Why I Won’t Buy an E-reader

I have nothing against e-readers. Nothing at all. They can be very lovely. However, I will not buy one for myself. My reasoning is a bit complex and multi-faceted.

1) I have an iPhone, and can download most e-readers as apps. In fact, I have a Nook from Barnes and Noble as an app. And I’m fine with that.

2) I love books. I love cheap, beat-up paperbacks that tell a story that you find in used book stores. I love fancy, shiny first-editions of your favorite author’s newest book that you pre-ordered. I love lining up all of the books in a series and having them all look uniform. I love faded print and yellowing pages. I love it. I love all of the physical qualities of a book. I’d hate to lose that to an e-reader.

3) I have relationships with books. They get tear-stained and worn and, if I’m reading it for school, marked up. They get hugged close to me in emotional moments (Harry Potter 7, anyone?) and thrown at walls when I get angry at them. If you cry onto an e-reader, it’s bad. You can’t throw it, that would be really bad. And if you hug them close to you, they’re just cold. And I think that’s my main problem: the electronic age can be so cold and impersonal.

I prefer letters to emails, real hugs to video chats, and print books to e-readers. Call me a stodgy traditionalist, but there it is.

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