Finished reading a book while on vacation? No problem, just open another. Or download a new one—as if I’ll ever get through my massive to-be-read pile. Instant gratification. No waiting. No worries about losing my place when my sticky flag loses its grip, or holding down pages with my fingers while on the cross-trainer, and the rest of the world doesn’t have to know what I’m reading while I sit at the doctor’s office.
I can even read through my own WIP without lugging around my laptop!
And I can’t ignore the environmental impact of an e-reader. Once manufactured, an iPad has a very small carbon footprint, using less than 12 kilowatt-hours per year. Plus, no trucks, planes, or boats are needed to ship my books, and no massive distribution center is required to box them up.
Yet every once in a while, I crave the paper.
It’s not just the smell of the pages.
It’s not just the feel of the paper under my fingers, or the sound it makes when I turn the page.
It’s not even the heft of the book in my hands.
After working most of the day in front of a screen—sometimes more than one—I need a break. The iPad can’t give me that. Even the Nook with its e-ink, paper-like look can’t give me that. Sure, once I’m engrossed in the story, I’ll probably forget, but there are times when I can’t face another screen.
Those are the times when I want a good old analog, paper-in-my-hands book. It’s my low-tech treat.
Luckily, I still have quite a stash.
Photo credit: OLD BOOK © Peter Dolinsky | Dreamstime.com