I've resisted it for a while but have finally succumbed...I purchased an electronic reading device (Kindle), but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start over by saying that I am a bibliophile. I love books, and I own more than I'll probably ever read. But as previously stated I bought a Kindle and it arrived today. I resisted them for a while but was swayed for a few reasons. One is the price of the (electronic) books. Even as a new release the books are cheaper than a print copy...but there are thousand (I'm guessing) of free books available. Just this evening I downloaded more than 40 free books...not a penny spent. James Joyce, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Jack London, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Paramahansa Yogananda, even an English Standard Version of the Bible. All free. Not to mention numerous New Thought authors, including the book pictured in the device above (As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen). These alone are worth more than what I paid for the device (I specifically call it a device because it is most definitely not a book...but more on that in a minute). But I digress again.
One of my favorite past-times is browsing bookstores, in real life brick-and-mortar stores but virtually too, such as Amazon. When I travel--which isn't that often these days--I actually plan in advance which bookstores I'll visit in the same way people visit tourist attractions. I own something like 700-800 books on food (best guess), a hundred or so spiritual books, and many novels and books on fiction scattered around the house. To me books are not only for reading; I like how they look and feel. They are in fact part of the decor of my house. For these reasons this device cannot replace books in my life.
But what about convenience. I am chagrined in that I don't read as much as I once did and I can't help but wonder if it doesn't have something to do with time...though I write a blog about simplicity m y life feels more sped up than ever these days (whose isn't). I'm hoping carrying around a virtual library with me will encourage me to read more (again) or at least as much as I once did.
Another thing I found interesting was this post at Treehugger regarding the Kindle as actually being greener than print books (go figure).
At any rate, does this change things? Yes, but hopefully for the better. Will it replace books in my life? Not a chance. While the screen of the Kindle does look remarkably like a page out of a book it is still not a book...it's an electronic reading device that you press a button rather than flip a page. None-the-less, I am glad with the purchase and look forward to reading it.
I'd be interested in hearing others view's on electronic reading devices (Kindle, Nook, Sony?).