Thursday, 12 May 2011
Today I have decided to write about my distinct lack of enthusiasm for ebooks.
Over the past few weeks, there have been numerous articles in newspapers and on the internet telling us that digital downloads of books have increased substantially. According to The Guardian, ebook sales increased by 20% last year and this is due in part to the growing popularity of Amazon’s Kindle.
Don't get me wrong-I am most certainly not a Luddite. After all, if I were I wouldn't be blogging. I am a huge fan of digital music and love being able to download individual songs instead of having to buy whole albums. I adore my Android Phone and some of the amazing apps that it has (such as my favourite, Google Sky Map which you can use to identify constellations and planets in the night sky.)
However, when it comes to books, I just can't seem to embrace new technology. I am well aware of the advantages of having an ebook reader-they are lightweight, you can store as many as 3500 books on them and you can adjust the text size (fantastic for people who have sight problems.)
They are also a great way of satisfying society's need for instant gratification as new ebooks can be downloaded within seconds and are often cheaper than a paper copy.
But for me, reading isn't about convenience and cost. It is my favourite pastime and some might say it verges on being an obsession. I can’t describe how much I enjoy spending time browsing in book shops and libraries, excited at the prospect of finding a book to read that I have never come across before. I have been known to spend several hours at a time in such establishments, (much to the annoyance of my hubby who sadly does not share my passion for reading.)
There is something magical about shelves and shelves of books whether in a bookshop, a library or in someone’s home-I am drawn to them like a moth to a flame.
I love the smell and feel of books, new or old and this is something that cannot be replicated by an ebook reader, however advanced they are.
I will be totally honest and say that I have never used an ebook reader or even seen one close up and you may, quite justifiably say that I can't possibly dismiss what I don't know.
I am sure there are many people out there who would argue very strongly in favour of ebooks and I would certainly love to hear your thoughts and opinions equally as much as the ones from those amongst you who are like myself, undecided and apathetic.