This year, I’ve decided that the vast majority of my book purchases will be in – gasp! – ebook form. It hurt my soul a little to even type that. Ever since these things came into being, I’ve avoided them as one would avoid a sticky child. But because I’m never that simple, I struggled with the desire to own an e-reader and the lack of desire to give up physical books. The lack of desire ultimately won out.
When I decided to leave Memphis, I was suddenly faced with the realization that books are heavy. Books are heavy, and they take up a lot of space. Books are heavy, take up a lot of space, and I HAD NEARLY 200 OF THEM. Um. That was never, ever going to happen. I had to scale it back, and I had to scale back fast. I sold a lot on Craigslist, then gave away even more. I’ve still got some books in storage that I couldn’t part with (primarily my collection of psych textbooks because I’m still holding on to that flimsy dream that one day I’ll go back to school for the degree I’d set out to earn in the first place before switching to film). And I packed up and shipped a few books that I didn’t want to be without.
While getting rid of most of my preciouses, it occurred to me that if I’d just gotten that e-reader, and if I’d just switched to digital, this wouldn’t have been such a huge problem. I quickly silenced logic by watching some Food Network and pretending I know how to cook, so eventually that was forgotten. But then I was moving again, and again I was faced with the packing and the leaving things behind. Enough was enough!
Just kidding, I still didn’t learn my lesson until rather late last year, when the Amazon Kindle Fire came into being. I wanted a tablet much more than I wanted an e-reader, and knowing what the dev community pulled off with the Nook Color, I knew I could get the Fire, root it, and have the best damned $200 tablet around. So, on Black Friday, I got myself up early and set out into the wilderness of Best Buy to get an entirely different tablet. But lucky for me, that one was sold out, and I settled on the Fire.
Before rooting, I liked it, but not enough to use it regularly. Once I fought for several hours to get it rooted, I instantly fell in love. It feels like it’s mine now, and not just a toy I’m holding for a friend like contraband. And I’ve actually used it for reading! It surprised me how easily I adapted to reading from a machine instead of flipping real pages in a real book with my mostly real fingers. And so, I resolved to stick to digital just to save myself the trouble of moving a ton of books around.
There are other advantages, too, of course. The books are (usually) cheaper. I don’t have to carry three different books with me in my purse…However, letting go of physical books is still hard to do, and I’m having to actively restrain myself from getting up and going to Barnes and Noble. But I can do it! And I’m going to go through and read all the books I’ve got left, then give them away.
Except any YA books that I really like. Having those in paper form is comforting. Don’t you judge me.