Turning Pages: A Confession of Paperback Abuse


A glorious shelf of books (found on Google Images)

Something really scary happened the other day. I was sitting, reading a wonderful book (not on an E-reader) and I tried to turn the page by swiping. I am ashamed to admit it, doubly so as an English Major. But, as with all sins, one must purge herself in order to be considered clean (I’m not sure where this religious theme is coming from, but we’ll roll with it).

For the longest time I was anti E-reader. There is just something wonderful about handling a book. It enhances the reading experience. There’s nothing like the smell of a new book or the crack the spine makes as you open it, taking notes in the margins or dog-earing the pages to mark your spot. You can’t get that with an E-reader.

Plus, it connects us to the past. The invention of moveable type and the subsequent ability to mass produce books is such a rich and important part of human history. Taking away a book is like taking away handwriting in cursive (We’ll leave that one for another post).

And then…I moved out of my parents’ house. Prepping for the move, I got rid of TONS of books because there was no space for them in my new apartment.  I kept those that were most precious and either boxed them up or took them with me. It was only then that I finally conceded to the idea of an E-reader.

For Christmas, I got the new Kindle Fire™. I instantly downloaded tons of free classics with the goal of filling in the holes of my literary repertoire. Since then, I have happily jumped back and forth between book and Kindle.

The Kindle is great for the gym because it lays flat and I can increase the font size while I ellipticate (yes I made that word up). It’s also perfect for vacations because I don’t have to try to pack enough books to keep me occupied. I am a voracious reader. On my last vacation, I read 4.5 books in 8 days. And that does not mean I skimmed or didn’t take the time to enjoy each one.

But, when book and Kindle merged in my subconscious and I swiped my finger across the paper page of a real book, I had to pause. Such an action is a repudiation of all my training and my passions. I have become a hypocrite, a practitioner of convenience. I have rejected one of the things I hold most dear: the book. And I want to be a published author. How embarrassing.

And so, now that I have confessed my sin to you, dear reader, it’s time for redemption. I think the only way to redeem myself is to go to a bookstore and buy 5 books. Now THAT’S a punishment I can live with! So this weekend, I will be spending a good portion of Saturday walking the stacks at a local bookstore and begging my beloved friends for their forgiveness.

Thank you for listening.freshly-pressed-circle

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219 thoughts on “Turning Pages: A Confession of Paperback Abuse

  1. I too have had this experience. After years of giving soap-box speeches about the evils of e-readers, I have purchased one. And damn its convenience! A paperback in my hand is still the way I prefer to read, however.

  2. That is the best punishment I have ever heard of. I understand you completely, because I was against getting a Kindle… until I headed to Australia for a year. That’s the only way I could keep up with my favs, and limit my book purchases while there. But don’t ask how much I spent STILL, shipping some books home.

    The Kindle Fire gives us the best of the new, and the real books from the brick-and-mortar store gives us the best of the past. They had better not EVER get rid of all the actual stores, because I need them to re-energize, soak in that wonderful book smell, and be able to just wander and look. Because as much as I love Amazon, there’s not enough visual selection, unless I know what I’m looking for. I want to see a book shelf with a bunch of random books I’ve never heard of, to open and leaf through.

    And I’d better stop, before I really get going on this subject. Your books will forgive you for the finger swipe! They know you still love them. And if it results in such “dire” punishment, I’d do it again, on purpose. :)

  3. Loved this post! I’m in the exact same boat – My e-reader is great for vacations (more room in my suitcase=more shopping) and for my tiny condo that can’t hold a lot of books. But I find that certain stories just FEEL better in book form…like the final Harry Potter novel. I’m way too emotionally attached to that one to read it on an e-reader!

  4. Oh I completely understand! I read Jane Eyre on my iphone when I got an iphone as an ereader experiment. And while it was great to have instant access to all the classics I want to read eventually, I felt a little guilty about reading an electronic Charlotte Bronte the entire time. I hope you find a happy middle ground and I suspect with such glorious penance as 5 books for every transgression, you will!

  5. I was the same as you at first. Because I am a nomad and can’t stand to be without books, I finally gave in and got a Nook (great in sunlight by the way). I love my Nook for many of the same reasons you probably love your Kindle. I do miss the feel of turning a page. I can’t say I have swiped a page on a real book lol, but I have tried turning a physical page on my Nook! Don’t worry, books are forgiving and they always welcome us back with open arms ;-)

  6. Enjoy your punishment. I love books and when I moved a few years ago my husband convinced me to get rid of my books (taken years to collect). I have built my library up again and never again will I get rid of my books. So many times someone has said to me can you lend me such and such and then I go to the bookcase and I don’t have it anymore. I regret ever giving them away. I love technology but don’t like E-readers. Nothing in my opinion beats a good book. Here endeth the lesson ( see i just got biblical too :) it must be catching. )
    Happy Blogging and congratulations on ‘Freshly Pressed’ I am a follower now and I look forward to your next post.
    cheers Judy
    judysp.wordpress.com

  7. To this day,I read books and lovingly keep them as my cherished belongings.I have never been interested in E-readinga as i feel it doesn’t give me the same feeling of reading a book and turning those crisp new pages or the really old crumpled ones which smell amazing.
    A great post and i totally loved your simple writing.

