Posted by Merri Hiatt on August 14, 2011 at 3:40 AM
I never thought I'd be saying this. I love e-books.
I have been a tried and true fan of paper books for as long as I can remember. I loved the way they felt, the way they smelled, and how I felt curled up in a big chair with a thick blanket and a book in my hands.
When I was a kid, my sister and I used to go to our town library. It was one small room with a great big black pot bellied stove in the corner with a woven rug beside it. We'd find hardcover picture books that we'd looked at a hundred times before and lay on that rug and read and laugh and dream of faraway magical places.
I dug my heels in when the Kindle arrived and vehemently declared that I would NEVER read books on some impersonal electronic device. Until I bought an iPad.
I didn't realize I'd be able to increase the font, change the screen and text color, or turn pages with a simple tap. I no longer had to change positions every few minutes because my arm ached from trying to hold the book open or reposition pillows on the bed to make the book stay open. Or worse yet, bend the binding back so I could read the words that somehow always managed to creep into that center crevice.
I also wasn't aware that many authors offered books, short stories, and samples for free. If I didn't particularly like a story, I could simply delete it from my iPad. I could even lend books to other friends who had an iPad.
What really changed my mind, though, was my vision. I simply could not read a paperback novel any more. The pages didn't offer enough contrast and the font size, which had been fine just a few years ago, was just not comfortable for me to read any more.
I was kicking and screaming about e-books when they first came out and now I've learned to embrace the technology. They'll have to pry my iPad from my hands when I die.
After all, my sister and I could have visited the library, laid on that woven rug, and kept warm by the pot bellied stove while we tapped our way through books on our iPads. The memory would have been just as sweet.