____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Book-lover Gets Some Nookie

I don't know if it's just me, or if it's everyone.  But it always seems like just when I finally get something good, something better comes along, and then I have to pretend that I am not sad that all my friends waited to get the new, much cooler thing.

When I was a kid, I had this awesome blue bike that I totally loved, but was starting too outgrow.  My sister gets this awesome purple 10-speed, which I start riding everywhere when she's not using it.  And casually hinting at my getting taller and needing a new bike, and my upcoming birthday.  I was SO happy when I got this beautiful awesome 10-speed of my own.  Granted, it was red, not purple, but it was still gorgeous and sleek.  The next week, everybody else in the world got mountain bikes.  Mountain bikes were the spitting image of my old blue bike that I loved and had been riding for years...Not to mention they had the wider seats so it felt like you were riding the bike, as oppose to the 10-speeds, where it felt like they were riding you...And it wasn't purple...I was so conflicted, because I loved my brand-new-awesome bike, but always felt like I never got a chance to really enjoy it with everyone else rubbing their mountain bikes in my face.

Ever since then, I'm very careful to do my research and keep an eye out for the newest model before picking up the current model...I do a lot of comparison shopping, to try and decide what features I like best or that I will use the most, so that I don't end up second guessing myself or my new buy when something better or cheaper comes along.

I was watching the day Oprah announced she had a Kindle, and went on to tell everyone all about it's awesome capabilities and great features.  And I was reading articles the day after, and months after, about it's price, it's features, and all the competition it was going to have.

I'm a long-time book-lover, of course, but I had to ask myself the same question I'm sure everyone else is asking; how can something "electronic" (read: soulless and impassionate) compete with a book?

Books are magical.  And wondrous.  They are treasures.  And I am a book hoarder.  I walk into a new bookstore and I smell the new books (um, and coffee).  I walk into a used bookstore or a library, or a garage sale and I smell the books.  Seriously, I had to pause there a second to close my eyes and inhale an imaginary smell.  I swear I have never in my life eaten a book (though there was the one time my sister made us eat a strip of paper for acid/base testing), but I can practically taste the books when I think of that smell.  All of my senses come alive; it's like the stories whisper to me, and I can see pictures in my head, like a movie or a scrapbook.  I especially love the feel of a well worn paperback in my hands, running my thumb across the pages as I open the book.  Finding old books, is like finding something special that someone's forgotten, but now I can read it, and laugh and smile, and keep it safe.  Discovering a new book is like knowing a secret before anybody else knows.

So, does anyone doubt that I love books?

What would ever make me want something cold and electronic?

Because I am a book hoarder.  When I love a book, I want to read it over and over again...And NEVER let it go.  Which, when I do read something repeatedly, that would make it stupid to get rid of and buy it again somewhere down the line.  Or, what if it's something I use for reference?  As my shelf-space grew smaller, I got better at culling the one-time reads...but that just slowed down the never-ending growth.  I will ALWAYS want more books, but until I have my own place with my own library and movie theater...I have to deal with the same space limitations as everybody else.

Or do I?  The Nook holds around 1,500 books.

Growing up, I was always the girl with the book in her hand, on her desk, with more in her locker.  Whenever we went on road trips, I always packed a half-dozen books, because I never knew what I'd want to read when I was finished with the current book, what kind of mood I'd be in.  And sometimes I would just fly through one book, while the next took a few days.  It was my way of planning for the unexpected detours, or for when the cousins left early, or for when my dad wouldn't stop talking to someone and the rest of us were waiting in the car.  And then, of course there was the ride home, too.  I was always lugging around a backpack of books, always had them sitting at my feet, or under my arm.--When backseat space is so limited and coveted, it kind of sucked.

But the problem didn't go away when I went to college and had to pick what I wanted to bring with me.  Or when I worked at a camp over the summer and had to decide how I wanted to stock my shelves for three months in a remote area near Yosemite.  Not to mention, you can't exactly ask them to stop the airplane, because you packed a book in your checked luggage (not that people check luggage anymore).

And then I found myself moving, once again.  This time with only three overflowing bookshelves.  By this time, the Nook had come out and it was the favorite on my ereader wishlist.  I loved the way it was supposed to read like paper (it does).  It promoted a COLOR touch-screen on the bottom, which sounded fancy.  It was from Barnes&Noble, which is my go to bookstore.  And it could hold approximately 1,500 books.

That's pretty much what sold me--It had the largest storage space that I could find, with the ability to add a memory card for even more space.  So, ereader, I bought the Nook....



ylime1981 said...

You just about have me convinced. You sound like a kindred spirit and if you have been able to make the transition to an e-reader, then perhaps I can, too. I have been so reluctant to let go of my books, though. The price drop has me thinking that I can still occasionally buy an actual book, though.

Thanks for all your solid advice!

nymfaux said...

Thanks ylime!--Let me know if you have any questions!--I'm actually reading a "real" book right now--And I kind of look at them as different experiences--I like to see movies in the theater and at home--So, while I've switched over for the most part, I still definitely have some keepers--ones that aren't in digital form yet, ones that are autographed (no substitute for that), and some that I've had for so long they hold memories just by themselves.