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BTT: E-Book Schmee Book

June 16, 2011

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With the advent (and growing popularity) of eBooks, I’m seeing more and more articles about how much “better” they can be, because they have the option to be interactive … videos, music, glossaries … all sorts of little extra goodies to help “enhance” your reading experience, rather like listening to the Director’s commentary on a DVD of your favorite movie.

How do you feel about that possibility? Does it excite you in a cutting-edge kind of way? Or does it chill you to the bone because that’s not what reading is ABOUT?

Ok, the bit about “that’s not what reading is about” made me giggle a little bit. I don’t think reading is “about” anything for a general whole. I think it’s all personal and for me, reading is holding a book in my hands and reading a story. I rarely read author commentary, Q&A or aknowledgements at the back of the book. I think, for me, reading is “about” the plain old story.

Now, with the advent, as you say, of blogging, I have the opportunity to read interviews and guest posts I wouldn’t otherwise but that feels, somehow, more personal than something similar tacked to the back of every single book. I think, still, though, books,, plain old books, are, for me, just that: books. I had a Nook but rarely used it. I read Net Galley stories but I do it only when I can’t whip out a book. I need my books. I don’t need them to talk to me or sing and dance to me or make out with me. I just like to hold them in my hands and read their pages.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2011 7:28 am

    Your first para. is so true! I only read author commentary, acknowledgments and Q&A when I’m bored. And I don’t read study guides that are available. They really aren’t relevant at all since I’m reading the book as an individual and not in a group. I’ve always wondered why study guides are included.

  2. June 16, 2011 7:50 am

    Great answer! 🙂

  3. June 16, 2011 8:54 am

    I completely agree with the personal part of this. I tried to be sure that I noted that when I answered this question as well.

    My Answer

  4. June 16, 2011 9:19 am

    I hear you. All I need, really, is a good, clear, representation of the text. And you know, I just remembered, another point. The last “paper books” I was buyng were the large print versions. My eyes have gotten terrible. I could not always find the book I wanted in the large print. But, on my Kindle, I can make the print quite large, if I need to. And the selection of books is quite large. I appreciate your comment over on my site. Thank you, and happy reading 🙂

  5. June 16, 2011 9:27 am

    Ha ha ha, although I agree that I don’t need my books to make out with me either, I wouldn’t turn down the technology that would allow me to kiss Mr Darcy.

    Also, I never read any of the things mentioned in the first paragraph, esp introductions or forewords, and particularly when it comes to the classics where they explain the plot and symbolism in the summary at the back of the book (Penguin has the nasty habit of doing this). I want to form my own opinion about the book.


  6. June 16, 2011 9:52 am

    Absolutely agree! And I love the part where you say “I don’t need them to talk to me or sing and dance to me or make out with me. I just like to hold them in my hands and read their pages.” Yes!

    My answer:

  7. June 16, 2011 10:42 am

    I still prefer books too, but I also had to be dragged kicking and screaming onto the internet. I always resist change! :–)

  8. June 16, 2011 10:56 am

    I still have absolutely on interest at all in ereaders.

  9. June 16, 2011 12:29 pm

    I also don’t need my books to be interactive, and actually think that the more bells and whistles that one of these special books have, the more it turns me off. I also don’t need my books to do a whole lot other than tell me a story.

  10. June 19, 2011 8:34 pm

    E-books are ok, I guess. But, like you said, only if I don’t have another option. For now, physical books are going to remain my first choice.

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