Sunday, April 20, 2014

Confessions of an Insomniac Book Devourer, #1

Today, I'm beginning my series of Confessions (as I was once a Catholic school girl, and therefore have the right), and to start off, my dirtiest little secret.
I recently switched from hardcovers and paperbacks to.... the devil's e-books.

It's true. I, a diehard Paperist, switched from my beloved hard copies to the invisible (and sinister) e-books. Why did I succumb to this fit of madness?

The answer is my new geographic location. I was born and raised ten minutes from the biggest city in Montana, and had access to a number of big box bookstores, and a favorite indie bookstore. I moved over to a city half the size in Idaho, and the nearest big box bookstore is an hour away. I have an addiction to Barnes and Noble, and loved the one in my old city. I knew all of the sales associates by sight, and it was always supremely quiet. I spent Saturday nights slobbering over books I wanted, but couldn't yet afford.

I decided the best solution to the quandary was to invest in a cheapish Kindle/tablet. Cheapish because it cost less than many of my video game systems, and I thought it would be a good investment, as I am also a diehard desktop computer lover and have no laptop (kooky, right?). So I grumbled, put aside some money for the book-burner, and bought it at a Black Friday Sale.

Traditional Hardcover vs. the Devil's Kindle Fire
And slowly, inexorably... I fell in love with the dark side of literature. Those terrible invisible books wooed me with their thrifty price tags, their prevalence, and their voodoo magic instant delivery. Sure, some I paid a lot for, but probably less than your average mass market paperback. I could do things like access Goodreads and read reviews before making an impulse buy, and make sure the author is not a serial killer/rapist before supporting them with a purchase. That gives you a certain confidence.

This also resulted in book buying binges. Lots of 'em. Mainly because Amazon knows I'm a sucker for their Kindle Daily Deals, and employ telepathic people who insert messages in my mind, such as: "Did I check the Kindle Daily Deals today?", "Should I re-check, just in case?", and the ever favorite, "Maybe there was a webpage error, and it hid KDDs from me...".

I've bought a Kindle case, a purse specifically to fit my e-reader, and an antibacterial cleaner for the screen. I am never without my Kindle. I've considered naming it Jeeves. I constantly surf the web with it, play games with it, and drive my dogs nuts when I ignore their toy-prodding in favor of it.

I replace the lyrics of Queen's "I'm In Love With My Car" with "I'm In Love With My Kindle".

The Moral of the Story:

I have faced the facts, and know I'm addicted to my Kindle. But will I never buy a physical book again?
No. In fact, I plan on buying books I already have on my Kindle IRL. I am the luckiest of book devourers because I have a room in my house dedicated to my books. I also still buy books at thrift shops for dirt cheap, though I'm more selective. I still love the feel of paper at my fingertips, the experience of reading in sunlight, and the musty perfume of old books that have lived longer than me. This will never change. But I now accept that e-books are the wave of the future, and a boon for non-traditional authors.
And I still am incredibly wary of them.

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