Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Joys of a Real Book...

It's already Sunday evening. As always, the weekend flew by in a complete and utter whirlwind and here I sit, blogging before I go to bed and get up again on another somewhat-dreaded Monday morning.

I can't complain about my weekend, it was nice, even if it flew by. I finally got to see Avatar in 3D which was amazing. The movie itself was pretty blah. It was "Dances with Wolves" set in space, as a friend had warned me. However, it was so amazing visually to watch that it was well worth the price of the ticket. I also got to spend time with my brothers which is pretty rare unless a holiday is involved.

I also finally just finished reading Julie and Julia. All I can say is thank goodness I can move onto another book with a hopefully more likeable main character. I kept hoping Julie Powell was going to redeem herself and have some moment in which I realized she wasn't that bad. Not so. She had a tantrum and crying fit after she attempted a majority of the recipes which didn't seem to turn out that well very often. What I found amusing is that in the third "The End" part of the book (she couldn't seem to find a place to stop so she wrote "The End" then continued. Then she wrote "The End" and continued again anyway), she talks about how the challenge of cooking all of Julia Child's recipes helped her find a sense of "Joy". I'm curious as to where, exactly, she found that joy because it's certainly not apparent in the book. Perhaps she did but maybe she should have tried to capture that the same way the movie did far more successfully. She did nothing but whine, complain and insult quite a few people. She was also horribly condescending.

Now, I'm going to move on, hopefully to something entertaining. My friend, Ms. P, suggested Outlander and said that it has some nice steamy moments. Since I could use a few steamy moments, I'm willing to give it a try. My mum had a copy of it so I didn't even have to work that far to find it.

I often borrow books from people. I often loan them out too. It's a fun way of bonding with people. This is why I'm becoming more and more curmudgeonly regarding e-readers and e-books. Now they're coming out with the iPad in March. It's a big, giant iPhone, essentially, primarily for reading electronic media such as magazines and books.

Now, don't get me wrong. I get some of the reasonings behind this, the Kindle and the Nook- the current popular e-readers on the market. I just don't personally agree with them. Sure, if I'm going on a plane trip that's going to last a while, taking one little tiny electronic device instead of a bag full of books is going to be more economical, not to mention saving my poor back some strained muscles because of the weight.

But it's not the same. I love the smell of a book, the joy of opening a new book for the first time and hearing the crackle of new pages. I love throwing a book in my backpack in case I get chance to read somewhere.

I love to read in the bath. Which is one of the reasons I think the e-readers will never replace paper books. I mean, accidents happen. Books get dropped in the water or, at the very least, splashed. On a paper book, it means some warped pages, perhaps having to buy a replacement copy.

What if you were to read the iPad in the bath? First of all, not practical. Though I'm sure it's not possible to electrocute yourself in this manner, I'd still worry about that anyway. Also, if you drop that in the tub, you're down $499. I don't think apple is going to be offering replacement iPads if you were dumb enough to drop it in the bath.

No, I know the technology junkies salute e-readers because you can have that instant gratification of wanting to read a book and suddenly thinking, "hey, I'll buy it." And boom, there it is on your reader.

Not me. I'm a contemplater when it comes to books. I only buy them when I've either read it before and must have a copy of my own or when I trust the author so much that I know it will be good enough to invest in. Otherwise, I go to the library. I like to read the back covers of books, browse the pages to see if the writing style is going to agree with me.

How can you do any of that on an e-reader? It's just not the same. Besides, though I know they're trying to light the e-reader screens so they resemble the experience of reading a book, rather than staring at a computer screen, you're still looking at a screen. I spend far too much of my day already. When I get home, I want to sit on the couch, tuck my feet under me, grab a pillow and curl up with my book. I want to bend the pages so that they sit poised underneath my fingers, ready to be turned eagerly. I want the freedom to hug the book if it pleases me to the point at which it deserves a hug. I also want the freedom to hurl the book across my bed if it irritates me, as I was tempted to do with Julie and Julia.

I may change my mind in the future though at this point in time, I can pretty much say I don't think that's likely. Perhaps they'll come out with an e-reader that feels like a book as well as contains the same content. Of course, then I'll wonder why we don't just read books instead and I'll be greeted with a chorus of "it's GREENER!"

I get that and in most cases, I respect it. Yet when it comes to books, I'm a traditionalist. I like the feel of paper. It's been around for thousands of years, papyrus before paper but still the same concept. I want to keep that tradition alive.

So, I'm pretty sure I won't be buying an e-reader. Give me a paper book any day. I'll try not to drop it in the bath.

Happy Monday.


Rain Dancer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ladyaero said...

Hmmmm...I shall be VERY curious to see what you think of Outlander. I have read 6 of the series (a 7th came out in Sept., but I haven't read it yet). Some I loved, some I just read because I can't start a series and not finish it. A few scenes I thought were endearing, a couple that pissed me off (at this point, the beginning books are all blended together for me, so I don't know when those scenes were). curious to hear what you think. :-)