I had a close up look at an E-Reader today and I think I am finally sold. I have an I Pad at home and I think that in a strange sort of way this has put me off further investigation into E-Books, the I Pad is too large to use comfortably on busy trains, too power hungry for long trips and too Apple flavoured for my taste. I love a book, I love the feel of a book and I love the fact that I purchase a piece of hardware something tangible that I can see and hold for my money. The accident means that I spend more time on public transport, as such I spend more time reading but I am also extremely limited as to the amount of books that I can travel with or indeed purchase. When I set off at the start of a week I pack a book, if the book that I am reading is past the first 25% then I pack a fresh book and leave the ‘in progress’ one at home, this in itself is a new concept for me as I am used to reading one book at a time.
One problem is that if I read during my time away then invariably I will end up completing the book before the end of the week and thus have nothing to read on my way home, I can’t spare the weight or space to carry more than one book especially with the injuries. I live in a small coastal village and the direct physical purchase of books is not possible within the limited range of local shops, this means that I tend to make purchases when I am returning through London and again limits me to a maximum two book purchase. I did, on one occasion get so overwhelmed by the offers available that I purchased 4 books on a return journey but I was remarkably close to leaving them part of the way home due to the additional burden. Of course I could get my books delivered and indeed Amazon offer a good service and price but I work away all week and like most delivery agents they fail to accommodate this, I have lost count of the times that I have returned home to a card from a courier company based in the middle of a distant town offering me the option to collect or have redelivered, the later being available for another week day when I wont be in.
Perhaps it is the very physical presence of books that is now becoming a hinderance to me, or more accurately is increasing the attraction of E-Readers, yes books look great on the shelf, they are real and tangible and bear witness to your journey through the literary world but they are, of necessity, large and weighty. I have questioned before whether my lack of comfort with the purchase of electronic copies of music or books is based more on my age than any practicality and of late I am thinking that it is. I am a one time reader, I don’t return to novels that I have read before and read them again so why do I need to maintain rows of paperbacks? I am far too long in the tooth, have far too mundane tastes and not nearly enough visitors to presume that my bookshelf will spark lively and entertaining debates at dinner parties, the books seem to serve no other purpose than to pander to some ingrained belief that you have to be able to touch and hold something that you have purchased.
Bullet now well and truly bitten I have placed an order for an E-Reader and await its speedy arrival to my parcel holding service at the local pub (thanks guys) I have no doubt that frustrations and entertainment with this new toy will fill the blog for a while now. In true modern style I have just copied the 9G of books from the travelling hard drive at work to get me started and they don’t weigh a thing.