Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I was at Costco the other day bulking up when something caught my eye.  It was subtle, but left me with a warm feeling.

Adjacent to the clothes, cold cuts and cheeses, was a long table filled with various books.  Good old hardcovers and paperbacks with numerous people thumbing through them.  I was hit with one of the glaring design flaws of eBooks, a huge advantage that paper books have held for years.  Go to Amazon and the books that allow you to "see inside" have the same drawback.  You can only scan through the first several pages!  Even as a kid, I enjoyed not only glancing at the beginning of a book but turning to the middle and toward the end to see if the writing was consistent. 

Most published writers today know how to craft the first couple of chapters but what happens in the meat of the book?  Is the writing just as compelling?  How often have you excitedly started a novel only to be letdown by say page 50 or 100?  With a hardcover or paperback, I can flip through the pages.  It's more of a gamble with an eBook.

For me also, there is just something about holding a book and turning the pages.  My eyes suffer enough during the course of a day staring at various computer screens.  Sure while on vacation it's cool to lounge by the pool or beach, reading an iPad, Kindle, etc but I don't want to be in panic mode if it slips out of my hand or begins to run out of juice.

I can only imagine being on the edge of a cliff hanging moment when the battery power is about to run out on my eReader.  "Honey, I have to run back to the room and charge up!"

If I drop my book in the sand, no harm, no foul, and as long as I've got sunlight, I'm good to go.  If I'm not paying attention for a moment and suddenly my book is gone, there's no panic.  I don't mind spending less than twenty bucks to get another copy if need be.  Lose that iPad and I'm forming a search party!

I realize eBooks have recently been outselling hardcovers but call me a purist.  I'll always favor and have a soft spot in my heart and hands for good old paper.