Monday, April 03, 2017

In Praise of Ebooks

Image by Kelson
I am so glad to be living here in the future. There are so many things I wished for -- or would have wished for if I'd have had sufficient imagination -- that now are an ordinary part of my life. The one I want to sing the praises of today is eBooks. I love, love, love eBooks.

I have always been a book-a-holic since my earliest days, and before I could read I insisted that my mom read to me (which, fortuitously, she was quite willing to do). And not just fairy tales; I made her read from the Encyclopedia Americana and a companion series for kids called "Wonder Books," which were filled with questions and answers: What happened to the dinosaurs? What were the labors of Hercules? What's it like on the Moon?

Books, I perceived fairly early on, were a door to other worlds, to meeting other people ancient, modern, and imaginary. As Mrs. Pleonic can attest, anyplace we live gets filled up with books. Right now though, all those books are in a storage facility waiting to be liberated. The way our stuff is wedged in there it's no simple chore to go down and pull out a book to read. In fact, it's so hard that I never try it.

But there are eBooks. When they first became popular I wanted nothing to do with them because I'm a Luddite. An actual book filled with actual paper and actual ink was the only true, honest way to read. "An elegant way to read, from a more civilized age," you know.

EBooks won me over, though. They became easier on the eyes. They learned to imitate turning the page and flipping back. Many of them -- the one's I most want to read, at least -- are free. They're sort of like cats: adapting to us so we'll feed them.

And most of all I can take my entire library with me on a SD card. Right now I'm walking around with (at last count) 4000+ books on my tablet!  And counting.

I understand that, according to some statisticians, eBook sales are leveling off and real books are staging a come back. And I still pick one up now and then, even though we have absolutely no room for them.

But -- 4000+ books!!!

There's just something about sitting in the doctors office reading Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum one minute, then being able to turn to Uncle John's Trumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader the next.

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