  8. Nice look at how we are changing our reading habits. I have downloaded a bunch of books to iBooks, but have yet to read them. Perhaps on my next trip if I finish the books I carry with me.

  9. Great Post! Personally I’m still in the resisting the e-readers, but at some point I may come around. However, they’ll never be able to replace all the nuances of real paper bound books.

  10. The romance in reading is lost when what you have is an e-reader. A bit impersonal, too, don’t you think? But a couple of months ago, I just had the urge to buy myself a kindle because I’ve been traveling a lot then and I need something to read, not bulky, to occupy me in between travels. I still have books to read but I seem to have forgotten about them… But the other day, I chanced upon this wonderful bookshop which kinda looks like how I want my own personal library to be… my love for books, as in the ‘real’ books was renewed. http://instagram.com/p/NYqA8-JNi0/ Here is what that bookshop looked like! :)

  11. I have been holding out against E-readers even though I have several friends who swear by them. Your point about vacation reading has made me reconsider though — I read just about as fast as you and hate it when my luggage is SO heavy from books, especially now that there are such strict weight restrictions…hmm…you may have inspired me to upgrade my technology. At least for part of the time!

  12. I am on the verge of buying a Kindle and enjoyed reading your humorous take on the tension between ones love of traditional books (a passion imbued in me since childhood) and the sinful lure of new technology!
    Your redemption is assured! “Go and sin some more!”

    • Hillary, no I have not seen that, but it sounds brilliant! I will definitely have to look for it. Thanks for the tip! And thanks for reading!

    • I was completely in your camp for a really long time, heyinfinity! I love a good book. But practicality won out eventually (unfortunately?), I’m sorry to say. Thanks for reading!

  13. I have had the same struggles between getting an e-reader and space issues for my books. I think I’ve reached the happy medium of buying my favorite authors in paperback form and trying out new authors and freebies on the e-reader. Haven’t ever really confused the two, but totally understand how you must be feeling right now. :)

  14. :-) Excellent! I can almost picture your expression as you became conscious of what you had done! I, personally, am still very much averse to e-readers, this being for the very reasons you advocate the books in you second paragraph; they just feel so good, almost like the have a soul. Overboard!? I don’t think so…

    • I completely agree, Marcus! There is just something so special about the feel of a book in your hands. It’s a huge part of the reading experience. And books totally have souls. From the people who breathed life into them to the way a reader connects to a story or a character, it’s all there. Thanks for sharing and for reading!

  15. i’ve had the same experience.. the feel of a physical book is comforting to me. i remember promising myself i would never ever use an e-reader. But now i download e-books in my phone for new titles. if it’s good, i go to the nearest bookstore:)

    • I completely agree with you, simplyme. Books are such a comfort. And there’s nothing wrong with making technology work for you! I’ve never tried to read a book on my phone before. Thanks for reading! :)

  16. You’re lucky because you can straddle the electronic fence and use an e-reader as a convenient tool. I feel sorry for the younger generation who won’t find comfort or pleasure when inhaling that new book smell or flipping through the illustrations of a first edition.
    Good luck with the stacks at your local book store. Give it a decade or two and I’m predict electronic bookshops and libraries. What do the young ones say? Eeuw?

    • You bring up an interesting point, marymtf! I often wonder about the generations following my generation, the Millenials. In some ways they are already so much more tech savvy than I am, but in others I think they are completely missing out on some of the wonders in this world and are at a slight disadvantage (but perhaps I’m just biased).

      I collect 1st editions and signed books and I love to show them off to people. I have a 1st edition of Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” that I discovered in my grandmother’s basement and I’ve had author friends who I insist on signing a copy of their book(s) for me. You can’t do that with an E-reader either!

      I hope you’re wrong about the demise of the brick-and-mortar bookstore that sells real books though. I would be so sad to see one of my favorite places disappear.

      Thanks for reading and for the thoughtful remarks!

      • I am a member of the younger generation, and I would never dream of getting a kindle, or other things like it. I suppose I’m not the most normal teenager, but I could not stand having bookshops closed down. there is lots of that with music stores too. I nearly cried when I heard they were renovating my local library! I just loved the atmosphere and the dustiness of it all. when another library was done up it completely lost its wonderful feel and there was all sorts of fancy technology. I need books as much as I need food, and when they are on a screen its just not the same. Soon there will probably be illegal downloading of books, and then the authors will get nothing for all their hard work! Its not too easy to illegally download a real book.
        I do see how e-books can be helpful, but I personally could not live without a good old book in my hands.

      • It makes me happy to hear that some of the members of the even more technically inclined generations beyond Millenials have an appreciation for books :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Just a note to your comment below: There already is pirating and illegal copying of books, if you know where to look. It’s really unfortunate because writers already get so little per individual book sold.
      And, I know many teenagers who still prefer physical books too.

