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My love affair with my e-reader

92 books. I have read 92 books this year. It’s likely by the time we end the year, I’ll be well over 125 (at least 10-12 of these were novellas). But for many years, I was hovering around ten books a year. I’m rather ashamed of that number. When I was a kid, I read like crazy. I spent hours at the library. I bought whole series with my allowance money. I couldn’t get enough. But then I grew up. Responsibilities took over. I had a job. I had a husband. I had cats. I had a house to clean, meals to cook, miles to run, a business to tend to, and friends to hang out with. I stopped reading.

And then I got divorced. That was a bad time in my life. The ending of my marriage wrung me out. But not long after, a miraculous thing happened. I started reading again. I discovered whole new authors. I started dating a man with a library the envy of many small towns. I remembered how much I loved reading. Still, though, life interfered. I was working a new job, training for half marathons, meeting a whole new group of friends, and settling into my new life.

I resisted the Kindle for a long time. The first Kindle hit the market in late 2007. I didn’t get mine until Christmas 2011. I didn’t want to read e-books. I loved (still do) the feel of a hard copy book. There’s a satisfaction to holding a book, trailing a finger down the page, feeling the embossing on the cover. How could an e-book possibly compare?

In truth, a Kindle is never going to be able to replace that delicious scent of a freshly printed hard cover. If I run my finger down the screen of my Kindle, I’m just going to turn the page. But if I have to choose between the tactile sensations of holding a book and the “Calgon take me away” feeling of reading a book, I’m going to choose reading every time. If I didn’t read books on my Kindle, I wouldn’t be reading every day. I commute about 45 minutes each way to and from work on the bus. At any one time, I have at least thirty to forty books on my Kindle. With my laptop, wallet, notebook, and workout gear already packed in my backpack, there’s no way I could carry more than a single book with me if I had to resort to a physical copy. My Kindle allows me to switch between books with ease. If I get tired of one book, I can just tap and switch to another. I usually have three or four books going at once.

Lastly, the most important reason that I love my e-reader: independent authors. You see, you won’t find most indie authors in the bookstore. We simply can’t get distribution. Many indie authors don’t even print hard copies. If I stuck to printed books, at least 80 of the 92 books I’ve read this year wouldn’t have even been on my radar.

I still buy hard copies. We even arrange our bookshelves by author and genre. But for me, e-books have been and likely will be my primary method of reading for the foreseeable future.

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