When Bill and I took our three month tour of Europe back in 2008, one of my biggest concerns was just how I was going to have access to books for the entire trip. I read A LOT! Probably at least a book a week.
I packed up a box of books and sent it to the hotel in Galveston, TX, where we stayed the night before we got on the cruise ship that took us over to Barcelona where our adventure began. Even though I didn’t pack a single hard cover book, it still weighed a LOT. My idea was that I would consider the books to be dispensable. That meant as I was reading them, I would tear out and dispose of the pages I’d already read, thereby making the box increasingly lighter.
Except I found I simply couldn’t destroy a book.
So I went to Plan B. I would simply leave books behind when I’d finished them. Perhaps a hotel staff person could read English and would take the books. Or, if there was a used book store, I would take them there.
That didn’t work either. I did manage to leave some books behind. However, in fear of running out of reading material, any time I came across a bookstore that sold English language books, I bought a couple. Or I would read the book and like it so much that I simply couldn’t leave it behind (because heaven forbid I would purchase a second copy when I got home).
Right before we left on our trip, Amazon began presenting a new-fangled contraption called a Kindle. Despite being a technological neophyte who clings to 19th Century inventions, I could full-out see the advantage this so-called Kindle could have for our trip. They were expensive (as new technology always is), but the price didn’t matter. What did matter, however, was that they were so popular that they were on back order and I wouldn’t be able to acquire one for several months. Too late for my purposes.
So, as I said above, I packed the box of books. And at each stop on our tour – and we saw a lot of things and spent time in a lot of different places – Bill would have to haul out that box of books to carry into our hotel. God bless my husband. He never complained.
We no sooner got home, however, than Bill – who embraces any new technology – got his first e-reader, a Sony, I think. It was rudimentary. Difficult to load books, no back lighting thereby often requiring a book light to read, not a lot of memory. I, on the other hand, clung to my paper books. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t self-righteous about it. But on the occasions when he would be trying to find his place in the book (remember, it was rudimentary), I would say, “Look, Bill. Here’s my bookmark,” as I quickly opened the book to my place. It was flat-out hilarious as you can imagine. His sides hurt from laughing.
But then people besides my technology-loving husband began buying e-readers. Jen, for instance. What’s more, she was loving it.
Again, I tried really hard to not be self-righteous. To each his/her own, I told myself. I simply couldn’t imaging not reading a paper book. And being a serious Library user, I couldn’t imagine not borrowing books from the library for free. Seriously? You pay for every book?
And then Bill bought me a Nook for Christmas. I think it might have been 2011.
I loved it immediately. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why.