get to an area with WiFi, I'll be able to register it with Amazon and start downloading from there, too. I'm ecstatic at knowing that I'll never be out of reading material again!
Paper books vs. Ebooks
This has been an ongoing debate for as long as ebooks have been sprouting up like dandelions. Some people are so fiercely attached to paper books that they will refuse an ereader until the day they die. And what does this mean for authors? No more book signings? No more bookstores? Personally, (even as much as I hate to admit it) I think the world is headed into an era where if we don't have an ereader, we won't read much at all. It will happen gradually over the next several decades. The only time where print books will be available will be part of collector sets, specifically printed for the author to sign. But that's just my prediction.
People talk about the joys of thumbing through pages and the smell of the book being part of the "reading experience". I sometimes wonder if these people really know what they are talking about or if they've ever given an ereader a try. It's not the smell of a book that I love or the probability of paper cuts as I turn the pages; it's the story, it's the characters, it's the author's ability to tell me about the world that has formed within his imagination, to make it believable and realistic, to make me care about and relate to the protagonist. It doesn't matter if it's on smelly paper or on a Kindle. If it's not good, it's not going to succeed in either venue.
I'm not against print books. I'd like to think that I have a few signings in my future, not to mention I am sooooo looking forward to the day I can hold up my very own copy of my very first novel... in print. It's been my dream as far back as I can remember. That will never change. But I've discovered that an ereader, my Kindle, is so easy to handle. I take it to the gym and set it up on the elliptical as I chug away. I put it in my purse to read on car rides or anywhere that I would have to wait for any length of time. It passes the time very quickly.
I'm looking forward to a long relationship with my Kindle. Of course, I'll still have a few print books here and there but because I'm a reading junkie, I will likely get most of my material via electronics. They will be more accessible to me that way.
Peace, love, and happy (electronic) reading,