Reading on the Road

Virginia / Jan. 30, 2012 / by Amy
Reading on the Road

When I popped into a bookshop last week, I realised quite how much I've missed browing bookshelves. I'm extremely grateful for the advances in technology that mean that I can have an entire library on a Kindle or iPad. There's just no space for books on the bus and if I didn't have ebooks, I'd be very unhappy. It already makes me feel uneasy that I only have one book with me. So while I was uncertain about reading ebooks and I was definitely distressed at the prospect of not being able to bring any books with me, I'm extremely happy to be able to read books without needing the space.

However, trying to browse an online bookstore just isn't the same thing as walking into a bookshop and meandering through the shelves, breathing in the smell and admiring the colors. There is, for me, a huge visual aspect to choosing books, and unless I have a specific book or author in mind, I enjoy perusing the multi-colored spines and covers until something catches my eye.

This aspect of choosing a book simply is not as easy with an ebook. Granted, there are covers on the screen but all seem to blend into one with their identically sized icons and less than vivid colors. The selection itself is a lot smaller in ebook stores - there aren't as many books being published in digital form yet - but it's most definitely better than no books.

Don't get me wrong though. I am an avid fan of the book. I can't imagine my house not being covered floor to ceiling with books in every room. Reading a book in digital form is just not the same experience as a 'real' book. I love the feeling of a book in my hands, the smell, and being able to turn a page rather than tapping a screen or pushing a button. Nothing can come close to that.

Despite my initial skepticism though, I'm making excellent use of the ebooks I can access. If you're in a situation where you can't store row upon row of books, or even just a small pile, then ebooks are absolutely wonderful. I can access the great classics as well as bestsellers, and I don't have to worry about taking up everyone else's space with my books.

I've only been on the bus two weeks, and already I've grown my collection of ebooks considerably. I will definitely miss buying books but I'm very glad that living on a bus hasn't prevented me from being able to read. I just need to make sure I don't find myself buying the hard copies of the books I've bought in digital form once I'm back because, trust me, I'll be sad not to have those books on my shelves.


Photo Credit: Flickr: gadl