Sometimes people like to try and convince me that I should get a Kindle. I see the merits of e-readers and why people like them; I feel like I should have one in order to reduce clutter, have more books on me at a given time, have easier access to self-published works, etc, etc..
But since my resolution for this year was to be sincere, I’m embracing certain truths about myself: I don’t like asparagus, I don’t understand free verse poetry, and I’m probably not going to get a Kindle, at least anytime soon.
Objection 1) “But you’ll save so much space! You’ll be free of all this clutter!”
Reply: I will buy another bookshelf. In the past, I have kept books in the trunk of my car. Also, books are not clutter. Books are beautiful.
Objection 2) “But you can take notes and highlight passages and search the text!”
Reply: I will build a visual, tactile map instead. If I adequately mark up a book, I can find any quote I need off the top of my head. If I don’t mark it and it’s not narrative in flow, it will honestly be like I never read it. I’ll remember nothing.
Objection 3) “But you can have a bunch of different books with you at the same time!”
Reply: I will carry a large bag. Lucky for me, I love leather briefcases like most women love designer clutches. For now I’m happy to fill my bags to the brim with my laptop and all the books I need.
Objection 4) “But it remembers where you left off!”
Reply: So do I, friends. And as is clear from item #2, I have no reservations about physically marking up my books, and none about dog-earing the pages either.
Objection 5) But what about all the self-published works and articles you’ll be missing?
Reply: I can read them on my laptop, which also doubles as a word processer should I desire to type up my notes. And I can download PDFs from academic journals using whatever search function I like.
So there you have it. I’ll probably cave at some point and then I’ll be eating my words, but for now, I’ll revel in my own stubborn desire for the smell and feel of well-worn books, lugging around heavy packs and getting ink all over my fingers. If I change my mind, I’ll let you know!