Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why "Must Love Books" loves BOOKS

You all know how I feel about e-books (and if you don't, you'll understand quickly if you check out all my tagged RBtL posts ), how I crave the physicality of the book when reading. I've even been struggling lately reading submissions on my e-reader. Yes, that's right. Word documents are difficult for me to even read on screen. I know, I know. It's very sad.

But I'm not the only one who feels this way, as pathetic as I personally may be about it.

Exhibit A: a new post from one of our guest bloggers, T.S. Ferguson, over at his blog Must Love Books:

For a few months now, my mother has been asking me about e-readers, what kind I would recommend (the Sony or the nook, but I have a personal one-man boycott against Amazon especially with e-books, so I’m biased), whatthey’re like to use, and more specifically, what brand I would want if shewere to get me one. Every time she asked I would tell her the same thing.

“Honestly mom, I don’t really want or need an e-reader. I wouldn’t use it so please don’t waste your money on buying me one. I could use some bookshelves though.”

Well she bought me one anyway (yes I said thank you) and many of the friends that I’ve told seem shocked that I’m not more excited about my new “toy.” They don’t understand why I’m not buying thousands of e-books and taking it everywhere with me. Many of them have told me “just wait…you’ll get used to it and then you’ll be addicted.” But I know I won’t and here’s why.

I love books. I don’t just mean reading. I love physical books. So much of the pleasure I derive from the reading process comes from the actual physical book. Maybe that’s a comfort thing from growing up as a reader, but so be it. Let’s start with the purchase. While it’s nice to be able to order a book offline and have it shipped, there’s no substitute in my mind for going to the brick-and-mortar bookstore and browsing the shelves. Some people find it soothing to shop for clothes, I shop for books. I love scanning the shelves, pulling out books that look interesting, reading the copy, judging books by their covers, and ultimately walking away with at least a few books to buy. If I go looking for a specific book and it’s not there, I will almost always say no when the clerk asks if I’d like to special order it. It gives me an excuse to go to the next closest bookstore and repeat the whole process again.

E-books, being digital, cannot be bought at a bookstore. All you have to do is go online or on your reader and click a few buttons. It sounds easy but to me, that’s boring. And unlike my fashion-loving friends, who can order something and then get to try it on when it arrives, I don’t even get something solid I can hold in my hands.

Once I’ve bought my books, I love to look at the covers and read the copy again. Covers are very important to me. There have been times when a cover will make or break a book for me. In fact, you could probably hand me my favorite book and if it had a horrible cover, I would probably not enjoy the reading experience as much as I would if it had a cover I loved. I could still enjoy the book, but part of the experience wouldbe ruined for me. And unfortunately e-books don’t really come with covers.Even the companies that include their covers in the e-book can’t duplicatesome of their most amazing covers on the grayscale e-readers. I downloaded afree sample of Jennifer Brown’s Hate List (which, you’ll recall, was my first acquisition) just to see what it would look like as an e-book, andwhile the cover was included, even that cover, which was incredibly beautiful, simple and only two-colors (black and gray-blue) just didn’t do it for me on the e-reader....

Read the rest of T.S.'s fantastic post HERE

1 comment:

  1. I love books....but have to admit Ms. D that I love my Reader for manuscripts. No longer does my back hurt from lugging a manuscript on the train and the subway (no I save that for the 2 books in my purse at all times lol) and I don't feel like I am killing the earth each time I print out a manuscript and then feel compelled to read it- even when its horrible and I'm hating every word :)

    All that aside for personal reading, for pleasure reading, I much prefer the satisfaction of turning the page and closing it when finished. I just don't get the same joy from pushing that button and waiting for the screen to reformat with new text or by flipping a switch to turn it off.

    I really liked William Gibson's idea about how to save bookstores AND the planet
    Found here http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/09/06/william-gibson-on-the-future-of-book-publishing/

    talk soon
    <3 Tara