Monday, August 8, 2011

E-Books; So Maybe They Aren't the Devil

I'm at my parents house.

Full disclosure, I'm staying at my parents house. Why? Well, because I recently quit my day job and decided to pursue writing full time (and no doubt bar backing part time). My folks are good enough to helps subsidize my madness for a brief period while I put together a Kickstarter campaign and sell my car. Anybody need a really reliable Accord? What does this have to do with E-Books? More than you'd think.

To comfortably crash with my folks, I had to basically store everything I own. Now I'm a minimalist, so I don't own much at all, but one thing that I do obsessively cling to is my books. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite fond of taking a book off my shelf that I love and gifting it to a friend who has never read it. But I will most likely always replace that book. I'm a writer and I traffic in words, so by that rationale you can imagine that I read a lot. Therefore, when moving, the possession that dominates the majority of my space is certainly my books. This move was no different. The problem? There aren't room for all my books at my parents house. Okay, so we've got them tucked safely away in a storage shed. Problem number two? I won't be settling down somewhere again for a while. What's that mean? No access to my books!

The project, which I'll reveal to all of you very soon, requires that I move around a lot over the course of the next year. Moving my books out of storage and into a nice, comfortable new home (studio apartment...cardboard box) would be one thing, but carrying fifteen boxes of the road around with you on the road isn't exactly an option. First world problems, right? And if it were just a bunch of books I intend to read for pleasure, maybe I'd give you that argument, but it's more than that. There is loads of research material in those boxes that I now have no access to at all, research material that I could need for other projects throughout the year. I know, I know, it's not the end of the world, but it did get me thinking. If I had an E-Reader with all of this stuff loaded onto it already, this wouldn't be a problem at all.

I love my books. I love the feel of them, the weight of the object in my hand, the smell with which they envelop a room. Getting rid of them in favor of digital copies (like I'm intending to eventually do with my films and my CDs) isn't an option, but having those same books backed up onto an E-Reader that I could then have with me everywhere I go would give me a huge research advantage. Let's all face it, laptops are great and super portable, but they can be heavy, cumbersome and possessed of poor battery life, problems with which the Kindle and Nook aren't terribly troubled. So in the interest of having a vast research library, with some fiction thrown in for fun (and maybe Angry Birds if I jailbroke my Nook), I come down firmly on the side of E-Readers.

It's the future. I figure it's high time I started acting accordingly.



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