Friday, January 13, 2012

Books versus Electronic Readers

I have two main loves, well besides my husband that is and one is gardening, the other reading. I can be found either in my front yard which is pictured above or in my back yard most of the spring, summer or fall. If  I'm not on my knees or bending over from the waist gardening you might find me in a comfortable lawn chair in my screened in gazebo reading.

During the winter months it's a surprise I don't wear out the left end of my couch, nearest the lamp sitting on a small maple table that used to be my mother's. The table has a drawer holding my diary and packed full of bookmarks. (and don't tell anyone but there are chocolate Turtles in there too)..On the bottom shelf of the table are piles of books..Under the table is a wicker guessed it...full of books.

I don't usually have two on the go at once but right now I do. Most of my books I buy cheaply either at our downtown library sales or at the Salvation Army. Scooping up treasures still thrills me! As soon as my husband comes home from work I just have to share how lucky I was to find for example: "The Good Wives" by Louisa M. Alcott who wrote "Little Women" and "Rose in Bloom" two of my favorite books. "Little Women" was also a wonderful movie.

Or I might be excited as I found another book by Luanne Rice or Bonnie Burnard who wrote "A Good House" another super read..One of the books I'm presently reading is actually a book for teenagers called "Alma" and the author lives in Orillia just a half hour away from me. Another book I'm enjoying is called "The Bridge Club" as the author mentions many places within Muskoka that I've either visited or know fun is that when an author mentions places I actually know.

As I was reading "Alma" the young girl in the book arrives at the library and opens the big heavy double doors. What a memory that evoked in me as I never, ever got over the thrill of opening the big, heavy wooden doors of the library back home in Norwich as a child or later as a teenager to peruse all the glories contained within those walls. It didn't hurt in later years that my mother worked there as a librarian as she gave me some of my most precious keepsakes, some old discarded books.

 My husband purchased for himself a Kobo E. Reader just before is a refurbished one he found online but he loves it. He has downloaded hundreds of books and signed up at the Orillia Library so he can download books from them. The only hindrance there, he must read them within a two week period or they disappear! No worries with my beloved paper books. I used to visit the library but it's a half hour walk downtown and some winter days are too cold and treacherous for walking..I ended up with so many late fees. I found purchasing books cheaply and stacking my book shelves with them, okay... they are stacked up almost everywhere, suits me very well..

Once I finish one I pass it on to family and friends.  I finally decided this winter at my husband's suggestion to start a diary of the books I've read to which I also note how much I enjoyed it...or not. My husband is trying to get me to swing over to the Electronic Age but I've dug in my feet so far. I need to hold a book, turn the pages and have them beside me, I just like paper! The feel of it, the look of the different styles of print, the beautiful covers.

I'm coming ever so slowly into the electronic age, more slowly than most.  Don't have a lot of expertise on the computer, don't own an I Pod, don't understand all the Cyber lingo, don't want to. Some of us have to remain old fashioned and behind the times so as our grandchildren come along they can have the excitement of showing granny what it's all about. I don't even know how all their new toys work! As long as my husband is in the know with all the new electronic gadgets, I'm content..

There are some "new" things I will try gladly like the new sturdy, weeding tool my British penpal airmailed me this week. Once all this snow is gone and spring is here, you'll find me out back figuring it out.


  1. oh Lannie I struggled with this as well. We sound as if we have very similar habits! For years I was an avid library user but getting them back on time didn't always work so I switched to purchasing them at library and garage sales, second hand shops. Loading up my shelves cheaply and usually donating the books back when I was done with them. But this year for my birthday hubby bought me a Kobo. I wasn't quite sure what to think in all honesty. I love my books, and my first experience with the e-reader was bad. So bad I almost told him to take it back. Our computers aren't new enough to be compatible with the e-reader so getting it to work was a huge issue. I was downright angry with that thing after spending hours trying to make it work. But I will admit when I finally got it working I was hooked. I have never been in the habit of getting new books because they are always in demand at the library and are too expensive to buy. With the e-reader there's always sales and the books are cheaper. So I've been indulging in books I wouldn't have read before. other benefits are it's lightweight - I have Little Women in hardcover and it's so heavy! and you can load up multiple books if you're taking a trip. one e-book instead of a heavy bag full of books. I'm not giving up real books, garden books with pictures would never be the same in e-format but I am enjoying the kobo in other ways. Perhaps you can borrow your husband's kobo to test drive it knowing your faithful real books are still waiting for you.

  2. Hi Lanniekins: I was against e-readers originally but now my Kindle plays a certain role in my life. I don't want to have huge piles of books around any more (trying to downsize, don't want to move them though there are several box fulls I'll NEVER part with, and certain authors whose books I collect. I see the Kindle as a way to read my favorite newspaper when I'm in PEI as it doesn't get delivered where I am but I can download it in 5 seconds. Also, I'm sure there will be lots of days over the long winters when I can't get to the little Alberton library but with the Kindle I can get a book anytime anyplace. I love that convenience AND knowing I'll NEVER be out of reading material if we get snowed in for a week gives me peace of mind. Right now I'm reading 3 books - all hardcover. I prefer to hold a book too but the Kindle definitely has a place in my lifestyle. Also, like Marguerite I like that I can take it on a long drive (like out to PEI) or on a plane and it just takes a little space in my purse. I'm not using it right now but know I will once summer rolls around. You can have BOTH:) and still be happy! Maybe even happier!
    love Jane

  3. Thanks Jane and Marguerite for your interesting comments..I like the idea of something lighter in my purse while flying..even paperbacks are bulky. If hubby ever lets his Kobo out of his sight for awhile then I'll give it a try..he tried to get me interested in the beginning but he is a very avid reader too so he usually has a book on the go..but it does sit here on the table while he is at work! I'm sure I could get hooked on a Kobo or Kindle but I have sooooo many books here presently that I have to keep reading them in order to pass them glad you are both enjoying your E-readers..tea and reading on a cold winter's day, nothing like it..and it's minus 15 here Lannie