Friday, January 13, 2012

The Oldest Trick in the E-book

When I was a kid and busy predicting (like everyone else) that we would all have super-cool flying cars in the 21st century, I did not fathom we would have electronic books instead.

I now plug in my bedtime reading. And it’s sort of weird.

Books are a big deal to me. I've had serious relationships with some books. (Stop judging me okay?) That’s why I’m thinking that my new e-reader might be more like an awkward Junior High crush than a long-term relationship.

At first I was infatuated. She’s this tiny beauty and she’s easy to stare at for hours. In my opinion that pretty much summarizes Junior High. But then I started to worry. It’s so effortless to download new books. Let’s just say there sure are a lot of books in the virtual sea if you know what I mean. E-books may be cheaper but when the bookstore is at my fingertips, it’s alarmingly easy to impulse-buy. Cha-ching. Maybe I need to take things more slowly? Because this relationship is costing me a lot of my allowance.

She’s a bit temperamental too. I was reading a particularly absorbing scene about some musicians hiding from the Nazis in a Jazz Club during World War 2 when suddenly my e-reader had some sort of meltdown and she insisted I go recharge. That definitely killed the moment. Like any junior high relationship, emotional upheaval can strike at any time.

She also has a tendency to go on and on. Like any guy, I want to read short books. I’m not saying I don’t read long books. I do. But when I buy a new book I have to check three things: the cover, the first line, and (almost a deal-breaker) the number of pages. I prefer my books to have no more than 300 pages, max. Long books are just too much of a commitment and they’re rarely worth all the extra pages. But with my e-reader, I have no idea how many pages there are. Instead, when I press the bookmark, the e-reader indicates the percentage of the book I've read. What does 28% actually mean? 28% of how many pages?! How long is this going to go on? Again, like a Junior High relationship, I sometimes feel a little trapped and confused.

Despite these bumps in the e-road, I am still crushing on my e-reader. Why? Even though this relationship may go nowhere, I can still pull the oldest trick in the e-book:
1.      Find a comfortable spot to sit.
2.      Fake-yawn.
3.      Stretch my arm around her.
4.      Cuddle up with my e-book.
5.      And get lost in the movie she makes up inside my head. 


Charlie Pulsipher said...

...sorry my book was so long... :)

Just SO said...

I'm still hanging out with the old school books but this is an intriguing take on the e-readers.

karensomethingorother said...

WORD, my man, WORD. I am reading a series right now...and I think there are 6 books, and each of them has over 1000 pages. That is ridiculous. Just ridiculous.

Commitment is right.

I'm sticking with real books right now, just as a matter of principle.

HeatherL said...

I'm happy to stick with real books...although and please keep this to yourself, (the last thing I need is for my books to get jealous) I sometimes occasionally spend time looking at the Kindles on Amazon or hover near the Nook counter in B&N while the salesman gives his speel.

Alistair said...

Um - what's an e-reader?

Is it someone who reads a book to you???????

Someone who make anoying noises while they read beside you????

Someone you'd like to date but ask to read with instead????

A waste of space?

The future???

Elly Lou said...

I lose flow on my kindle. Page breaks and chapter headings are helpful for me. And I'm always flipping forwards and backwards to remember new characters, etc. can't do that easily on the kindle. But it is nice for simple long things that are too hard (or embarrassing) to carry.

Rubye Jack said...

For now, I will continue my old love affair with books. Although, I have to say the e-readers are beginning to look rather nice but I may be too old to change my ways.
Nice analogy.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

I tried reading with a Kindle, bit it was just too weird for me, I'd prefer even reading on a laptop over it.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I don't have one but I lust after its ability to increase font size. Apart from that, it has no allure for me. Clearly I am getting old.

Pickleope said...

I'm all about the audio book nowadays mainly because I'm so lazy I like to have someone read to me.

Pickleope said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wendy said...

haha, that was great. Like a jr. high school crush, good one.
Thank goodnes THOSE YEARS are over eh.

I don't have an e-reader.
I like to touch my books, feel the pages as I turn them.
I kinda think of those kindles etc. ad a BLOW UP DOLL.
why bother
when you can have the real thing (tee,hee)

Alittlesprite said...

I love my Sony e-reader so much I would marry it if I weren't already.

No page numbers? you have the wrong e-reader..

Book I am currently reading has over 1000

Windsmoke. said...

I still like the feel and smell of a real good book with unlimited number of pages and not cold hard plastic that cracks a wobbly right in the middle of the story :-).

Antares Cryptos said...

So clever.

My e-reader and I went our separate ways. It was not rough.

Angelina said...

The only two problems I have with my ereader (ipad) is if I'm reading a kobo book I need internet access, and the other reason is, just when I get to the good parts, my battery dies. Ugh!

Kerry said...

Good analogy. I don't have one, but I like how people can read anywhere, no need for a lamp. Although I do like lamps, so I dunno.

Nicole said...

I feel like I'm cheating on my paperbacks! You know what I mea. I know you do. But I still like flirting with ebooks.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Karen Peterson said...

I've been coveting the Nook Color. I will still always have actual books printed on paper, but I want the digital kind too.

Mrs4444 said...

This is a really terrific post. I just shared it on my blog page on G+.

I totally understand about the number of pages thing; I just have to know, before I start. Thank goodness for Google. :)

Kris said...

I wonder what your post says about me that once I even learned of such a thing as an e-reader, I immediately dropped all my books and took up with my Kindle and haven't looked back.

Although, I do like the commitment of long books especially when they are part of series... so.

Great post!

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