I confess. I have cheated.
Yes, paper books, I have cheated on you. I am having an affair with my e-reader.
It started off as innocent flirtation. Kobo Touch is a cool, handsome gadget that admittedly has some pretty smooth moves. But my love of paper books runs deep. We have been together a long time. Flirtation is healthy, I reasoned, especially since Kobo and I would only ever be occasional travel companions.
I rationalized that our relationship would start with just a book or two; simply two friends getting to know one another. Nothing more. Why? Because I love paper books. They have littered my life from a very early age. Today, there are books in every room of my home (other than the bathrooms, because that is just plain wrong). I have always dreamed of a big, stately library with high ceilings, moving ladders and thousands upon thousands of books. When I read a book, I must keep it. You could say they are my conquest. Second hand book store giveaways has never been in my vocabulary.
But with Kobo, flirtation has been a slippery slope. It started with Malcolm Gladwell’s, What the Dog Saw. My first download. Flipping pages with the most minute tap of my thumb. Crisp, clear screen – even on my patio on those rare sunny days. Light as air to hold. Cuddling in bed with Kobo is every girl’s dream. Find that comfy position, nestle in and you simply move one finger and Kobo does all the work.
After Malcolm came a smart but trashy chick lit read. And then a new read by a new Canadian author, Emma Ruby Sachs. And then another, and another. All it took was a Chapters card (or a credit card if I got really desperate) and literary escapes were at my fingers tips. Imagine the immediate high that comes with online shopping, meets the seduction of a good book, meets technology done right.
All of those thoughts about, “Oh, I will still buy paper books from authors I love”, or “I could never completely give up paper books” were soon replaced by, “What book do I want to download next?” and “It might be kinda nice to use that shelf space for things other than books, just like they do on all of those trendy design shows” and “My arms don’t get tired anymore reading in bed”.
It is a hard decision. I have been giving it considerable thought. You don’t just end a long term relationship out of the blue one day, on a whim, because some sexy thing made you think the grass was greener elsewhere. No. This must be reasoned, logical and respectful.
The facts. The Kobo is light and easy to hold in bed. It fits in my purse. Instead of a physical library with a thousand books, I can have a virtual one with thousands of books and take it everywhere. It’s beautiful, elegant looking and easy to read, whether on a bright sunny day or with it’s cute little light at night. Because the books are electronic, there is no lending books to people who never give them back; Kobo will remain faithful to me and me alone. He rarely is tired when I am awake (doesn’t need frequent charging). When I shut Kobo down, he provides reinforcement and tells me how well I have done (the percentage of the book I have read). And I can have pretty much any book I have ever wanted, anytime, anyplace (thanks to Kobo’s wingman, WiFi) right at my online fingertips.
What I will I miss? No cracking of the spine, the smell of fresh paper or the ceremonial placement of the completed book on the shelf.
The decision is clear. I am going to build a life with my e-reader. When one relationship ends, another eventually begins. Thankfully in this case, I had Kobo waiting in the wings before I made this hard call. But Kobo made it easy. My decision feels good. While there might be an instance where I buy a paper book again (because Chapters merchandises oh so well), my heart now belongs to the Kobo Touch. I will no longer consider myself a cheater. I am just a girl who has found her true reading love.