Publishing and Consultancy
One of the chief criticisms of those who choose to read digitally is that they are somehow losing something from the experience of reading, that their experience is lacking in emotion because they are not holding a paper product. Many people cannot imagine how anyone could come to love an e-reader like one loves a tattered paperback library.
I own a tattered paperback library. It means the world to me and I cannot imagine parting with a single edition. I have also owned an e-reader for a couple of years now. It’s an early device and I know that there are better products available, but until my e-reader collapses from overuse I will probably not upgrade. Why? Because I love my e-reader. It is one of my most precious possessions. My e-reader is rarely further than a few metres from me. I carry it everywhere. I read it everywhere (yes, even in the bath. I have never dropped a book in the bath and I am unlikely to drop my e-reader). Its familiar red cover now bends easily in my hands and my handbag is stretched to accommodate its slender form. With this e-reader I have solved mysteries with Sherlock Holmes and laughed with Caitlin Moran. I have walked the halls of Tudor England with Hilary Mantel and travelled to the the roaring twenties with F Scott Fitzgerald. I have been captivated by Julian Barnes, terrified by Stephen King, thrilled by Justin Cronin and charmed by David Nicholls. I have read, I have been moved and I have done it all on my e-reader.
E-readers, like books are our companions. They become personalised through our use of them, and through the stories we read on them. They can become as imbued with memory and attachment as a paper book. As James so neatly summarises in his Guardian piece: “My e-reader is more like a book than I expected.”
By Caroline Goldsmith 11/9/2012