So I eventually succumbed. My joy of tech over won my aversion to the e-book reader and I bought a Kindle. The years fighting it and making better and better arguments for not needing or wanting one suddenly slip away.
And I apologize. I still love and define myself large parts of myself by my physical library but I have become a follower. Instead of constantly needing to carry books inside my heavy laptop bag I have this little device. I can choose from a great library of works and I can read them in a dark corner in a crowded bus.
On the differences between the Kindle and the iPad the Kindle wins because it lacks features. This is counter intuitive and most probably will not last but it should be the Kindles strongest selling argument. Another e-book sceptic Hiltzik writes in the LA Times :
The Kindle, by contrast, has been optimized as a reading device. The letters seem to sit on top of its matte black-and-white E Ink display, reducing eyestrain, their outlines razor-sharp. One good thing about the Kindle is it’s distraction-free — there is a Web browser, but luckily it’s almost useless. The iPad invites you to set aside your reading to play, Web surf, check e-mail, futz around in a million digital ways; the Kindle is solely for reading.
Once again I can see that the traditional bookstore (which I love) has lost relevance to my lifestyle. My reading habits are also changing in relation to what I read, how I read and when I read.
So even though I love a good book – actually holding the physical copy will be a special event. I eventually got rid of my cd collection… how long will my library last?