I have just bought three books. What’s so special about that? Nothing. A few years ago I would not even have commented had I bought ten. But now it is a rare event.
I do much of my research for teaching, editing and writing online. I mention these jobs in order of time spent annually on each rather than order of preference. Each of these is my favorite while I’m doing it. Writing only comes last because it’s sporadic and I find, and have always found it, such hard work.
But as the the first novella of the Creektown Chronicles to be published is a cozy mystery, I felt I needed the tools of the trade on hand. And so I bought Frederick Gillam’s Poisonous Plants in Great Britain. The recycled paper and antique prints which illustrate it are lovely and the book itself is hand-size, small and light. The presentation and the etchings and drawings which illustrate Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart make it another small book to cherish while the wicked humour of John Robertson and the arresting cover of Is That Cat Dead? by John Robertson.made it a must buy.
Having my new reference books on hand made me realize how far I have travelled from the days when I thought a “real” book was far superior to a digital book
Why choose Ebooks?
I never thought I’d see the day when I’d choose an ebook over a printed book but the time has come, and for various reasons.
#My reference books take up space on my desk, I am forever flipping between them, using paper slips as bookmarks and finding it hard to track down a misremembered anecdote or fact. Perhaps if I had a tablet to reproduce illustrations I’d have chosen an e book but I hate reading on computer. When I’m on computer I want to write. However had I chosen ebooks, I could have made notes and bookmarks and always found the information I wanted at the click of a button.
#It’s much easier to carry a mobile reading device, a mobile phone, tablet, ipad than a sack of books. Better for the posture too. This lets you work anywhere at any time. Yes, you can carry a notebook and pencil—I do. But I can’t carry as many reference books as I need nor even as many manuscript pages as I want to revise.
# Work documents, reports, newspapers, magazines are easy to convert to a format which suits any ereader through Calibre software which is free and improving all the time. It’s indispensable for quickly changing file formats to suit various devices.
#There are innumerable advantages for the older reader—you can adjust to a font size that suits, it’s light to hold and easy to flip from book to book for night time reading without having a leaning tower of books imminently ready to topple from the bedside table. And amassing a library of free books, too many to read in one lifetime, is wondrous. .
And when it simply comes down to housekeeping:
#Downsizing into a tiny house no longer means getting rid of your library.
#Traveling by plane no longer means buying a book you hate on spec at the airport, and no longer means overweight baggage on the flight.
# Sadly books are not the easiest things to keep clean. And if you’ve hundreds of books, you’re unlikely to have time to be feather dusting them every day far less opening them, shaking them and banging them closed to get rid of the dust.
#Traveling light has taken an unexpected weight from my shooulders—I never realized what a burden it was to have alll these books looking down on me reproachfully, waiting to be read.
. #And again at bedtime, books are heavy and crash noisily off the bed when you fall asleep reading. My e-reader, fortunately in a case, slips out of my fingers quietly, never loses its place and so far seems to bounce.