I started reading my first e-book a few days ago on my iPad. I’d been reluctant to convert from paper and ink because I worried the screen would strain my eyes and I knew that no feeling could match that of physically turning a page.
I guess I wasn’t as devoted to the book as I thought because already I can see that this is a much better way of reading. Eleanor is no longer able to yank the bookmark from its spot. I can read at night in bed without needing a lamp while Greg sleeps. No matter how many e-books I carry with me, my iPad weighs the same amount.
But all of this raises so many questions. I expect that most other people will eventually conclude the same things I have (though maybe not), which means printed books will gradually die out. Will wealthy people still have libraries in their homes? (That has always been a dream of mine.) Will we still have brick-and-mortar libraries? Will future children be weaklings because they haven’t lugged 20-pound backpacks?
Most importantly, will actual books become really, really valuable? I’m asking because one of the most consistent conflicts in my marriage to Greg is our debate over books. Greg thinks people should keep in their homes every book that they have ever bought. I think that a book should be sold or given away unless you might want to read it again. But if books are going to become really valuable, then that would make Greg right, wouldn’t it?
Maybe I should go back to paper and ink.