As long as I’ve been a reader, I’ve favored physical books over all other mediums. Though I have to admit, there weren’t e-books when I was younger, you either read, or you listen to audiobooks, or both, or neither, so the choices were more limited.
And physical books have stayed as the thing for me through the years. I collect them in my shelves, I carry one or two with me every time I leave the comfort of my home for more than a day or two. I buy books on holiday trips abroad.
I have actually had a vacation or two, where beforehand I’ve had marked bookshops on Google Maps around our destination (I do this every time I go abroad if I know I have time to go and dig through a bookshop or two), and then they just happen to be near where we are going on a given day. It’s a great way to travel across Rome or Brussels, or Valencia, though I’m not quite sure if my friends agree all the time.
But carrying physical books around with you, especially abroad, takes space from your luggage, and sometimes that space is precious. So, when I noticed that in the coming year I’ll be away from home for nearly a month, traveling to study this or that, or on a holiday, a thought started to take shape.
What if I get myself an e-reader? I have e-books, I’ve had them for a few years. I’ve gotten myself few Hugo voters packages. Bought one or two bundles from Storybundle. And one time a book had so shocking ending that I had to get my hands on the next one, as soon as possible, so I bought the next one as an e-book.
Mostly I’ve been reading them from my laptop, work or personal, and some of them I’ve even read from a piece of junk tablet of mine.
But for this much traveling that I have ahead of me, I realized that neither of those methods of reading e-books is not a viable option. Mainly because the battery life of an e-reader beats anything from a tablet or laptop. Also, e-readers are built for reading, so they’re so much gentler on your eyes. And of course, there’s the fact, that a device built for reading doesn’t have a hundred and two other apps to distract one from the thing he most enjoys, reading.
So what does one do, in 2020 AD, when trying to figure out what electronic, or any other kind, device to get? Well, one either asks Google, or friends from social media. I did both. I first Googled a bit, about what e-reader to get, and found myself on a webshop page that had this whole piece of text that mostly said that those that still read physical books are leftovers from times of old and gone, that everyone should read e-books and only e-books. That was almost the end for my quest of finding a good e-reader. I was appalled by that quite a bit.
After days of recovering from those words, I decided to tackle option number two, social media. Well, everyone who has ever asked an opinion on social media nowadays knows that that wasn’t probably my brightest moment. The comments went all the way from “Nah, don’t buy anything, go for audiobooks, you don’t need anything else” and “all you need is your phone, blue light filters and such make it really easy for eyes” to “this and that tablet is enough..” and so on. But! There were gold nuggets between all others. Two or three friends got my point and gave good advice about which device to get.
And so came the certain day of the month, which every worker waits like the dawn after the darkest night. Payday. And so my epic quest got to its second phase. To go out and find a device that suits me. I went forth like the heroes from the books I so love and tackled this undertaking with certain determination.
I had asked my questions. I had made up my mind. Now it was time to act, and get me a device from which to read. And I did. The first store I went to had three options, from which I picked the one that most pleased me.
And how do I feel now, that my epic quest has concluded?
I’m satisfied. I have a device to read from on my trips away from home and my dear books. And thanks to this device, I have more room on my luggage to buy more books from my trips and so expand my personal library.
As some may guess, I probably will never transfer completely to e-books, I adore printed books way too much. I love the feel of them on my hands. I love to re-organize my bookshelves time and again. But I also don’t think that e-books threaten printed books anyway, or make them unimportant.