In Praise of E-Readers

I get annoyed when I hear people say that an actual book cannot compete with the same one on an E-Reader. I understand why they say this but they are people who have no trouble reading books. I have always loved them and still do. My kids used to drag me past a bookstore unless I’d promise to buy them a book if I purchased one.

I like the feel of a book in my hand and the way I can turn a page. All the physical things are an important part of the reading process. I always had book marks to show where I was. I used to take out 10 books at a time from the library and devour them like candy. I have no idea how many books I’ve read so far in my lifetime but it certainly numbers in the thousands, maybe tens of thousands.

But all that changed when my eyesight deteriorated because of a nasty combination of macular degeneration and glaucoma. I’ve worn glasses since the age of ten when a teacher noticed I could not see the blackboard but have managed to continue reading with stronger and stronger lenses. Now lenses are useless for my left eye and my poor right eye does all the hard work.

Regular print is too small for me and although there are books with large print, they are so heavy to hold in bed. I guess you could build muscle while you are reading. An E-Reader does not have that constraint. It is light and can store hundreds of books. You can adjust the font size which is great for me. My KIndle may not have the personality of an actual book but it enables me to keep reading. And that is okay with me.

When we sold our house, I had hundreds of books to send to other good homes. And that is after I had got rid of many others in earlier years. I was disconcerted to find that some charities don’t accept used books or accept them only at certain times of the year. Goodwill was my saviour and I took many boxes of reading matter to their depot. I used to have quite a collection of bookcases but now I have only one with one shelf of books. Some of these must go as I know the print is too small for me. My E- reader has saved so much furniture space.

And I am fine with my reader as long as I remember not to leave it in the pockets of planes. I have done that twice.