It is happening again – I’m actually considering buying an e-reader. I regularly waffle back and forth between the ease and efficiency of accessing books in the public domain, and the joy and tangibility of my growing book collection. Right now, the Amazon Kindle is on sale, and I have to say – I’m actually tempted. It might be nice to be able to carry around a full collection of books without injuring myself and to check out books from the library without fear that I’ll accidentally shelve them in my own collection and forget about them.
Usually the sensory properties of physical books and my commitment to keep up the demand for them in bookstores and libraries (is there a better way to spend a lazy afternoon than sitting on the floor by the shelves?) win out whenever I consider getting an e-reader, but more and more I’ve been considering expanding my reading options. I’ve been reading public domain books on my phone (mostly Plato, although the Jowett translations are just not my favorite) and on my Kindle App, but the phone is too small for extended reading, and I feel I spend enough time on my computer as things already stand.
Additionally, I’ve just discovered BookBub, which aggregates great deals on books across several digital platforms (Amazon, Apple, B&N, etc.), and then organizes them for you according to your interests. It feels just a little like browsing the shelves at the library or bookstore, because instead of searching, you just click a category and view your recommendations. I’d be much more likely to pick up a random bit of fantasy or something fun – and that would be good for my writing, as well as my relaxation. Sometimes I need to remind myself that not every book has to be an investment, and this seems like a way to do that.
But rest assured, I’ll never stop buying and borrowing physical books.