As a book lover, I’m always completely puzzled when I read criticisms of e-books, such as this. I would think anyone who is passionate about words, stories, and the potentially life-changing perspectives books afford us shouldn’t be anything but enthusiastic about books in any format. E-books make leisure reading more accessible and extra appealing for many people. That’s certainly true for me. How so? Mostly, it’s because:
1. E-books are convenient. I always have my phone with me—and I use it to do almost all of my reading. Just like I want the music I love to be with me at all times, I want my books to be available whether I’m on the bus, at a café, or snuggled in bed before drifting off to sleep. My books and music are a part of me in a fundamental way. Why would I want to leave them on a shelf?
2. E-books are searchable. While I was editing Lerner’s Steve Jobs biography, I was also reading the Walter Isaacson book on Jobs on my trusty phone. At work one day, I was reviewing the Jobs layout when a question came up about how to spell Jobs’s sister’s name. Was it Patty with an i or a y? I pulled my phone out of my purse, did a search on my Isaacson e-book, and knew in an instant—y it was.
3. E-books are instantly available. Say I’m reading a newspaper article (again, probably on my phone) and it mentions a book that sounds fascinating. All I have to do is visit the online catalog of my awesome neighborhood library, or click on a favorite e-book retailer, and presto! The borrowed or purchased book is in my phone.
4. E-books don’t require storage. This is a big one for me. I live in a lovely but tiny home. Open almost any drawer or closet at my place, and you’ll see books, books, books. Now, I love those books and there’s no way I can part with them (which is why they are everywhere). But I’m also a neat freak engaged in an Epic Battle against Clutter. I’m certainly not going to add to that clutter if I don’t have to. Enter the e-book.
I could go on about why else e-books work well for me, but this gives you a pretty thorough picture. So, readers: Are you as addicted to e-books as I am? Or is a book just not a book unless it’s printed? Let me know what you think.