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I love books. I know that a lot of people say that, but I really love books. I’m an introvert, and I spend a good bit of time alone. Books are my sanctuary. I always take a glance around when entering a home to see if they have books. They’re great conversation starters if you’re socially awkward like I am. They make me feel safe, and I have always had shelf upon shelf of books in my house. I also have baskets, and stacks, and for a while I had a toy-box filled to the brim with books. There will never be enough lifetime for me to read everything I want to read.
[bctt tweet=”“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” ― Jorge Luis Borges” username=”emmycaitlin”]
Naturally when Amazon first came out with the Kindle, I wanted one. My first Kindle was a hand-me-down and I instantly realized how great it was. I’ve never enjoyed reading on a computer screen, and the Kindle gave me the technology without the eye-strain. So many classics are free for Kindle, that while I was in school it kept me from having to buy a lot of my books. I had to read a lot of novels, and most of them were free. Then I broke it. You can’t break a real book unless you leave it out in the rain. Even then you can probably still read it once you’ve let it dry. Real books don’t ever need charging either. Plus you can borrow from the library for free. So I rationalized that while it had been handy, I didn’t need it. Oh but I missed it. Then the same kind person who gave me the first one, sent me a gift card for a replacement.
Ever since then I’ve kept it in my purse so that I’m never without a book, but I still usually buy books from the thrift store, or in hard copy form from Amazon. There’s just something about the feel of a book. Not only that, but when I first started using the Kindle I was a bit of a digital hoarder. I’d picked up tons of free books, I’d never organized anything, and I was a bit overwhelmed by my collection. But recently, I have decided to embrace the eBook. I finished Joyland by Stephen King (I highly recommend this one) in paperback, and a few days later turned on my Kindle and saw that I owned the eBook as well. This prompted me to finally take some action and declutter my Kindle. Yes, you can have digital clutter. I spent several hours deleting free books I would never read, and organizing the books I wanted to keep into collections. As I worked on this project I found quite a few books that I owned both digital and hard copies of. So I donated the hard copies, and kept the digital forms.
After that rather tedious project was complete, I started thinking about my book obsession. Having a lot of books around me does make me happy, but it doesn’t mean I’m well read. Having no books in your house doesn’t mean you don’t read. From an environmental, and a minimalist perspective, it makes sense to stop buying the physical copies, and start buying digital. So as I’m adding books to my wishlist, I’m adding them in Kindle format. I’m looking to see if I can borrow them as part of my Prime membership, or from my libraries digital selection. I’ll be donating my real books as I finish reading them, except for a few that I just can’t part with.
I’m sure I’ll still pick up books from my thrift store because I’m convinced that someone who donates to them knows what I want to read, and donates it right before I get there. Plus the money goes to a good cause, and I donate it right back to them when I’m done. But overall the collection is going to dwindle. Part of my is a bit sad by this, but another part is utterly amazed at how I can carry thousands of books in my purse at all times.
So, are you a lover of the eBook, or the real thing?