      • Hi Laura, pirating isn’t a new game, just more efficient these days. As for teenagers reading print books I’m sure there are sitll exceptions, but it’s only a matter of time. You can’t stop progress.
        Remember vinyl records? I still have mine and a record player. There used to be a place you could go to get needles for the playing arm, the place is long gone. I haven’t the heart to toss them.

  17. you said it in your first few words here….an e-book can never, ever be the same as a real book. just holding a book in your hands can shift your imagination to another world, another place….

    • Thanks, filmcamera! And you are totally right. There is just no comparison. No matter how spectacular technology becomes, you can’t recreate the feelings that a real, live book gives you. Thanks for reading!

  18. Go and sin no more!

    I am old enough that the idea of ereaders makes sense but the reality leaves me cold. Which, no doubt, explains the recurring back issues fron hauling a couple of thousand books through a dozen moves.

    Of course the turn of the page matters; but does the content matter enough? For me the answer is yes; but I can see the point.I simply choose not to accept it. Your apartment has no room? Is there no bedroom? Hall?

    Pepys had the first recorded book case. I have the full 13 vols in hard cover of his diaries. He was delighted with his purchase. It was substantial. As was mine. A bookcase is a gift you give your books. Bricks and boards will do. But there is always room.

    Can you lend a Kindle? (Well yes, but only in the most trivial sense.) To be able to take a book from your shelf and say, “I think you would like this.” is a very different thing from sending the URL of a book to a pal.

    But, my booksellers tell me, we are a dying breed. More is the pity.

    • Thanks for the response, jaycurrie! Your collection sounds spectacular! You can never have too many bookshelves. When I move into a house (hopefully someday) I’m sure I will have bookshelves galore! At least, I’m planning to. I love your thought about a bookcase being a gift for your books. It’s lovely!

      Book lending is another issue that I have faced too. People often ask me for recommendations and I have not been able to loan out books as frequently because not everything I read is readily lent anymore because of the Kindle. Thanks for reading!

  19. Reading your post was like reading what’s been going on in my mind for the last few months. I too am a bibliophile and was avidly anti-eReader for a long time before I conceeded and bought a Nook this past spring. I still read mostly paperbacks, but it’s nice to have it in my purse or get textbooks in digital format. I’m sure your penance will serve you well :)

    • Femforchange, what do you think of the Nook? I had a hard time picking an E-reader. Also, I finished school before the digital textbook thing started to take off, but I think it would be difficult. I like to write in, highlight, and mark pages in text books. I know they have comparable features on E-readers, but I think they would be more complicated than I would like. I’d be interested to hear about your experience with digital textbooks too. Thanks for reading!

      • The Nook is pretty nice. I got the tablet so that I could use it as more than just an eReader. I agree with you about textbooks. I love marking them up but some books are just so bulky that it becomes a burden to haul it back and forth (I commute to school instead of living on campus). I have yet to fully explore the note and highlighting features but so far, they are decent.

      • You’re right about the bulkiness. I was glad to get done with my core classes and then only had a stack of novels/poetry books for each of my classes as I got into the higher classes for my major and into grad school

  20. I went several months not enjoying any of the 3-4 books I read on an e-reader, and I thought it was a problem with the books I was choosing. I had a hard time getting through them, so I thought they were boring. Then I picked up a real book again, then another, then another, and I finally figured it out: I am more interested in any book that has actual paper. I realize the functionality of an e-reader (vacations, gym, etc), but any reading I do at home will be with actual books!

    • Sara, the tactile experience of reading is a huge part of the book-reading experience. It’s comparable to the concept of taste. You taste a good portion of your food with your sense of smell. If your nose is clogged up, food doesn’t taste as good. Same with a book. No sense of touch, smell, etc.? You’re losing out on the “sensual” part of reading.

      I’m glad you were able to figure out your problem! Thanks for sharing and for reading!

    • Andreas, thanks for the link. I enjoyed your post! You are totally right. Technology becomes obsolete so quickly and then what do you do with the remnants or with the valuable info stored in/on them? We’ll just have to see what happens next, I guess. Thanks for sharing and for reading!

  21. Lovely Post and I totally relate. Another reason I personally love the kindle, trying not to be ashamed here, is because of all the free books. College life does not leave much room to buy the latest hardcover edition

    • Don’t be ashamed Mary, free books are part of the appeal for me too. Though, I still go out of my way to support the authors by purchasing as frequently as possible. Sometimes you have to do what works for you and your situation. Thanks for reading!

  22. I’m still in my early teens but I’ve been reading books since I was 5 when my mom introduced me to its wonders. I’ve been collecting books since then. I agree with you, books have more personality than any e-reading materials.

    • Cragomir, I think your mom has given you a wonderful gift! And I love that you are now collecting books. Most of the people in my family are readers. Recently I was on vacation at the beach with cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, parents and my sister. The majority of us sat on the beach with a book all day long. I looked around and thought it a glorious sight!

      Thanks for sharing and for checking out my blog. Take care!

  23. I love a good excuse to go and buy a book :p

    I too was anti e-reader for a long time. I just couldn’t imagine what is basically a computer having the same cosyness as a book. I spend at least an hour on the bus everyday, however, and an e-reader is much easier to carry around that most books Plus if I finish a book while I’m out of the house my kijndle means I have another one to hand.. I do like my kindle but I always switch to a paper book when I’m at home (unless I’m really into the book I’m reading on the kindle).

