I don’t love technology. If progress had stopped in 1985, when there were VCRs, answering machines, and IBM Selectrics, as far as I’m concerned the world would still be a whiz-bang place. I’ve been using a personal computer since 1986, but I’ve never been a cheerleader for the digital age. And I’ve always loved books, especially old books with their musty smell and brittle pages, and names of former owners written inside. The idea of ebooks always made me cringe. What would it be like to read Anthony Trollope on a computer, or the little screen of an ereader? Who would want to?
The joke is, for the past eight months, I’ve been freelancing for a digital publisher. In other words, I edit books that will probably never be read on anything other than a screen. And so I have been absorbed into the digital dark side, and I wasted much free time dithering over which kind of ereader would be best, or if I even wanted one at all. This past summer the question was decided for me when I was given a Kobo ereader.
From the moment I pulled it out of its box, I’ve had a crush on this little gadget. I’ve read everything from Little Dorrit to the latest pulp horror novels on its non-glare screen. I spend my spare moments finding free ebooks to download onto it. It now has about 250 books, mostly classics from gutenberg.org’s spectacular library of public domain titles. It is small, light, and easy to use. Best of all, I can now walk around town like an ambulatory library, effortlessly toting 250 books in my purse.