Monday Musings

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

Today I’d like to talk about how we, as readers, feel about ebooks. In particular, I’m musing about how I’d feel about using a bookless library, such as those proposed in Bexlar County, Texas.

Currently, I own a kindle and could, of course, read pdf’s of books on my computer as well. However, like many others, I find my computer screen much too hard on my eyes to contemplate reading a book that way. It also lacks the feel of holding a book in your hand which the kindle at least emulates. Even the kindle, I mostly appreciate for long trips when I couldn’t pack enough books to keep me busy. As a result, I will almost never accept ebook review copies, with exceptions most often being made for authors I adore or books I can’t get another way. Otherwise, I know they’d just sit around while I read the physical books I prefer!

In particular, since I’ve started blogging, I’ve begun to be excited about meeting authors and getting signed books. I’ve also started to appreciate books as beautiful objects as well as a source of entertainment. As a result, I just don’t get the same satisfaction out of buying an ebook and to date have only done so for long vacations. Which finally brings me to the case of the bookless library. Would I use one?If I had no other means of getting free books to feed my reading addiction, I’m sure I would use one. But would I like it? I think not. To me, part of the joy of reading is feeling the crisp turn of the pages in a new book or smelling the musty smell of a well-loved, older book. Likewise, part of the experience of going to the library is being able to wander the shelves, hoping for a fortuitous encounter with my next favorite author. Does this mean I completely oppose the idea of bookless libraries? For now, yes. But if it ever becomes a matter of bookless libraries or no libraries because of funding issues, I know I’d change my mind!

Do you enjoy ebooks as much as physical books? If not, do you still use them sometime? How do you feel about the idea of a bookless library?

21 Comments

Filed under Monday Musings

21 responses to “Monday Musings

  1. Great post. I don’t know how I feel about bookless libraries. I love checking out digital titles through my local library, but I know the library is also there for people who can’t always afford internet, computers, or books. If there were only computers and digital books, a lot less people would read, I think. I love it, but I have a Kindle, you know?
    As far as physical vs digital books, I’m on both sides. I still LOVE physical books, but I can’t pass up deals for Kindle, checking out books, and reading on the go. My kindle has a ton of perks and it’s saved me so much money buying books since i can get an $18 hardcover for $3 in digital format sometimes. I’m not picky at all. To me, reading is about reading and whatever gets me to the books I love is the way I’ll go. I can’t always go shopping at B&N or feel like waiting on packages, either. =) I’d rather have physical books for review, but I realize it’s a lot more expensive to send someone a physical book than an ebook for an author.
    Awesome discussion starter!!
    Here’s my Musing Mondays Post

    Megan @ Love, Literature, Art, and Reason

    • Wow, I feel like a bit of a snob for not thinking about people who have neither a computer nor an ereader. I think it slipped my mind because I feel like most bloggers use ereaders more than me, rather than less! I definitely agree with you that reading can be enjoyable in any format, but given that I can get free hard copies at the library, I think I’ll probably always choose to do that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. One of the reasons I was elected to the local library board of trustees is because of my use of the eLibrary. It’s an interesting option but I love to hold books.

    • I should probably consider getting ebooks from my library, since I’ve heard there’s sometimes less of a waiting list than for the hard copies. That’s really cool that you’re on your library board! What all do you do as a member?

  3. I am slowly coming to terms with my e-readers, I have a NookColor, and a KindleFire. However, I have my bookshelves with an abundance of books on them. I love looking over at my bookshelves and reaching for my next book to read. I noticed a while back that I had downloaded the same book on both e-readers, and as of today, I haven’t read it. I forget about all the books on my e-readers, and reach for the paper books. Go figure…I do not like the idea of a bookless library. I love being surrounded by my books.

  4. e-books have their place. traveling with one is a huge plus. but…
    i too love the feel, the smell of a ‘real’ book. always have. always will.

  5. I enjoy aspects of e-book reading, and especially love how easy it is to download them….that said, however, there is nothing like holding a print book in hand, and I especially love being surrounded by full bookshelves.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    • They are incredibly convenient! I forgot when writing my post, but I have actually gotten a few sequels as ebooks because it was the fastest way to get my hand on them, haha.

  6. I haven’t actually read any e-Books yet, but I think both eBooks & physical books can co-exist. But I don’t like the idea of digital only libraries – I would like other options because not every family will be able to afford eReaders.

    • As I said to one of the other commenters, I can’t believe the matter of the cost of an ereader didn’t occur to me! I suppose if the alternative was a family buying a large number of books, an ereader could quickly become cheaper. But then you run the risk of some people deciding not to read at all.

  7. When it comes down to it, I far prefer actual books to ebooks, however I’m not totally opposed to ebooks and do read a fair amount of them. However, bookless libraries… for me, part of the appeal of libraries is being completely surrounded by books that I can take home for a time without the pressure of budgeting and worrying about what I can spend, lol. Basically, a completely bookless library just wouldn’t feel like a real library for me.

  8. Lakeshia Artis

    When someone bought me my first Kindle two years ago, I took me a minute to pick it up. I just love books SO much. I have read a few books on the Kindle. This year someone bought me a Kindle Fire HD and I’ve downloaded some books on it. I tend to download ones that I really don’t care too much about passing along once I’m finished. I also like the Kindle because I can get cheap books sometimes. I’m still an old fashioned girl. I love my books.

    • I also got mine as a gift and wasn’t sure I’d like it. I did end up going on vacation right after that and was definitely glad to have it then, but I also still love hard copies so much better 🙂

  9. Daystarz Books

    I like ebooks but I still love the feel of a physical book. I would be sad to only have ebook libraries as I still like to browse the local library. Here’s my MM: http://daystarz.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/bookmarks/

  10. I love my Kindle. Some of the books on it I also have in physical form, but it means that I can move around and take a whole library with me. I have two novels out as ebooks and in paperback form, and the ebooks ell much better.

    • I probably don’t think about how awesome the kindle and other e-readers are often enough, because it really is amazing how portable and convenient they’ve made reading! I’m curious – why do you get books in both forms? And do you switch back and forth between reading the ebook and the physical book?

  11. Pingback: Monday Musings on Bookish Obsessions | Doing Dewey

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