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The Day I Missed Books (the real kind)

I was an instant fan of e-readers and e-books when they hit the market. Okay, it was probably a little after they hit the market since I'm almost always behind the technology curve. Example:

Just proof my high school math teachers were justified in their less than sparkly grades for me

Nevertheless, when I opened the box for my e-reader it was Christmas-morning-birthday-week-one-dollar-margaritas-happy-hour all rolled into one. I love to read. I go through spells of devouring entire books in a day for weeks on end. I didn't hold anything against the traditional hardcover or paperback. It was simply a matter of, well, simplicity. Living overseas means waiting for books to ship which can take anywhere from a week to a month depending on where I order from and if the mail planes are feeling generous. (hint: at Christmas they never feel generous). So one can see why my impatient voracious-reading self felt that e-readers were the best thing since chocolate covered coffee beans.

Fast forward four years later. I'm sitting in the doctor's office, trusty e-reader in hand. Ahh. It's so wonderfully perfect to be able to rescue that little plastic piece of technology from the murky depths of the blackhole also known as my purse. No more thumbing through crusty old magazines I wasn't interested in two years ago (when they were actually published). I flip the little switch and my e-reader comes to life. Now the hard decision. Which book do I want to read . . .

Because there were . . .plenty.

And by plenty, I mean over a dozen books I hadn't started. Half I don't remember downloading. Some I'm not even sure what made me download them to begin with. That evil 'recommended for you' section gets me every time. And sure, I could download a sample first, but it's just SO EASY. (until you get your credit card statement and then you spend half the morning convincing your significant other that at least it was books and not shoes and that counts for something, right? RIGHT?!) By the time I was able to recall what most of the books were about and pick one to start, I was being called back and had to put the e-reader away.

That afternoon I headed to the one store where I could purchase books in English. The selection is usually small and it's always a hit or miss (sadly the library isn't tons better). But I lovingly piled a stack into my arms and sat in the corner, feeling the covers, smelling the pages. All in all, I looked like a loon and more than one mom quickly ushered her kids away from the 'crazy book lady in the corner'.

I hadn't realized just how much I missed real books. A quick google for e-book statics will turn up plenty of evidence that e-books are a very dominant and growing force in the publishing world but. . .

Do any of you guys miss them, too? Has the convenience of e-books changed your purchasing habits? Is Amanda really a crazy book lady in the corner? (do not answer that last one)

Amanda Hannah

Amanda grew up on a big farm in a small town with one stoplight, one school, and a handful of imaginary friends.She would’ve gone to college forever, but eight years and five majors tested her advisor’s patience. So she moved to Germany to explore creepy castles before landing in Spain where she’s perfecting her Flamenco.

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  1. I feel the same way too. I love my kindle because it's so convenient - every time I move, I don't have to worry about lugging hundreds of books with me, and I can get any book I need for school immediately without having to worry about when I can make time to go to a bookstore... But then, I recently started working IN a bookstore. And seeing the physical versions of the books I'd bought on my kindle made me realize I do miss books a lot... especially when the kindle messes with formatting and images.

  2. I had a kindle for a very short time. It was a graduation gift. So I used it, but I just couldn't get into it. I tried reading a new book, and it was painful to get through. Okay, maybe it was the book. So I read a book I'd already read and loved. That too was painful to get through.

    E-readers just aren't for me. The completely different format is hard for me to read. I can't get used to the lack of pages, or the book covers, or the fact that I can flip ahead if I get impatient.

    So I gave it a shot, but in the end, I gave my kindle to my sister.

    1. I completely agree, Becca. I think if ever received a Kindle, I'd just chuck it.

  3. I have so many books I've downloaded and haven't gotten to yet. The real ones on my bookshelf tend to call to me first.

    I have to buy one book today that I originally downloaded. I decided to do something an editor recommended at a SCBWI conference a few years ago: read your favorite book three times consecutively. After reading a blog post this morning, I decided to give it a try, but there's no way I'm doing this with an ebook. So I have to go to Walmart today to buy the real deal (in hardback). At least the author will also benefit. :D

  4. I still haven't jumped onto the e-reader bandwagon. I downloaded a couple of free books onto my iPad but I much prefer to have the actual book in my hands.

  5. I finally caved in a few months ago and bought a Kindle. I moved to a really tiny apartment and it quickly became clear that my voracious book-buying habit could not be sustained any more (I barely have somewhere to store my cups and plates, let alone my books!). I have to admit, I am pretty impressed with it. I like the convenience and the fact that it can store so many files...but I still miss real books. There's just something so impersonal about ebooks. Once I get an opportunity to move somewhere with ample storage space I will probably go back to the real things and save the e-reader for when I'm travelling.

  6. Well, I got my Nokia tablet as a Christmas gift nine months ago. I was a serious holdout. How can an electronic device be the same? But, I have to live on a tight budget with very limited space. With my disabilities and lack of transportation, library trips are infrequent at best. Add to that that my husband and toddler are very light sensitive and we are in one room, so night reading is impossible. I now have literally hundreds of books at my fingertips, many of which were freebies...thank you read an shook week on smashwords. I can borrow library books from home. I can access my library anywhere. I love my nook. I have a drawer full of real books, but I tend toward the reader first, but I get nostalgic looking at my signed copies....ebooks cannot replicate that.

  7. Physical books are nice, but what you said about bookstores and libraries holds true in the United States. It may seem like being all English, the selection should be bigger. But, the bookstores have slim pickings as far as good books, and the libraries aren't much better. Online stores are much, much better at letting you find what you want to read.

    A little too good, as you mentioned. With more pickings comes a much larger To Be Read Pile. :D

  8. I would be nowhere without my books. My family just moved recently and LITERALLY about half of the boxes we moved were full of delicious books. And I'm proud to say that I've read all my books. I may not have finished all of them, but I know them well enough that I could tell you all about them.

    It is my goal to have a personal library someday. A HUGE one with long ladders and a Dewey Decimal System. Think Beauty and the Beast. Because I'm sure, someday, physical books are going to become obsolete. And then where would I be?

    Perhaps that's one of the reasons why I insist I want to try publishing traditionally first. I want to be able to hold my precious book in my hands.

  9. I miss looking at the hot covers. I write YA, but I read adult romance for pleasure. When I was reading a book, I would sometimes look back at the cover just to give myself a little reminder of what the hero looked like. I also miss just going to the bookstore and browsing, picking out a book BASED on the cover and then turning it over to read the blurb and hoping it would live up to the cover. So, yes, in that respect,I do miss paperbacks. But the advantages FAR outweigh the need to drool over covers.

  10. I haven't converted to an ereader yet. I love the physical book too much and like them even better displayed on my bookshelves. I do plan on getting a samsung notebook for christmas, so I can read amazon, ibook, b&N or from any company and not feel like I have to commit to just one company. Mostly I want an ereader for vacations, when I want a book "now" or want to read my romance novels with slutty man covers without getting the looks.

  11. I have an e-reader but I still tend to read physical books more often. I think it's book smell, combined with the physical ability to see how much I have left!

  12. This is one of the reasons I still refuse to buy any kind of e-book reader. I don't ever want to take books for granted. In our "microwave age," I like having something that I have to wait for; when I do get that book, it's always worth the wait.
    Every now and then I'll download a book on my dad's kindle, and it does have its advantages. But it's not for me. I'll be sticking to physical books for the foreseeable future.


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Item Reviewed: The Day I Missed Books (the real kind) Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amanda Hannah