    Oh and seeing as my blog is a book review blog I can get free review copies much more easily for my kindle than in paper, which is a nice advantage,

    • I am so jealous that you receive review copies, Lucybird! That is so cool. I’m looking forward to checking out some of your reviews and recommendations!

      And you are right. A book IS cozy. A computer is not. But sometimes practicality wins. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Thanks for sharing and for checking out my post! Happy reading :)

    • I’m not sure what I’ll end up picking up, ninety-nine. But I’ll let you all know what I end up with! Thanks for checking out my blog and I’m glad you enjoyed it :)

  24. A great post! In reponse to marymtf: Yes, the young ones do say ‘Eeuw’ – to flipping the pages of my dusty paperback copy of “The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown. Books age and that’s the appeal of the smell of paper. Will they one day add fragances to e-readers for the future generations? For now, I have to agree that my Kindle is a great space-saver, yet it can’t replace the touch and feel of books or a real brick and mortar bookstore, which is heaven to me.

    • Alison, your post reminds me of the odd beginning trend of adding soundtracks to e-books. I’ve read some articles about it. Have you seen that? Thanks for stopping by!

  25. I absolutely loved this post! This is the same fear I have if I decide to get a kindle: swiping the page :O I have always preferred books due to what you have said in your post about it being an important part of our history. I just hope that we always have the option to buy a book, aswell as a kindle version :) Great post!

    • Thanks Aimeera! And I have the same wish as you. I hope we always have a book and an e-book option! Thanks for the comment and for stopping by!

  26. Reblogged this on Ukulelefi and commented:
    The public library I work at has just started lending e-readers & I had a very excited person come in to get one to try. Picking she could be an addict in the making & may have to make the same confession soon :)

  27. Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    I got a Fire for my birthday, and I loved it. But I became so disgusted with Amazon and their policies that I sent it back. I will one day own an e-reader, once an honest company creates one. Okay, that last is a pipe dream. Maybe I will never own another one. *sigh*

    Even in the short time I had it, I found myself trying to swipe EVERYTHING. I learned something. Cats don’t really appreciate being swiped. .

    • Thanks becomingcliche! And you’re right, honesty in the business world is hard to come by, unfortunately. Did you get swiped in response by the cat? Thanks for sharing and for reading!

  28. Ha, you aren’t alone, I know someone who did the same tapping-a-real-book thing to turn the page! I’m anti-e-reader although I have to sell them at work (we sell the superior Kobo though!) I think they’re going to do the book industry a lot of damage further down the line.

    • I think you’re right Eimear. The book industry could suffer a lot because of this. But maybe they will find a happy medium of sorts. I am not familiar with a Kobo. I’ll have to look it up! Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Issued my first e-reader to a very excited woman today. Think she’ll be making this confession too. Shared on my blog cos I loved this so much.

  30. I’m just reading a “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr and your post perfectly illustrates the sentiments Carr brings up in his book. The newly introduced e-readers are changing not only how we read books, but our brain processes. Frankly, I am really scared one day I am going to go to the “bookstore” and instead of paperbacks and hardcovers, I’ll find a few e-readers and an online catalog for books. Or that one day all books will be vooks, books with videos embedded in them. The world of my childhood (about 10 years ago) used to be a world of peaceful, linear reading. Books were books and not Kindles. The library was a place of peaceful reading and not some gaming zone. There were more tables and desks for peaceful reading and writing than for computers. Call me an old-fashioned technofobe, but the world of paperbacks is the world I am going to miss.

    • You paint a frightening picture, dance. I hope we don’t get to that. I’ve never understood the idea of combining book and video. I am a bit of a purist though. I like to use my imagination and I doubt I’m alone in that. Video screws that up! Just like the film version of a book is never as satisfying as the book. Thanks for the interesting thoughts and for stopping by!

  31. I have the same problem! I refuse to use and accept E-readers. I find it hypocritical. It just won’t feel the same… no pages… no new book (or old book) smell. That comforting book weight.
    Everyone around me thinks it’s wacko to think like that. They don’t know I used to feel guilty for discriminating between teddy bears.
    Do you think if I start using Kindle, I won’t stop reading the real things?

    • Gallifrey, I doubt you would stop reading real books. I certainly haven’t. I am completely with you on the hypocritical stance. I felt that way for a long time too. Also, sometimes your eyes need a break from looking at a screen. Paper is better. Thanks for commenting and for reading!

  32. Books have some kind of magic you feel better just by holding them in your hands and smelling them…. Being a voracior reader as you, though, I find my e-reader necessary… especially when i go on holiday or on my way to and back from school… I’s impossible in Italy to add a book in your schoolbag.. they’re too full and heavy as they are! Having this light and little e-reader I turn boring moments into fun! Obviously every time I can read at home I read REAL books… I still buy lots of them even if I don’t have space for them!!!

