When I’m alone at the cottage, I shop, cook, eat, clean, renovate, decorate, cycle, paddle, and read eBooks. I have finished 4 full-length novels already, and began a memoir about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti last night.
When I have TV and the internet readily available, I read much less. I mean to read more, and may finish a book a month, but I spend too much time in front of the TV. Here there is no TV. No internet. I thought of getting it installed. It is available. I even got quotes. The first week I was here, I was in serious withdrawal. I thought I needed it. What was I to do with the long, dark evenings. The days are not so bad. I’m busy. But the evenings just dragged on.
The beauty of this place is that there is no TV. No internet. There never has been. You are outside more. Working. Or, playing. You become more attuned to nature. The wildlife that abounds. The birds. The blue heron that lands on the dock every evening in search of food. The Canada Geese that parade by on the water with their young. The beaver that paddle buy. The bear that lurks in the bush out back. And, if you listen, there is a continuous philharmonic performance from sunrise to sunset. A performance drowned out by TV.
Once again, I digress. I’m here to talk about eBooks. Who would have thought, me of all people, would enjoy reading novels on my laptop. I like my books. I like holding them. Feeling them. Referring to them. Displaying them on my bookshelves with my other trophies. Why would I even consider an eBook?
Money. And space. Those are the reasons. Hardcover books are expensive. eBooks are a fraction of the cost. And, when I travel, particularly to the cottage for extended stays, hardcovers weigh a lot and take up a lot of space in my luggage. You ask, “Why don’t you get books when you are there?”. Well, I have tried that. There is a small local library 15 km down the road but it is small. Very small. With a very limited selection. And, there are no bookstores in this rural community. Can you imagine that? The grocery stores carry a selection of paperbacks, and sometimes I can find reading I enjoy. But not often.
This year, I adopted a different strategy. First, I enlisted the help of another gym regular. A young woman that is an english Professor at the local university. I asked here to recommend some summer reading, and she provided a thoughtful list of 7 diverse works that she herself has enjoyed, or teaches in her classes. And second, rather than purchase each of these books (they cost $25-35 each), I considered electronic versions. I had never done this before but it seemed a practical solution. I’d save money. I wouldn’t have to lug them on the plane. And, I could purchase them on-line, even at the cottage.
I didn’t think I would enjoy the reading experience. I was wrong. I actually prefer it. The type is larger. My eyesight is not the best. I can soften the background colour so it is more relaxing on the the eyes. I can tap with one finger to find the meaning of a word. I love that. And tap with two to highlight a section. It remembers the page I’m on. I don’t need a bookmark or fold a page corner down.
The only thing I can’t do is mount the books in my trophy case.
Still prefer books, maybe access to charity shops helps, or maybe being a librarian’s son?
I’ll never give up my hardcover and paperback trophies but the I can now appreciate the practicality of eBooks while travelling. They are easy to obtain, even out of print editions, and easy to carry.
I love my paper books, but have been know to read the ebooks.
I know what you mean. Reading is also a tactile experience. I like the feel of the paper more than the feel of my laptop aluminum.