How I stopped being a hipster & finally gave e-books a chance: Part I

e-books

Lately, it seems like everyone has been writing about what books they read in 2012, what they want to read for 2013, and all sorts of other wonderfully bookish topics. I love it!

I’ve been a bookworm since I learned to read, and haven’t stopped since. When I was younger, maybe around 3rd or 4th grade, we used to make trips to the library almost every Saturday. Those trips weren’t nearly frequent enough for me, and I would spend hours making lists of all the books I wanted to check out. I would also pour over the huge city street map we had, planning the best route from our house to the library – on my bike, of course. Although I never had the chance to ride my bike to the library when I was younger (my parents thought a five mile bike ride, which included crossing a highway and two other very busy intersections, wasn’t the best idea for a girl of ten – how terribly unreasonable! ;) ), my love for the library, and all things involving books, was kindled.

Over the years, my life changed drastically, full of ups and downs, but there were always books to come back to. Books to read secretly under my desk during class when I thought I already knew everything the teacher was going to teach. Books to hide under my pillow, pretending to be asleep when my parents checked in on me at 9, only to pull out my book light and stay up for hours reading as soon as they had shut my door. It wasn’t just the stories, although that certainly is the main reason for my book love, but the books themselves were something I held dear. There’s just something so perfectly beautiful about opening a book, maybe well worn with age, maybe so new the pages still stick together. To this day, I am unable to pass by a garage sale without stopping to at least look at the books they might have.

You can imagine my dismay and hostility with the advent of the e-books. There was no way an e-reader, or a Kindle, or a Nook, or what have you, would ever sway my love for a real paper and ink book. No sirree  No e-books for me! I’d rather have a beautifully bound book. Preferably something old, (a first edition? my heart flutters at the thought!) with lots of character, and signs of wear from being read and re-read. I may have been a bit of a hipster about it, actually. I liked books before they were electronic. 

But as I started college, I started reading less and less. Ok, I stopped reading altogether , besides required books. Now, many of those required readings were quite good, but it just isn’t the same. Over breaks I would cram in as many books as I could, but this really didn’t make up for the time lost during the other eight months of the year. During the months when school was in session, I had plenty of other things to do with my time, but in the back of my mind there was always that nagging feeling as I lay in bed at night; I could be reading right now. So perhaps I wasn’t your average college freshman, but I don’t suppose the majority of freshmen have a nine month old son, either. I had less time for trips to the library, and when we did go, I tended to stock up on things of the Seuss-ish variety.

I had plenty of other things in my life to keep me busy, but whenever I saw someone reading a book, or even just walked through the school library (which was nearly everyday – studious student I am), my heart did a little sigh. Going to the library, picking out a book, remembering to bring that book with you so it can be read during a spare moment – all these things take time and effort. Something I just didn’t have much of to spare, as a college student and new mom. Then late last year (only a few months ago, but hey – it counts!), I stumbled across this article by Mandi of Life Your Way. I was struck in the face with a good dose of hipster-curing reality. What I had been so opposed to as some degradation of the very being of a book (a little dramatic, I know) was the very thing that could finally bring books back into my life. This was also aided by Sean purchasing a Nook with a B&N gift card he’d received for his birthday. This was one of the most uncharacteristic gifts, and subsequent purchase, ever; Sean doesn’t read much. Ok, at all. I don’t think he even finished the Hunger Games when our whole family read it last winter. The Hunger Games, people!  But suddenly he had this Nook and was going to town on all sorts of political books and other informative non-fiction tomes. His literary choices are a bit different from mine, but no matter; I was intrigued. I had to give it a try. The Nook was light, and so tiny! It fit in my purse! The screen looked like I was reading a real book! The lack of pages was a bit unsatisfying, but still! I swallowed my book-hipster pride, and realized I was hooked on e-books. Now the only problem was getting it out of Sean’s hands!

Since I couldn’t justify buying another Nook, and Sean didn’t want to part with his, I began to search for alternatives. Again, I was struck by how obvious the solution to my book-withdrawal was: my phone! I had it with me almost all the time, and there were hundreds of book apps. Now the problem was finding the book apps that were actually worth my time. I’m a bit stingy when it comes to apps; I hate paying for them unless I know they’re going to be fantastic, usually because I’ve tried a free version, or someone has recommended them. Since I’ve started using my phone to read books, I’ve knocked quite a few off my to-read list, all because they are suddenly so much more accessible!

Stayed tuned for Part II, in which I’ll share the apps that finally made me give e-books a chance!

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For some more great book posts, check these out:

My 2012 and 2013 Reading Lists {And the New Weekly Reads Book Club!} by Mandi of Life Your Way

Books Read in ’12 + Book List for ’13 by Sarah of Two Os + More

Bedside Books for 2013 & Books Worth Reading Again… and Again by Molly of Molly Makes Do

Books I Read in 2012 & Reading Goals for 2013 by Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas

5 Dystopian Novels to Try5 {More} Dystopian Novels to Try, & My 2013 To-Read List by Katie of GoodLifeEats (Dystopian novels are my very favorite, so I promptly added these to my To-Read list, which is growing longer by the day!)

My Reading List: Keepers and Stinkers of 2012 by Shell of Things I Can’t Say

Comments

  1. I swore I wouldn’t want an e-reader. Until I had one. And learned the ease of hitting that buy button and instantly having a book to read!
    Shell recently posted..The Official LEGO® ChannelMy Profile

    • I know the ‘buy’ button all too well! I finally had to figure out how to download them from the library to support my habit!

  2. I was the same way when e-readers started coming out and getting popular! I too stopped reading as much for enjoyment when college hit and I’ve tried for a few years to get back into my reading habits but it just hasn’t been happening. I bought a Kindle a couple months ago and it has been great so far! I love having so many books at my fingertips wherever I am. One of the huge benefits for me is that I can lay in bed to read and hold it up with one hand without getting tired or worrying about dropping it and losing my place.
    Carolyn recently posted..Reading Goals for 2013My Profile

    • Agreed – I’m a night reader too, and it’s nice to find a comfy position without having to factor in keeping a paperback in a readable position :) It’s nice to know I wasn’t the only one who stopped reading during college!

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