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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Books: Then and Now

I have almost completely lost my enthusiasm for buying books. I know of few people who have bought more books over the course of their lives than I have. I’ve filled apartments with them, given them away, and started over again in a new area code, state, or country. I’ve already acquired a respectable library here in Spain but in the past year I’ve made few additions to my collection. Have I also given up on reading? Quite the contrary as I have never read more in my life, and I think that’s saying a lot. What has changed is the technology. My eBook reader has usurped my kingdom of paper books. I can’t remember the last time I even read a paper book.

I now have one of the best libraries that I have ever had and it fits in my hand…plus it has a light for reading at night! I have something more monumental than the library of Alexandria and I carry it with me wherever I go. I am never without a book to read. I’m able to read almost any book that I want to read exactly when I want to read it. Upon getting a recommendation from a friend or reading about it somewhere I can find it almost immediately and begin reading. It’s better than even the best public library to which I have had access. Sorry Seattle Public Library, my eBook reader kicks your butt.

I will no longer have to anguish over leaving books behind when and if I move from where I live now. My entire library can come along for the ride. My library used to be a crushing weight but is now as light as a feather. I don’t usually become giddy when discussing technology but eBooks are like a miracle for me. I have no patience for people who say that this new technology is ruining books or literature or history or whatever. Small-minded people said the same about printed books when that technology first usurped the role of the scribes. What is important are the words.