I have always been a reader. I love books. Their smell, the way they feel, the sound they make when the binding is cracked for the first time. I love the feel of the coolness in my hands and the smooth surface of the cover.
Beside my bed, there is a stack of books that I have purchased at various stores with the intent of reading. Unfortunately, I tend to purchase more books than I am capable of reading. Thus, my to-be-read pile continues to grow despite the fact that I spend a great deal of time sitting on my couch reading. It has grown so much, in fact, that I now have a spare bedroom that I have furnished with bookcases along one wall. It is these bookcases that hold the books I am intent on reading but can’t find room for on the pile beside my bed.
It really is quite comical. I may find myself buried beneath a pile of trade paperbacks one morning and unable to get out of bed. Come to think of it, as long as I can open one of the books, that may not necessarily be a bad thing…
But I digress.
In one of my earlier blogs I confessed to my technology addiction and now I will confess to allowing technology to enter my one true love – books.
I now have an e-reader. But not just any e-reader. I have the Kindle paperwhite. This neat little gadget has a screen that mimics both the look and feel of an actual piece of paper. The technology that comes with this little gizmo enables one to read while they are anywhere…even in direct sunlight! If any of you are like me, much of your time is spent outside. And if you can read while enjoying a sunny afternoon, all the better. Perhaps you’re sitting on your porch or relaxing by the pool. In either of these situations, the sun is your enemy as you simply cannot see the words on your e-reader screen despite how much you squint or turn the device. You wind up with a headache from trying to read through a piercing glare.
I no longer have that problem.
Let me say that this particular path to yet another technological addication was a long one. I didn’t want the e-reader. I had no interest in a device that was so “portable,” which is what my mother told me when she purchased hers. I simply could not understand how this device was any more portable than, say, a paperback.
Still, I gave in and got the e-reader. Once it was in my possession however, I was hesitant to purchase books for it. Would I miss holding a book in my hand? Would I miss turning the pages and feeling their smooth, cool softness between my fingers? Would I be somehow disloyal to the stack of books I already had in my possession?
I began slowly by downloading anything that was free, whether it was a short story, a novella or a full-length novel. In this manner, I was much like the former smoker who never buys a pack, only borrows from friends. If you don’t have to pay for it, you’re not really cheating, right?
Of course, it is a slippery slope and from there, I began to search out older books from some of my favorite authors. I signed up for several email alerts that let me know which books were on sale or were free. Before long, I had pages and pages of books stored on my Kindle that were sitting there, just waiting for me to read them.
I now confess to having an equal amount of books on my shelves and on my Kindle.
And I’ll never be able to read them all.
Donna Small is the author of two novels, Just Between Friends and A Ripple In The Water. She lives in Clemmons, North Carolina where she is at work on her next novel.