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Blog In Book Club

I like Ebook readers but I'm not switching over...yet

By David Silverberg
Posted Mar 13, 2012 in Technology
For the past month I've been trying out the Kobo Vox Ebook reader and it's truly a stunning device: seven-inch colour touchscreen, Web browser and email functionality, and more than 2.2 million books available to buy - and around 1 million free books, too!
The fact this reader can hold dozens if not hundreds of books is appealing to a bookworm like myself. I've felt that back pain of having too many hardcovers in a bag, and I've known the awkwardness of trying to read a heavy tome while on the subway, standing up, for instance. The Kobo Vox makes reading simpler, and perhaps even more intuitive. When I read a Franklin book to see how the colour screen would look, the image sharpness popped off the screen impressively.
And when I wanted to page through some of my favourite passages in Frankenstein, finding what I wanted was easy by quickly flicking the screen to get to my desired page. No paper cuts here.
But after a few weeks, I found myself missing ye' ol' book. Why? I spend my day job, as many of you know, in front of a computer screen, and I often have to monitor Digital Journal in the evening too. So I'm constantly in front of a glowing screen, in some form. I need a rest from that eye strain; and reading a regular paperback gives me that respite. My eyes can relax poring over text instead of a screen, no matter how high-tech the e-ink.
I'm also accustomed to the feel of a book (and yes, even the paper cuts). There's something about curling up on a couch with a paper book that Ebook readers can't offer, and it's almost an indescribable feeling of routine, comfort, and nostalgia. I've grown up with books; and while Ebook readers fascinate me, they also worry me. Will kids today never know that wondrous feeling of rushing to a bookstore to get the latest sequel from their favourite author? Well, maybe they'll feel the same joy when they see that book pop up as a Kindle Single.
I enjoyed playing with the Kobo Vox, but that's the distinction: I played with it like a toy, and don't see it as a utility, as a must-have. For now. I know my tastes change - I used to be anti-tablet but now I'm quite pro-tablet - and I know how functional a reader can be, especially for something as eye-grabbing as comics. Maybe I'll warm to the reader trend, but tonight I think I'll give my Elmore Leonard book a read, and it'll feel just like home.

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