My posts during April form part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I will be writing to a theme: book genres, largely taken from the comprehensive Goodreads list.
My niece looks at me like I've gone over to the dark side - which in all honesty - I have. I hardly ever read real books anymore ...
These days, I rarely touch paper when I'm reading, as pretty much all my fiction is consumed via my e-reader. Nevertheless, probably the hardest task I've ever had to do is reducing the number of books in my life. Having downsized twice in my life I managed not to cull any books the first time, but the second time, I simply could not avoid it.
I have a small apartment and overflowing bookcases. I have no loft space, no garage, no access to exterior storage that wouldn't cost a fortune, so I put on my big girl pants and had a cull. I parted with virtually all my reference books and I had a veritable feast of books on art and design. But I couldn't remember the last time I'd looked at one, so I just couldn't make a case (to myself) for keeping them. From the fiction piles, I kept a few hardbacks and a smaller number of paperbacks that made up my favourite reads. But virtually all the fiction remaining in my bookcases is still to-be-read. Once they've been read, I make an immediate decision whether they've earned a permanent place on the shelves or if to hand them on to friends, family or my local charity/thrift shop.
I now have more professional books on my shelves than fiction. I need these in paper because I scribble in them, I highlight interesting/relevant bits ... basically, I deface them. And I struggle to do that electronically with any level of efficiency. Frankly, its easier to find "that bit" when flicking through marked up pages. But I still love to read fiction and since my trusty Kindle gave up the ghost, I've been reading on my iPad entirely happily for a few years.
An ebook is more convenient. I hold a vast number of books on my slim and lightweight iPad and the iPad comes with all those other uses too. My holiday luggage used to be one bag of clothing to one bag of books, whereas all my reading now fits into my handbag. I've not tried to read outdoors in bright sunlight, but that's never been something I ever enjoyed doing with a real book ... and rumours are the later ebooks have solved that problem.
There is one drawback I have discovered. Reading an ebook in bed at night before going to sleep has led to a disturbed sleep pattern and I believe this is a fairly common side-effect for those who use any handheld electronic devices late at night. I've now started to keep a real book on the go for reading in bed and that disturbed sleep pattern is no more.
So, for convenience, the ebook gets ... a big tick. Make no mistake though, if I lived in a larger home, I can think of nothing I'd want more that loads of bookcases, all of them overflowing. I am likely to find the ebook will continue to hold a place in my life for travel, but I'd still buy a copy of books I've enjoyed to keep on the shelves afterwards.
Do you read real or electronic books? What do you prefer? Are there reasons why you maintain both?