Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I have discovered the revolution that is e-books. Of course, I’ve heard of them before now, (I mean, Helloo! I do use the internet!) but I didn’t really get the full impact of what e-books actually mean. In all honesty, I thought that they were a bit naff. A crappy, techie, unnecessary version of a good thing. A book should have pages. Made of paper. That you can hold. It has a smell of its own and doesn’t come with a harsh background light. None of this is really all that surprising, because I’m really not much of a techie. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a technophobe – but there are sometimes when the old fashioned way is just more appealing to me, it’s less of a headache. I mean, a real folder doesn’t get viruses and even when my binders crash on the floor, my stuff’s still there. E-books just didn’t appeal to me and I didn’t believe that it would feel the same to read e-books as it does to read dead tree books.

This was until a friend of mine mentioned that she’d read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ online. That made me stop in my tracks. I’ve been living in Algeria for a few years now and the hardest thing is the complete lack of books in the English language. The only English books here are the classics: Shakespeare, Austen, the Bronte sisters, Hemingway, etc. There’s no choice (said with a plaintive wail in my voice). And then this girl tells me that she read ‘The Da Vinci Code’, a book I’ve been wanting to read for years (which is altogether too long to wait to read a book).

Though I was largely sceptical of the whole e-book thing, I decided to try it out. It’s a question of necessity, as I feel like there’s something missing since I stopped reading fresh material. I miss a good book. I go online and read about all the books other people are reading and it’s torture, cause I know that I can’t read those books. So I decided to download a book – I actually downloaded 5 to see if it worked (if it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing properly, right?). I picked the Twilight series, as I’ve been wanting to read it for ages and I’ve seen both Twilight and New Moon. It downloaded in a few minutes – a miracle considering how crappily slow our internet connection is. Holding my breathe, I opened Twilight in PDF form and voila! I had a book to read. An actual book!

I read a chapter to test it out. I still wasn’t convinced that it would draw me in the same way that a paper book would, that it wouldn’t be able to transport me to another world in the same way. I was wrong. In one chapter I was lost in another world – I was in rainy Forks, standing in Charlie’s house, looking at the old décor, seeing everything through Bella’s eyes. I was caught.

That night, I curled up in bed and read a third of the book straight, before going to sleep, and I realised that it’s the words and style of the writer that determine how good a book is, that catches you and takes you away to another world, not the format of the book. It’s a breakthrough like none other for me – a total Godsend – I now have books to read: YIPPEE!!! I’ve been doing the hyper version of a happy dance ever since. :D

1 comment:

  1. I think I would get a Kindle or some other e-book rader if I traveled alot for work since it is nice to have something light & portable v. lugging around heavy books... but I am still not sure how I feel about reading something electronically. My sister in law swears I would love it, but I just can't think of not physically holding a book & turning the pages... but since you felt that way, too, and are loving e-books, maybe I should give them a shot!