I am a library kid. Around age 9, I discovered that our local library had the entire Baby Sitters Club series on its shelf. Ever since, I’ve been a loyal library goer. My motto when it comes to books is, Why buy when you can borrow?
With my reading speed, that’s good news for my wallet.
However, last night I realized something. I don’t go to the library anymore.
Instead, I’m borrowing all of my library books online.
Now, I’m all for brick and mortar bookstores and I’m a strong advocate of physical books. There’s something wonderful about holding a real book in your hands, etc., etc… But let’s face it, digital books are really convenient. More than that, downloading audiobooks onto my mp3 player is a snap with my online library account.
So what do you think, canaries?
Is this a new and more convenient way to read for a new generation?
Or is this yet another symptom of a dying era of real readers and ‘real’ books?
Interesting question. I have to say that I don’t use the library as much as I probably should, but I’ve become a creature of convenience and it’s just way too convenient to click on Amazon for a physical or e-book.
I used to be a purist about physical books — that ebooks were somehow lesser. But this year, my favorite books have been The Year of The Flood by Margaret Atwood (physical), The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman (ebook) and When The Killing’s Done by TC Boyle (audiobook).
Great books are great books in whatever form. Though I will say that I miss the chance to give books like When The Killing’s Done a place on a prominent shelf… 🙂
Ha! True. I once had a taxi driver strike up a conversation about my Discworld novels because they were prominently displayed on a shelf right by our front door… And, I have been impressed by what I have seen others reading on the bus. That is one bonus of ‘real’ books (or a downside, depending on what you’re reading!).
But, I do love the convenience of digital books (plus, it reduces the need to cut down trees… gotta be a good thing). I did love digital books better when I had my SE Xperia X1 phone (the screen, though tiny, was so crisp), but my newer phone (with a less decent screen) is still OK. I can’t justify a dedicated ebook reader, yet.
With a baby, reading is a luxury I get intermittently, and having books at-hand in a digital format is super convenient. I am a fan. I haven’t had a go at using an online library, yet But, I can see it being a way of the future.
I adore physical books so much, and also am grateful for how much money libraries save me (thank God for ’em, I’d probably be living in a cardboard box lined with books if it weren’t for their existence). However, I have taken to checking out ebooks every now and then, mainly when the wait list is super long on a physical copy of a book, but somehow much shorter for the e-copy. It’s not my favorite way to go about reading, because I enjoy the tactile experience of holding a book and turning pages, but I can’t deny that it’s convenient. I’d probably be more of a fan if I had an ebook reader (though I can’t quite justify the purchase of one yet) instead of just my computer, which inevitably hurts my eyes if I read too long on it.
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