I critiqued the opening to a friend's novel the other day, and during a little back-and-forth via email, she referenced the first two paragraphs of Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner. That's not right, I thought, her book starts out much more global--I'm going to look that up. So I head over to my trusty bookshelves to prove her wrong*:
Only it wasn't there. Oh, that's right. I read Best Friends Forever on my Kindle. I powered her up and flipped through my 3 pages of book choices and until found the title.
That got me thinking. What's my plan, here? Am I going to have my whole library stored in a little device?
Sure, e-readers are convenient. My library branch smells like old shoes and body odor, so I'm disinclined to borrow books. And the Kindle is especially great for traveling. No lugging suitcases that weigh like they are filled with rocks. I can zap a couple of books for the trip and I'm good to go. The screen reads nicely, and I love the built-in dictionary, especially for reading The Road. (What the hell is a "travois?" Click. Oh.)
But for regular use, for me, it's just too ephemeral. How long do I plan to keep those books there? Forever? I have books on my shelf I bought in high school. It's been a while since I read Animal Farm, but in case I feel the need, there it is. My old Norton Anthology of Poetry sits on my shelf, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" still highlighted in pink (always pink!)
And what's my other choice--to have the Kindle books vanish into the ether?
I dunno. I'm just not loving it as much as I thought. What do you think? Do you have an e-reader? Do you want one?
*She was right.