    • Chiaracarrara, I think many students around the world share your dilemma! I certainly remember having a stuffed backpack all the way through school. Unfortunately, E-readers weren’t around yet when I graduated high school (It was 2002, I don’t remember them being around then at least.)

      I love hearing from so many people who are committed to reading. It is incredibly gratifying. Thanks for sharing and for checking out my post :) Happy reading!

  33. I was reading books on the computer even before the e-readers were born. Stalking Project Gutenburg and trading book .txt files with friends. With years of digital books under my belt you would think that I have turned the corner and given up paper for good. Not so. I can’t seem to stay away from used book stores. I have even purchased books for which I already have the digital files. Sometimes you just want to feel a book in your hands. The Kindle can replace the words, but not the tactile experience. Enjoy your penance and stradle both worlds… just don’t try and dog-ear your Kindle. :)

    • Auralretentive, I love Project Gutenberg! I’m glad you enjoy the best of both worlds. No dog-earing the Kindle, duly noted! Thanks for sharing and checking out my post :)

  34. I still prefer actual, physical books, too. But sometimes when there’s a super-great sale on an ebook I really want to read, I put it on my hubby’s ereader. And then I read it and I’m disappointed that I can’t mark up the pages or feel the weight of the book. Oh well. It’s the day and age in which we live. Congrats on the FP!

    • Those $2.99 sales on ebooks are hard to resist! I’ve gotten my hands on a number of those over the past 7 months. But real books are the best, you’re right. Thanks for sharing, Anita!

  35. You have sinned, and for that sin you own up to you’re forgiven! However, now you need to make amends for a greater sin: that of breaking spines, writing in the margins, and turning over the corners of pages. Repent. Buy more books, and love them more!! :)

  36. I’m the complete opposite of Darkice above: I get real books from the library (yay for being a grad student! Loads of awesome books, all for free!) but the couple of books I want to read that aren’t in the library, I buy them for my Kindle. My reasoning is that Kindle books cost less, but it makes me terrified of what will happen when (god forbid) Amazon.com goes down or worse, out of business.

    • You bring up a good point, Mollie. It’s similar to the link that Andreas posted on his comment. That was one reason why I went for the Kindle over the Nook, actually. I wasn’t sure of the solidity of Barnes & Nobles’ future. But the same thing could happen to any number of the companies that make E-readers. Thanks for the interesting comments!

  37. Hi. I’m still the monk one of your readers mentions above, who is attached to the scroll instead of the book–(i.e., I’m attached to the book instead of scrolling with a Kindle Fire, just to update–backdate?–the language!). The closest I’ve come to technology is to read stuff on the Internet. I guess I find that a lot of the titles advertized on Kindle and other such devices don’t interest me, because they’re bestsellers or sensationalistic prose. I rarely have seen an ad for something on Kindle (that I could afford to buy) and that I would actually read, though from time to time I do scan the Amazon.com pages to keep up with how much KIndle stuff is currently costing. I’m really a fan of the used book store right now. To a determined Kindle reader I’d say, check back with me when I’m making more money and I’ll let you know if I’ve succumbed!

    • Thanks for sharing shadow operator! I love used book stores. There is a great one on 39th Street in Kansas City, Missouri called Prosperos that I frequent when possible.

      I think that Kindle books, and most ebooks, tend to be bestsellers to help keep the trend of ebook going. Or they are classics you can get for free because their copyright time frame has passed. I find that when I wander through the stacks at a bookstore, that there are numerous books that I have not seen on an ebook list. But I think that’s a good sign though too because if everything were an ebook, the end of the printed book would be assured.

  38. Love my Kindle for two reasons. 1. as you mentioned I can enlarge the type to a lovely easy-reading size even for my aging eyes. 2. although it is a bit annoying my Kindle will read the book for me while I’m driving or gardening or painting or what ever. It’s not the same as a book on tape read by a professional actor, but it’ll do until my task is completed and I can sit down and read again. Thanks for the nice post.

    • Rita, I didn’t know a Kindle could read to you! I’m going to have to try that out sometime just to experiment. Thanks for sharing and for reading!

      • Hi, it’s in the same window where you can change the font size (on my old Kindle at least — not sure about your fancy Fire) Here’s the blurb from Amazon’s page… Read-to-Me
        With the Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle Keyboard can read English newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books out loud to you, unless the book’s rights holder made the feature unavailable. You can switch back and forth between reading and listening, and your spot is automatically saved. Pages automatically turn while the content is being read, so you can listen hands-free. You can choose from both male and female voices which can be sped up or slowed down to suit your preference. In the middle of a great story or article but have to jump in the car? Simply turn on Text-to-Speech and listen on the go. … check it out. Cheers, Rita

  39. I was anti e-reader for a long time too! But then I moved to Madrid, Spain for a couple of years (going back to the States next month) and it was hard getting books printed in English. There are bookstores that sell English books but as you can imagine, they are way more expensive because they are imported. (I’m embarrassed to say I was too lazy to go to a bookstore and get a book in Spanish) I did buy some books here and always got one or two whenever I passed through the airport and amassed quite the collection. Then I realized there was no way I could bring all these books back with me in the 2 suitcases I brought over (that and other things I have to leave behind). Finally, in May I got a Kindle from my parents for my birthday and it’s been such a blessing. I can access Amazon whenever I want and buy a new book! However I don’t think I will always buy books on my e-reader when I’m back in the States. I miss reading from actual books too much to solely depend on the electronic version!

