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Will I Succumb to an eReader?

November 30, 2010

Probably. I’d like to think that I’m too old-school to give up what in my mind are leather-bound first editions, but in reality are paperback Chuck Klosterman books I got at the airport. But I have a tendency to romanticize my intellectual and artistic pursuits. For instance, I remember having all these Otis Redding, Wire, and Mott the Hoople EP’s on vinyl under my childhood bed, but when I looked under this past week when I was home for Thanksgiving, it was the single for Master P’s “Make ‘Em Say Uggghhh”, Bryan Adams’ “Waking Up the Neighbours”, and a Helmet album.

So clearly, I have established patterns of this behavior. I dream of one day owning an oak study lined with books, but I don’t see that as a valid reason for starting that collection now. I think a real romanticized intellectual reads to read, and interior decorators are the ones that care about having books out for display. It’s kind of ridiculous that I have all my music on my computer and iPod, all my DVD’s are in a book, yet I feel that my books are better and must be treated with more respect.

The bitch of it is, I don’t really believe that writing is a more noble pursuit than filmmaking or music composition. A bound book has a certain historical cache that an album or film doesn’t. However, since I can’t find a compelling argument for why this is, I should treat books the same. Reading on an eReader is no more difficult than reading off a page. I am in love (possibly lust) with the advancements made with digital music, so it stands to reason that I would be on board with the digitization of bigger, heavier books.

As a writer, I find some cause for concern about the issues pirating will have on the authors’ ability to make a living, but they won’t effect my adoption decision. Musicians can always perform live for cash. Authors can’t. Books are a niche market compared to film and music, so the critical mass required to create a viable piracy market will probably be a ways off, if it ever comes.

At least with an eReader, no one can tell when I’m reading Dan Brown on the plane.


The woman sitting next to me on the plane last week had a custom, quilted cover for her paperback. It made me madly curious about what Marquis de Sade piece edited by Salmon Rushdie she could possibly have hidden under there.

– Kate

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