Why I Hate eReaders


Hate is a little misleading. I hate them in that I hate them for myself. I hate when people know I love books and assume I would love an eReader. But that’s exactly it, I love books.  
For me, a part of the whole experience is holding that book in my hands, smelling the scent of paper and ink that only novels have. (textbooks have an entirely different smell. More chemically, less pleasant.)
I can also list the many other advantages books have over eReaders: they never run out of batteries, if they break they’re still readable, and the ink is easy on the eyes.
Part of what I love about books is the whole experience that you just don’t get with an eReader. Starting with going to the bookstore and being surrounded by the many books, being able to see each one. Walking down the aisle looking at the different spines until one catches your eye. Where you can pick it up and feel the heft of it, feel all of the work the author put into it. It’s just not the same when you’re scrolling through a list of covers and names. Maybe you’ll go in for one book but spot a few others and pick them up too.
You don’t get the experience of cracking open that new book, putting the first dent in the spine. Sure, you could put a dent in your eReader but that would more likely just piss you off. The eReader never changes, it doesn’t get that well read look a book would, It could be anyone’s eReader, unless you decorate it with stickers or something.
I’ve fallen asleep with books in my hands and in my bed and never thought of it. Fall asleep with an eReader though, that might be a costly night of sleep.
For as long as I can remember, one thing I’ve always wanted when I become “adult” and own my own home is to have one room in my house to be a library. The idea of being surrounded by walls of books and knowing I’ve read every one of them, I get tingles. The same library with an eReader would be a tablet sitting on a table. A space saver certainly, but one I’m more than willing to give up.
The only thing I need to enjoy a good book is a warm blanket or sunbeam and a cup of tea; I don’t need or want to spend hundreds of dollars on a gadget that takes away most of the experience.
With all that said, I do agree with the idea of eReaders in part. Anything that helps get more people to read is at least partly okay in my book. And thinking about all the advantages they have for schoolwork is astounding. No more heavy textbooks students need to lug around, prices could be dropped, don’t need a whole new edition, updates can be done through wifi. It eliminates a huge amount of waste from the old editions of textbooks that get trashed every year. No need to clean out all the graffiti written by bored students (which, from experience, is a pain in the ass).
Using an eReader or not is really about personal preference, at least for now. I’d imagine, as sad as it is, that one day in the future there won’t be any more paper books, except perhaps in museums or as novelties. That is the way our society seems to be moving. I’ve always been an advocate of accepting change because it’s going to happen whether you want it or not, but this is one change I hope people everywhere fight against.
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