    • It sounds like you have found a great reason for an E-reaer, Amelie! And I bet you have some amazing stories about your stay in Madrid. I hope you have been writing about your time there. I would love to read about your experiences. I hope you get to return to some good, real books soon. Thanks for sharing and for checking out my blog!

      • yes if you go through my blog, you can read about some of my experiences. That is why the URL to my blog is ameliesayshola but I’m not changing it when I move back. :) And speaking of reading, I downloaded the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin. I kept hearing so many things abou the tv show, I decided to check out the books first! So far so good. :D

      • I will definitely check out your blog and the book too! Maybe it will be 1 of the 5 I purchase for my penance. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Change! I am fascinated by the idea of using Kindles and other E-reader devices for school books. I don’t think I would like it. But if I had it that way all the way through school, perhaps I would feel differently. Who knows? Thanks for sharing and for reading!

      Thanks for the link. I am looking forward to checking out your blog!

  40. This post made me smile! I miss the smell of ink when I read in electronic form, but ebooks are a lot more portable. I don’t have an ereader, but have a few electronic books on my ipod. I find I prefer reading books (or blogs or news articles) with shorter chapters, shorter paragraphs, and shorter sentences when I read on an electronic device, even that kind of style tends to bore me in print.

    • Thanks for sharing, Nel! I’ve never read anything on an iPod before. Of course, my iPod is kind of old and isn’t even touch-screen capable! Happy reading!

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who tries to turn pages by swiping, moonmooring :) And I’m glad you approve of my vocabulary! What words have you made up? Another one of mine is, craptapulous. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

  41. I love books, paperback and hardcover, and vow never to stop reading them, even if I get an eReader in the future. But I can see how one could get so used to swiping a page (eReaders are super convenient) and momentarily forget they were holding a bound book. Great post, and congrats on getting Freshly Pressed.

  42. Loved this I connected with every word….am also a complete bookworm and can read 4 books easily on a weeks holiday .My friends tend to look at me like you would an alien species when I go on about books. Still havent succumbed to the kindle but I have a feeling my day of reckoning is coming! I started writing on the back covers of my books when I was still in school saying where I was and what I was doing when I bought/read them its great to flip back through old books and relive memories. That saying I may have to ( very grouchily ) move with the times soon!

    • Claire, I love the idea of you documenting where you were and what you were doing when you bought or read a book. What a wonderful idea! Thanks so much for sharing and for reading!

  43. And I thought I was the only one who liked the smell of a new book. I’m not alone! I agree, books give you that good feeling when you turn to the first page and close the cover after reading the last. Any classics that you would recommend?

    • Have no fear, carljillson, you are not alone! Let’s see…I really enjoy Wilkie Collins. He’s a Victorian period writer. “The Woman in White” is a great one by him as is “Heart and Science.” “Heart and Science” is all about the anti-vivisection movement during the Victorian era. I am also in the midst of reading the “Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft” (he’s not really considered a classic, but people always ask me about him because of my interest in Poe). Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

  44. I enjoyed this post. I was also of the school that I would never own an e-reader, but have found the Kindle to be my repository of “Books I Secretly Want to Read but Don’t Want to Be Seen With”. That covers all self-help books, erotica, tomes that might seem too pretentious or large to haul about – and bonus… it’s password protected against little prying eyes!

    • I’m with you on the guilt front, Laura. I always feel a tinge of regret using the Kindle. But it’s just so dang convenient! Thanks for checking out my blog :)

  45. From the title I thought this might be about the ability (or lack thereof) to read a paperback without marring the spine in any way. I seem to have that, um, skill. I can tell which paperbacks I’ve loaned out; they have cracked spines. Conversely, a friend’s wife literally consumes them. Covers are missing and they now come in multiple pieces.

    As for the eReaders, like you I have a strong attachment to those 30+ boxes of books I’ve hauled around with me all these years. But I’m ready for a reader. My music has gone from vinyl to 8-track to cassette to CD to iTunes; my videos have taken a similar progression. I’m still on the first generation of books, so it’s time to update.

    And my aging eyes appreciate the idea of being able to make the fonts bigger.

  46. Too bad we don’t have an awesome friend who works in a bookstore! Ha ha! Loved the post. I have thought about getting an E-reader for the same reasons, but on a recent flight I realized that you have to turn off all electronics during take-off and landing. I guess all media have their limitations. Do you think that there were Luddites in the 15th century who resisted PRINTED books because they seemed too impersonal?

    • Thanks for reading P! And that is a fascinating question. There may have been people who thought books were a waste of time back then until literacy became more important. You always have the best questions! What do you think?

  47. I’ve gotten to the point where, if I am reading an actual book, I get annoyed if I come across an unfamiliar word because I can’t click on it and be linked to the dictionary entry for it! I still love books, but e-readers definitely have their advantages.

