Thursday, 12 January 2012

Day Twelve - I Am A Traitor

The best part of taking a break from work is being able to read for pleasure rather than having to read for "work purposes".

For me, kicking back with a book be it fiction, non-fiction, a biography, recipe book, filling in my 2012 calendar is pure joy. (Perhaps not the calendar)

Like many of you, I've always been a reader.

From a very young age I'd lie in bed at night reading a book until I dropped off to sleep halfway through a sentence with the light still on, or until Mum came in and told me it was a ridiculous time of night, to turn the light off and go to sleep.

If the book was really good I'd follow orders for a few minutes and then I'd turn on a torch and read under the bed.

Some stories are worth a potentially annoyed parent.

Many have written about the feel and smell of books and how the process of reading is one of the most satisfying of human experiences.

For me, the interaction between the paper, the hand and the eye is akin to a mental ballet, and so for a few years now I have counted myself amongst the traditionalists who have said "NO!" to switching to an e-reader, emphatically pointing out the superior nature of paperbacks and hardcovers.

Although technology and I are good friends (@kellyhd on twitter), I was never going to give in on this point. I was going to stand firm, look those e-reader pushers in the eye and say with conviction "Get Thee Behind Me, Satan".

As it turned out, the devil (aka my husband) bought me one for Christmas, already loaded up with a couple of novels he knew I really wanted, and so I have been seduced by the dark side.

Yes,  I love books in their traditional form, but I have adjusted easily to reading on an e-reader, which surprised me.

I'll be able to throw it into my bag to read on the bus to work and e-books are usually (but not always) cheaper than the paper version.

The novels I will probably still buy in paper form are those that my dad and I love to swap with each other, especially authors Matthew Reilly and Kylie Chan.

That's where e-readers fail - the inability to share a book.

Some authors might argue that they should be paid for their work by each person who enjoys it, however there is a certain camaraderie amongst those who love to read and love to share that experience and the e-book kills that aspect of literature stone cold dead.

The two books in the photo are very different but I'm looking forward to reading both of them in the next few days - Brisbane author John Birmingham's "After America" on my e-reader and "Tweeting the Universe" by science writers Marcus Chown and Govert Schilling in "real" book form (a gift from my producer Tom).

I think I'll always be the sort of person who switches from one to the other, but my humblest apologies to the traditionalists - I've let you down.
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  1. I can't speak for other e-readers, but Amazon allows you to share e-books with other Kindle users.

  2. Mine too. I can transfer my ebook to my PC and then email it. Most books are way smaller than 1mb so it only takes a second or two to email.

  3. Arr'h no Kelly the rot has started :)

  4. I love books too, but recently have been checking out eReaders. Not quite ready yet. If you have a non-Kindle reader, you can download books for free from your local library and there are millions of free books available from the Google store and other locations online.