We live in such an amazing time of technology. Remember on Star Trek how one of the characters would just say something like, "Computer, play Beethoven's 5th" and it would just happen? That seemed so amazing to me as a kid. We are there now! That's mind blowing! I can order a new musical album before it comes out with just a few taps on my tiny, handheld computer, and it's automatically downloaded when the album releases. I have fully* embraced the digital life so much so that I haven't bought a physical CD in years.
*Okay, I know I said fully, but that's only half true. My Kindle app has a night sky's worth of *'s attached to it.
Here's the thing, I am a super tactile person. Hugs are the best! Wanna hold hands? Sure. I touch inanimate objects that look like they'd have an interesting texture, and it's soft and furry, forget about it. I'll snuggle myself up if I can. It's just how I am. I'm such a touchy person I have to really hold myself back in public because not everyone is comfortable with touching, and that must be respected. On the other hand, if I don't want to hug you, I really don't like you. And everyone starts off as hug-worthy in my book.
When I hold a printed book in my hands, I love the feel of it, the weight. I love the smell of it. Old bookstores are like a drug; I want to roll around in that scent. I can feel embossing on the cover, see how much I have left in the story by the thinning collection of pages left to go. I can cuddle with printed books, read them in the bath without fear of completely destroying it - I speak from experience. Printed books will dry out - eat and drink in the knowledge that stains are no big deal because they're like storytelling scars. There's so much physical about them to love about them. I miss out on all these things with ebook devices. There's nothing lovely or exciting about stroking the digital cover of anything. Then again...
There's the utterly magical convenience of ebooks! I am a lazy person. I admit that. If I attended Ilvermorny or Hogwarts, you know what subject I'd want to focus on? Charms. Because charms would make life so easy! I can pop onto Amazon, buy a Kindle book, and start reading it one minute later. No waiting. No waste to be recycled. And they're generally a lot less expensive than their physical counterparts. It's nigh impossible to be without them, and I've found I tend to read through them more quickly...maybe because of how impersonal they feel and how all I have to do is flick a phone or tablet rather than turn pages and balance a book? I don't know, but that's a tough set of arguments to beat. And here's something physical books can't do for me at all:
I'm reading Awaken by G.R. Thomas, which is set in Australia. Most of what the Internet has taught me about Australia is that everything there wants to kill me, they have Vegemite, and everyone who lives there is super cool. I mean, I know other stuff about it, but it's mostly about the wildlife because Australian wildlife is crazy and awesome! Those first three are what the Internet seems to say the most, though. So when I started reading through this book, there were references to a lot of things with which I'm not familiar.
I will more often than not look up things I see in books if I don't know what they are, what they mean, or if I just want to get a better visual idea of what is being depicted. When I highlight a word or a group of words in my Kindle app, I can automatically get more information on it. Talk about easy! And so educational too!
I fought reading ebooks for a long time because of my beloved tactile experience. I haven't stopped buying physical books, of course. We're reading Caraval together in my GoodReads reading group, and I knew right off the bat this was a book I wanted to be able to hold and smell and keep in case of the rise of the machines, so I ordered the physical copy. And, boy howdy, am I glad I did. It's so glittery and gorgeous and shiny!
So yeah, I feel like I'm in a classic YA love triangle. I believe in open book relationships, though, so I can have it all. :)