People who have at one point stared at their prized collection of vinyl records, tapes, or VHS movies with both nostalgia and reluctant acceptance of the next technology are likely turning their weary eyes to their bookshelves. Those shelves proudly house the most artistic looking, perfectly matched Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter series, and, among many other loved books, that $75 volume of Shakespeare’s collected works that they had to buy in college, the cover of which had loyally held up like cast iron up over years of hauling from class, to car, to dormatory and five moves thereafter. Perhaps I digress. But, I love books. I adore the way every purse I buy just happens to have enough room for the paperback of the week, how they are their own art form on my shelves, in piles on my desk, and taking up most of my coffee table, their solid, reliable feel in my hands, and the smell of them when thousands are gathered in one building poised to be bought or borrowed. And, I have felt this way since childhood. I don’t anticpate changing.
However, I may get left behind clutching my beloved worn manuscripts while others travel light with their ebook readers downloading the classics for free, watching chain bookstores struggle and eventually close, and wondering why I was so stubborn, so unwilling to follow the newest trend. And then it dawned on me. As much as I love those books, I don’t love them just for the cover art and the pages. They’re meaningful to me because of their stories and characters. I enjoy looking at them on my shelves because the sight of them reminds me of the enjoyment they held within their illustrated covers. It’s really about the story itself. Then, there’s the writer in me, the writer who realizes that as long as people are reading, book or ebook reader, they’re reading just the same. A book by any other medium is still a book.
So, as I reawaken this blog I started over a year ago, I also am shopping for my first ebook reader. I know I will still buy hard copies of books, but more often than not, I will download them. And, I may end up with a bit more room in my purse… for my Android and my iPod.