    • I have found this to be an incredibly handy tool, particularly when reading classics that seem to carry such a better vocabulary compared to modern texts. I have read some paperbacks recently that have a word or two with which I am not familiar. Thanks for sharing!

  48. Pingback: I’ve been nominated (subtitled, Pick me! Pick me!) | The Cotton Bowl Bride

  49. Great post. I’m a recent convert to the eReader and I had much the same experience as you – prefering the look, smell, feel of a ‘real’ book, but at the same time wanting to conveniently carry several books with me for holidays etc. As much as I love books and will never stop using them, I do love my kindle ;-)

  50. As a bookseller, I forgive you and also feel your pain. But in truth, I am just happy that authors are still being read and literature is surviving in the digital age.

    • I have always wanted to work at a bookstore, Kat. Actually, one of my dreams was to own my very own bookstore. And you are so right. We should all be happy that books still get read, no matter their format. Thanks for sharing!

    • Oh I know! I sat down on the beach with my Kindle last week, thinking one of the other settings would do it and was so disappointed when none of them made it visible in the sun. I had to borrow books to read while I sat on the beach. Thanks for stopping by!

  51. I’ve given up on the eReader. I have a Nook and it turned me into a skimmer. I can’t read closely when looking at a fourth of a page on a bright flatscreen. I’m in the process of retraining myself to read again.

    • That is one of the reasons I prefer print too, particularly if I am editing something. I like to see the whole page as a “concept.” Thanks for sharing, splitlipmagazine!

  52. I put off buying a kindle for all the reasons mentioned…but now I’m finding authors I wouldn’t have in print in ebooks. When my arthritis is bad, the kindle is easier to hold, but I don’t regard it as a substitute for all printed books, but they have a place in our world.
    I’m not a fan of new books…I love old books, the result of a childhood spent reading library and secondhand books. I love the thought that other hands have held this book and turned the pages, and the smell of paper from certain eras is distinctive.
    I’m horrified at the thought of writing in books or turning down corners. As I child, I simply remembered the page number; these days I can turn tot he right page without hesitation. I tend to eat (literally) bookmarks!
    Just thought: you can’t annoy anyone when reading a kindle – not like you can by riffling the page edges, something I do unconsciously while reading: the more exciting the book, the more I riffle!
    Today I visited a library designed by Christopher Wren, that still holds the 5000 printed books for which it was designed. Will our descendents visit kindles holding 5000 books in 400 years’ time?
    Congrats on the FP listing :-)

    • I think my treatment of books comes from being a lit major. I always wrote and underlined things in various texts we were studying and the habit has made it’s way into my leisurely reading too. The Christopher Wren library sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for checking out the post! :)

  53. I feel your pain. =3 I prefer I party books – ones that are unscathed by the electronic hype, My recent move to another country left me with no choice but to consider e-books (of course I couldn’t bring my whole shelf with me) and it’s really a discomfort; a sort of betrayal. So, I swore to redeem myself by buying tons of books on my next paycheck!

  54. Excellent post. I have both a Kindle (actually now just the app on my iPad – I sold the original Kindle to get the iPad & transferred my e-books to the app) and a ton of books in every room of my house. I will always prefer the smell and the feel of a real book, but there’s no question that an E-reader is convenient. I no longer feel guilty about either owning too many books or using an E-reader.

    Besides, I’d rather save guilt for things like eating way too much chocolate! :)

  55. What a great post I have just read. I am really glad that you worship the invention of a book so much. :) ♥ books too. :) As I have read/heard somewhere “everything you ever live through was already mentioned in some book. it is only up to you to find the right one to know what to do.” :)
    keep reading as well as writing so excellent posts. thanks!

  56. This made me smile and giggle. I’m sure 5 books is equal to 5 hail mary’s, the books gods forgive you i’m certain ;) I am the worlds slowest reader but I love book stores, looking for new books buying a new book its just so exciting!

    • Thank goodness for forgiveness, right? :) Thanks for checking out the blog! And the speed at which you read means nothing. What matters is that you read!

  57. LOL! Thats great! I once tried to take a paperclip off of a report at my old job only to find out it was a photocopy of a paperclip on the front page. I sat there for 15 minutes trying to get that damned paperclip off then I brought it into my boss’ office; he looked at me and said “John, thats a photocopy of a paperclip NOT a real one!” Boy did I look foolish!

  58. Another plus to add to the list is that a bookshelf is a pretty damn nice piece of furniture to decorate your room with. That’s probably also why bookstores are so visually pleasing.

    • You are so right about that. I went to the bookstore yesterday and just instantly felt calm and invigorated! Thanks for reading, Mykskodar!

    • Yes, a funny literary fact is that the writer Anthony Powell, in his 12-volume serial novel “A Dance to the Music of Time,” called both a character and a volume title “Books-do-furnish-a-room.” Interesting writer. Good series–now let’s see that appear on a Kindle!

  59. If you didn’t tell me, I would have just assumed that ellipticate is a word from one of those intelligent classics that I too have no room for in my apt so they’re in a box in my garage – unread. What 5 books did you buy?

