On the destruction of stores to save the world….

 If there is one way that my inner-traditionalist fights most with my inner-environmentalist, it’s in the books department. I love books. LOVE LOVE LOVE them. I love having them and reading them and finding out about new ones. The only thing I don’t do with books that I wish I did more is mark them up. My friend, Jill, does a remarkable job of marking up and generally loving her books to death. It’s quite fun to read a book after she’s read it simply because of her markings (and don’t even get me started on how enjoyable it is to flip through one of her Bibles).  The one phrase I hate more than any other phrase is, “I just don’t read.” What?! Who doesn’t read? You mean to tell me that you have no interest in learning something new or understanding the rest of the world or simply immersing yourself in another reality for just a few hours? I mean, who doesn’t enjoy escapism from time to time? I digress…

So this whole e-reader trend really threw me for a bit of a loop. See, I’m a closet-technophile and also somewhat concerned with environmentalism. So it seems logical that I’d be one of the first to jump on the e-reader bandwagon, but nope. I pretty well ignored the gadgets for a long, long time. I stare at a computer screen for 9 hours a day, so why would I want to go home and stare at another one, just to do something I enjoy…read? On top of that, you don’t get the feelings and smells with a computer the way you do with a real, live book. You don’t have to wander through stacks and stacks at a bookstore when you have access to iBooks or the Kindle/Nook store.

But here’s the thing: I’m a pretty avid recycler. I bring my own bags to the grocery store. I bike or walk wherever I can, whenever I can (mostly because it’s fun, but saving on gas is a good bonus). I deplore wastefulness. You’d think I’d be all over this e-reader thing, but nope. I really just love paper books. It actually took Todd buying me a iPad for my birthday (I’ll have you know, I asked for a yoga mat) for me to really start embracing digital reading. It is nice, honestly, to be able to cart about 500 books and all my New Yorkers and Vanity Fairs wherever I go. It saves SO much space in my carry-on luggage when I travel (which means I’ll never be bored on a long flight or car ride again) and for that, I am definitely on board with e-readers. Plus, the iPad allows for a great deal more mobility and organization, two things that are remarkably important to me.

So while I think it’s a travesty that book stores in buildings are beginning their slow deaths, I think (hope?) this whole e-reader thing will really take off. Books will be cheaper, kids and adults alike will stop being so bored while traveling. They’re lightweight and huge, as respects storage, so college kids someday will stop having to buy $200 8-lb textbooks (so the medical advantages for e-readers are probably going to become more and more evident). And they do their small part is helping the environment. It seems, if you ask me, the benefits of e-readers far outweigh the disadvantages, but I’m open to discussion on that…

What do you think?

4 thoughts on “On the destruction of stores to save the world….

  1. I totally agree…easiest way to read in the dark. I just love making notes in my books (when I remember) and that sort of thing. There's something very fulfilling about marking up a book…

  2. I'm pretty much converted. I only want to buy paper books if I'm getting the author to sign them, or if they look really cool on a shelf. Otherwise, if all I'm going to do is read them, might as well read them on the iPad.

    Seriously, easiest way to read in the dark EVER.

  3. I think the iPad is much better suited for a textbook scenario, just because of its capabilities as far as being able to use a stylus, make notes, etc.

    There is something really really wonderful about owning a book, but for me, too, it's rare that I wander into a bookstore. I'm more likely, if I want a paper book, to look it up on Amazon and have it shipped to me. I did that just the other week and Todd was stunned that I'd done that rather than just get it on iBooks. HA!

  4. I'm debating kindle textbooks.

    Saw something about it the other day.

    I was against e-readers for the longest time, but largely because I couldn't import all the books I already owned and some I still love to go back and read.

    It takes something away from actually owning the book.

    I got my kindle for Christmas, and haven't looked back. I'm five to ten times more likely to look up and buy a book on the kindle store than I am to stop by the (disappearing, and barely evident in this area) book store.

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