If you love to read, you know very well the excitement you feel when you purchase a new book. Thereís something about holding it in your hands, smelling the crisp pages, and feeling each page as you turn it thatís almost as important as the content of the book. When you read, itís not just the words that captivate you, itís the entire experience.
However, it seems that now-a-days, everyone is insisting that books are going the way of the dinosaur, and e-readers have risen to the top. With Barnes and Nobleís Nook and Amazonís Kindle for sale at relatively low prices, more and more people are making the switch every day. Not that there arenít some advantages for using e-readers. Thousands and thousands of books are available for your download from pay sites, library sites, and free sites; and you never have to leave home. With a click of a mouse you can have that newly released novel youíve been wanting instantly. Itíll be on your reading device in a couple of seconds. You donít have to go to the bookstore, or the library, or wait 5 days to get it in the mail. Iíll admit, that sounds pretty appealing.
My parents and my sister all got Kindleís recently, and while on vacation, there was this sci-fi book they downloaded. I read it, partly because I didnít have anything else to read, and partly because it looked interesting. It was a great book, it really was. I enjoyed it immensely, and at the end I wished it had continued on forever. It was the very first time I had ever read a book in its electronic form, and honestly, I didnít think much about it.
Weeks later, I was at the library. There was a book on the end cap and I picked it up because it looked like something I might enjoy reading. After skimming the paragraph on the back cover, I realized it was the same book I had read on the Kindle only a month ago! I quickly flipped through the book, looking at the font, the size, the layout of the page, and after a few moments, I realized to my dismay that I didnít even recognize the book. It was foreign to me. How could a book that I had read so recently and loved so much be unknown in my mind?
Thatís when I realized it was because I had missed out on the full experience of the book. All the comfort and emotion you find by having a physical copy of a book cannot be translated through a cold, hard computer. Every book on the Kindle is the same. Itís a page of text within a piece of machinery. Books have personalities that are portrayed through the formatting and the fonts, and each book is very unique. When you read a book, you not only get to know the characters and the story, but you get to know the book itself. Itís not so when you read things on a Kindle.
What if by the time my kids are ready to start reading and loving the wonderful things books can bring them, hard copies have become obsolete and e-readers are the only way new books are available? What if my grandkids never get to enjoy the smell of brand new printed pages and the comfort of turning a page and seeing that the story continues and the world youíve grown to love lives on? How could I expect them to discover the same love for reading I have by looking on computers instead of paper?
Some things are sacred.
And in a world where everything is becoming computers and technology, some things should be left alone.