Good morning! Right now the sun is rising and I’m at my desk with a cup of coffee and music playing in the background. The kids are awake but in their bedrooms somewhere, so I have the front of the house to myself. *sigh* Paradise.
A little more than a week ago, I bought a Kobo e-reader. Borders had it on sale for less than $100 and I couldn’t pass it up. I wasn’t a huge fan of e-readers before I bought it but being able to read e-galleys from NetGalley on something else besides my desktop pushed me to do it. Yes, you just heard right. I bought an e-reader to read free books. NetGalley offers a ton of great e-galleys for bloggers and sitting at my desktop to read them when the last thing I want to be is a slave to my computer, made me look into an e-reader.
I love Edison. (I may change its name later.) Having an e-reader made me realize that in the past week some of my reading and buying habits are starting to change. Here’s what I’ve noticed:
- I’m still a cheapskate. Being a college student and a single mom with a house filled with unread books, I know I don’t need to buy any more books. I try my best to buy only books I know I’ll read in the next month or want to add to my permanent collection. With Edison, I’m able to buy slightly more books since e-books are cheaper and there are no shipping costs. So far I’ve bought the short story “Foster” by Claire Keegan, Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff, and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.
- I’m almost tricked into thinking that having an e-reader is more convenient than a physical book. It’s nice not to haul around the printed version of The Warmth of Other Suns, which is almost 600 pages, wherever I go. But because Edison doesn’t have a highlighting feature, wherever I take it, I also have to take my journal to take notes. With a physical book I can easily mark a passage with a pen or post-it.
- I’m reading more short stories, essays, poetry, and non-fiction. Last year I rarely read anything that wasn’t fiction. I’m finding that e-readers are very friendly to these genres. Instead of hauling around a collection, I have it on my e-reader. When I’m in the mood to read something in a small amount of time, short pieces are perfect for just that. Non-fiction books are so expensive nowadays and my library can’t buy everything that I want to read. Plus I can’t afford to buy everything that they can’t buy. Instead of spending $17-30 on a non-fiction book, I can spend $9-12 on the e-reader version. If I were able to buy short stories and essays in printed singles instead of in a collection, I think I would read them more.
- Having an e-reader hasn’t stopped me from buying physical books. Yesterday when my small order of books arrived through the mail, I dropped everything to look at them. There’s nothing like the smell or sight of a new book. There’s one medium that e-readers will never be helpful for: graphic novels. As a huge graphic novel reader, e-readers aren’t right for this formatting of books. There’s something about being able to look at an illustration up close that you can’t do on e-readers right now.
- Wanting the printed version of a book. Even though I’m reading The Warmth of Other Suns on my e-reader, I’m enjoying so much that I already know I’ll probably buy the printed version of it once it’s in paperback. What does that mean that certain books are okay as e-books but not as printed ones?
- E-readers are fragile. I’m pretty rough on electronics. I’ve been known to drop mp3 players on sidewalks or in bath tubs. An iPod wouldn’t last a week in my possession. So I’m well aware how easy it is for me to damage my e-reader. Already I’ve had a few close calls when I leaned on it with my elbow. With a book I don’t worry about getting it dirty or dropping it in the bathtub. It’s still okay.
So that’s some of the things I’ve noticed. If you own an e-reader, have you noticed a change in your reading or purchasing habits?