20 December 2010

From an e-Reader!

I confess, here and now, that I am--at my only slightly advanced age--a geek. I celebrate it. Nay, I embrace my inner geek with a passion! I love being a geek. It's amazing that I can still learn such things and can grasp the complexities of such things as hard drives and software and dll files. I can map a drive so sweetly that you'd never even know it had been lost. I worship at the feet of Apple and my wonderful iPhone. Ah, the joys of games and texting and photos and sending all this to my friends and family while posting them on YouTube or Facebook and not needed a computer to do it. I love it. I feel free. I feel modern.

And I love, love, love my Kindle. And I am not ashamed to admit that I love my Kindle. Tuck it in my purse, and I'm on the go. Takes up less room than my library or any book I could carry and yet I have approximately 116 on the device at last count. Goes where I go, takes two weeks to run down the battery, so I can go visit and still read like a fiend. At nights, you can find me curled up on the sofa with the cat, a cuppa, and my Kindle.

Now, please understand, I do still love my hard covers. I do. My favorite books are all on my shelves. I have the library and I have the Kindle. And I do read the hardcovers. But some, like my Diana Gabaldon books, are all autographed. C'mon, autographed first editions?

But while I embrace my geekdom and adore my Kindle with a passion, I can understand why many are still purists at heart. And there's a part of me that would greatly miss the interaction with my favorite authors if we didn't have the physical copies for a book signing. Let's face it, you can't get an autograph on an ebook. (Or can you? Hmm...that would be interesting.) But I like both. There's room in my life for both. I have books that are not my absolute favorites on the Kindle only. I have my absolutely favorite books in both formats--hard covers or paper backs on the shelves for reading at home and Kindle when I'm traveling or too lazy to go get the bloody thing. I love them both.

But the truth is, rather than insult those of us that are embracing new technology so passionately, why don't you just be happy for us? We're not demanding that you give up your physical copies. Or we shouldn't be. I don't think we are. And I think there's room for both, for many millenia to come. I don't think the hardcover or paperback will ever be tossed in exchange for that brand new reading device or a new uploaded file to said device. Nor should it be.

No one will ever force you to give up your physical books. No one will ever shove an ebook down your throat and make you like it. And no one will ever take my Kindle from me. There is no "either/or" situation here. As the late great John Denver once said, "There's no you or me; there's you and me." And I believe that statement works well here.

Peace, y'all.

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