    • I only ended up with 4, so I have to go back soon and get the 5th. But here is my list thus far: The Island House by Posie Graeme-Evans (one of my favorite historical fiction writers from Australia. She’s kind of like Philippa Gregory), Sunflowers by Sheramy D. Bundrick (It’s a historical fiction piece about Vincent van Gogh), Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, and the first book of the Game of Thrones series. I’ve always wanted to try them out and finally decided that yesterday was the day to start. Thanks for reading!

  60. Rock out wild crazy cool! I love it! In a way it is a celebration of all those who have gone on before with their words spanning the shelves of space-less space greeting us again and again through the technology of time! Hum . . . orally I love it – the place it all began!!!!!!!!!!!!! Progressing forward!

    • That’s funny! It sounds like we are raising a whole generation of “swipers.” It should make for some interesting stories :)

  61. I cried when my childhood favorite The Lord of the Rings fell apart and i had to let it go. Thankfully my uncle bought me a hardback edition to replace it. Books excite nearly all of our senses. Such feeling is irriplaceable. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • I have paperback versions of The Lord of the Rings from my dad still. I love them because they’ve been around since he was pretty young, I think. It’s always sad when books have been so well loved that they fall apart. Makes me think of the “Velveteen Rabbit.” Thanks for sharing and for reading!

  62. The conversion has come easier than expected for me. I like that I can use an E-reader and hold of cup of tea a the same time. Also, it saves so much space and a book can be downloaded whenever I want, with a backup copy in my iPhone for passing the time when I may be caught without a book. :)

    • The conveniences that technology provides is utterly astounding! I don’t have the capability of devices communicating since I have a Kindle and not an iPad and a Droid rather than an iPhone. Thanks for sharing, danceintheline!

  63. I haven’t succumbed to e-readers yet. They have slowly crept their way into our daily lives though. The other day i was reading the newspaper (actual paper ones). I was looking for an article and my fingers automatically made a “Ctrl + F” movement. It took me few seconds to realize my stupidity..

    • That’s funny! I haven’t had that happen yet. But I have found myself wanting some of the applications you can use with computers and E-readers in my everyday affairs. Thanks for sharing! :)

  64. Oh my gosh! I haven’t done that yet, but I won’t be surprised if it does happen one of these days. I’ve read so many more books since getting my Kindle, but I still love to browse the bookstore and read paperbacks. Just the feel of the pages in my hand brings such joy, and the smell… My daughter (age 5) has taken to smelling the pages of her books now as well…a great sign that she will be a book lover as well.

  65. I’ve heard rumors that Barnes & Noble developed the nook because research showed that most people who read e-books will buy it in physical formats as well. It seems like most people with an e-reader still love the physical experience – e-book for the train/bus/gym, and physical book to snuggle with on the couch. For myself, I had to move back in with my parents, and now all of my beloved books are in cardboard boxes in the garage. I make do with an e-reader for now, and there are many books in my parents’ house. However, I long to pick up an old book and re-bond with the memories of my last time reading it.

    • That’s is really interesting. I have not heard of people buying both the e-book and the printed form too. I personally have never done that. Have you?

      • I’m fairly new to having a tablet as an e-reader, and don’t have much extra income to spend on books. So far I’ve almost exclusively downloaded free classics I haven’t read. I’m also working through all the books I haven’t read at my parents house, and learning how to connect my tablet to the local library. Long story short, I haven’t bought a book in a while. Also, I use my tablet more as a portable writing device to work on my own great novel, and don’t get around to reading as often as I like.

      • It doesn’t feel that spectacular, because it’s just another word processor. I use a 7″ tablet, which is a lot easier to carry than my 15″ laptop, and more versatile for what I need than a netbook. However, thanks for the encouragement.

  66. I did want to acknowledge my status of being Freshly Pressed last week. It was an amazing experience and so exciting. Thanks to everyone who read my blog, liked the post, commented, and those who chose to follow me. I hope my future posts can be as interesting/entertaining for you! And I’m planning to start perusing everyone’s blogs as soon as possible.

  67. Liked you’re post, glad to know I’m not the only one who has done that. By the way, you’re lucky to have a bookstore near by! Several closed down near me, which forced me to using an ereader.

    • It’s too bad that you don’t have a bookstore near you! Lucky for you, there are e-readers and you can still get something to read! The closest one to me is a B&N. So I usually go there, but I love the used bookstores closer to downtown in KC. Thanks for reading!

      • Yeah, I guess I’m going to have to break down and buy me an e-reader soon. When the Boarders closed down in town and went on a shopping spree. Of course I’ve nearly finished that collect and the withdraws will kick in soon. Hahahaha.

        Good luck with getting published!

  68. Having had to fill up seven large cardboard boxes with only a portion of my book collection as I move out from my parents, I can completely relate. I, too, have just been converted to the Dark Side. I was always so against it, but it’s just so shiny, and I’m a sucker for gadgets – have to say, it is potentially the most clever technology I’ve come across! Still love my dog-eared copy of Emma though, and always will… Really enjoyed your post!

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  70. Pingback: A Late Response to the 3-D Movie Trend | Writer vs the World

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