Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Re-kindled Affair with Books in Paper and Ink

It happened on the spur of the moment. I was browsing for a new book to read. I came across a book review on the Times or the Post, I forget, and I liked what I read about the book. I wanted a book to read so badly, that I just had to do it. I went on Amazon.com, and gave that defining peck on the keyboard. I had bought my first Kindle book.

The book was mine now. The device Kindle was surprisingly home, and not at work with hubby. So, I grabbed the reader, planted myself on the sofa with my feet tucked under me, and began to read. The kids were asleep, the afternoon sun kissing the room was lovely, and the book was absolutely to its promise. I did not put down the e-reader at all! At night, when all the lights in the house went down, I still wanted to read, even while the kids slept next to me. And I did, in the illumination of the i-pad this time. When I first picked the i-pad, the software even asked me, if it wanted me to start the book from the beginning, or from the page that I was on on the Kindle. (How thoughtful, I thought!) I loved the book, and when the book was finished, I realised that I was almost a convert---I think I am not so much against e-books anymore.

And then, the other day, as I was about to recommend that book to someone, I realised that I didn't even know the name of the author. The entire process of reading the review, buying the book and reading it had been so quick, as to seem almost surreal. Even while reading the book, I was actually taken by surprise, when the book ended. Not because the story line did not lend itself to an end then, but because my fingers had not felt the weight of the book shifting from the left hand to right. That percentage estimate of the portion of the book read, that shows at the bottom of the screen on Kindle, is a good way to know how far is the end, but its not enough of a tactile experience to fill up the senses with the book. And last, but not the least, I dislike now the fact that I can't see the spine of that book on my book shelf, from where I can simply pick a book and read a favorite line or a favorite page. I always have to ensure  that the kindle or the i-pad are charged enough unless I want to read plugged into an electrical outlet.

So, my verdict is that I would still like to lay hands on a real paper and ink book, if I can. However, for those 'right-now' moments, its always good to have somethings a mere click away.

Oh, by the way, the book I read is: Tomorrow There will be Apricots, by Jessica Soffer.