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The Magic of Ereaders

26 Sep

I read a lot. Compared to some people, I’m sure I read A LOT a lot. I was raised by a librarian mom (who reads even more than me) that got me into reading very early, and I never stopped. Because I love getting completely immersed in a story, my favorite books to read are long, or at the very least, part of a series. That way the story can keep going and going, and I can avoid ever leaving Book World.

The only issue is that my endless maladies get in the way of enjoying a good, long book. I can’t carry around more than a pamphlet without getting achy and tired, and even if I could carry around a big book, I couldn’t hold it long enough to read it. Fibromyalgia and arthritis make it basically impossible for me to sit down and hold a large book in my hands for more than a few minutes. Not really long enough to get sucked into a good story, is it? My absolute saving grace, the thing that has allowed me to continue my bookworm ways without turning me into a wailing ball of pain, is the Kindle App.

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I don’t have a Kindle. I have an iPad, and on that iPad is the Kindle App. From what I understand, from speaking with people who own an iPad, a Kindle, and both, is that I’m happy I have my iPad and not, say, a Kindle Fire. But whatever floats your boat. This isn’t an argument in favor of the iPad, more like a love letter to ereaders in general.

For those of you who talk shit about ereaders and whine that someday libraries won’t exist and that paper books smell better or whatever: SHUT UP. Your arguments are invalid. As the child of a woman who ran a library for 25 years, and as an employee of one of the largest academic libraries in the country for six years, I can tell you that ebooks are the future, they’re here to stay, they’re only making people read MORE, not less, and physical, bound books aren’t going anywhere. The point of books is that they are READ. Books don’t exist to sit on a shelf, or allow you to get all misty eyed over a picture of an old musty library you found on Pinterest. Books are for reading. Period. The end. If times change and people start reading books on free-floating, translucent screens? GOOD. Because people are READING, and that’s the point. What you should be worried about are the lack of readers, not the methods of readership. (Speaking of readership methods, my favorite way to read an ebook is in the dark with the colors inverted, so it’s white text on a black background. You can only do this with an iPad or a Kindle Paperwhite, but believe me, it sets a good mood for reading.)

I could never hold one of these books without my hands cramping up into arthritic claws. But thanks to the Kindle App, I can read them ALL DAY LONG. (Since I don't own the paper books, I had to get this picture from reelscotland.com, so thanks to them)

I could never hold one of these books without my hands cramping up into arthritic claws. But thanks to the Kindle App, I can read them ALL DAY LONG. (Since I don’t own the paper books, I had to get this picture from reelscotland.com, so thanks to them)

And if you still don’t get it after that rant, think about this: I am one of the many people who are physically incapable of reading the books I want to read without the help of an ereader. Could I have read even one of the Outlander books without my iPad? HELLS NO. Those books are like 800 pages long. I don’t know if I could lift one of those off the shelf, let alone hold it open to read all 800 pages. But I can hold my 1.5lb iPad with no troubles. And I can carry it anywhere. And if I finish my book? BAM. There’s another one loaded up and ready to go. And if I don’t have a book waiting for me? Tappity tap tap and BAM THE REMIX, I’ve been booked yet again! How could having near constant access to millions of books at the tap of a finger possibly be a bad thing? Get ready. I’m about to go there. You ready? Preaching against ereaders is straight up censorship. Yeah. I said it. And I believe it too.

Most libraries lend ebooks through My Media Mall, which looks something like this, and once you get the hang of it, is very easy to use. Plus it's open 24/7, 365 days a year.

Most libraries lend ebooks through My Media Mall, which looks something like this, and once you get the hang of it, is very easy to use. Plus it’s open 24/7, 365 days a year.

Particularly for those of us that need an escape, and find a respite from regular life in books, ereaders are a godsend. I don’t know how many times I’ve been saved from anxiety, pain, and just plain boredom by getting sucked into a good book. And now that more and more libraries are getting ebook collections, I can save money and support my libraries by getting my ebooks through them. I currently have four library cards, thanks to moving twice in a year and being strategically located in a city with its own library (Beverly Hills), within a county with its own library system (LA County). If I weren’t so in love with ebooks, it would also be a plus that I live very close to both the Beverly Hills Public Library and the West Hollywood Public Library. I won’t lie to you – one of the main reasons I chose my living location was its proximity to not just one, but two libraries. I’m not trying to brag about being bookish and nerdy – I’m trying to brag about having my priorities straight.

The Kindle App is free, libraries are free, and books, in all forms, are wonderful. 

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