I know I’m not normal. I know that. I am inordinately obsessed with the weather, I get giddy every time I see L’Oreal spokesman Collier Strong appear on a reality television show, and I watch this video every time I need a laugh.
And lately I’ve been doing something else that may be a tad out of the ordinary.
Booksellers, please cover your eyes…
I have gotten rather obsessed with reading on my iPad. I love reading e-books on my iPad. At night. On the train. At lunch. Upside down. In space. YOU DON’T KNOW.
I genuinely feel like reading on an iPad is a superior experience to reading on paper. There. I said it.
Reasons: No nightlights or bookmarks needed. I can instantly buy new books. I can highlight passages without breaking out a pen and look up words without grabbing a dictionary. I can set it down on the table while I’m eating lunch without the pages going crazy. It doesn’t take up much space. Yes, I can’t read as easily in the sun, but have you been to San Francisco? We do fog and rain, not sun.
I don’t know if I can go back to paper.
Okay, booksellers, you can open your eyes now.
I still buy print books because they are beautiful and permanent! I love bookstores and buy from them accordingly. I do.
But when I wanted to read Into the Wild… I paid for the e-book. A PAPER COPY IS SITTING ON MY SHELF. I bought the e-book anyway. I’m that attached to reading on my iPad.
Now, like I said, I’m not normal. As an author and former publishing employee I have no qualms about sending my hard-earned money back over to the publishing industry and to authors no matter what’s in my bank account. Jon Krakauer deserves every penny I’m sending his way and then some. I know this isn’t a situation for everyone.
But the movie industry reaped huge rewards when everyone replaced their movie collection with DVDs. The music industry had a boom when people switched over to CDs.
Could something similar happen to the book world? Could people grow attached enough to their devices that they might replace their book collections? Could planned obsolescence come to the publishing world?