I love to read. I cannot remember a time when I did not love reading. I do not love everything I read, but reading is an escape, an invitation to think, an opportunity to learn and grow.
We own a lot of books. They take up a lot of space, they're heavy when you have to move and sometimes we wish we hadn't spent the cash on the book when it's a disappointment.
We use the library a lot more now than we did back in the day when we both worked in a bookstore. The library may not have everything we want when we want it and sometimes the library doesn't have our hearts desire at all, but it is a more economical way to feed the "book a day" habit we both have.
Now that so many people are on the ebook bandwagon, I wonder what will happen to the already underfunded library system and how it will impact the people that cannot afford an ereader. (It's only $149...I love the only, because to some people, many people, me, $149 is a lot of money.)
I admit it, I've read a book on the itouch. It was a free download and it was portable and it's got the instant gratification, never have to leave my house, thing going on. It wasn't the same as holding an actual book in my hands though and I missed the feel of the paper and the whole "book" experience. It also doesn't have the same read it and pass it on quality of a traditional book. I know some of the ereaders have share options but, it's not the same.
I've also downloaded samples of books which allows me to decide whether I want to buy the real deal. The Husband tried to read one of the samples and it gave him a headache. (Safe to say he was not impressed by the experience. I've been told actual ereaders are easier on the eyes and I know my FIL loves his.)
So what happens when what we used to read in black and white goes digital? Do you think it will lose a sense of permanence? Easier to edit, sure. Is that always a good thing? Typos be gone. (Typos are the bane of my typing-impaired existence so I'm good with that, but will there be unintended consequences?)
Will libraries still have the selection and availability of new and interesting "traditional" books? Will that stop low-income people from enjoying the same reading experience of those with the disposable income that allows them to spend only $149 on a digital device plus the cost of the book? (I've heard some libraries offer free downloads now...)
It saves trees and paper. I struggle with that. But the manufacture of petroleum-based plastics has an impact on our planet too.
For now, I'll stick with the regular old books and libraries and the occasional, or not so occasional. splurges at the bookstore, using a real bookmark and turning real pages. Go ahead, call me old-fashioned. I am over 40. ;)