A recent survey by Verso Digital found that there is a huge chunk of readers who do not want to use e-readers. 49 percent of the respondents in the survey said that it was unlikely that they would buy an e-reader. I belong to that category.
A generous friend recently offered to buy me a Nook as a thank you gift. I graciously thanked her, but declined the offer. I did not decline the Nook because I already own an e-reader, I declined the Nook because I don’t think I would use it much.
I have a confession to make. I do most of my reading in the bathtub, while running errands, or when waiting around for the kids to finish an activity. In the former, I read books. With the latter, I read magazines and journals.
Here is my concern. A bathtub is full of water. If I take a Nook into the bathtub, sooner or later, I will get water on it. I may possibly drop it into the tub. Dropping a one book into the tub is unfortunate, but not a library killer. Dropping a Nook into the bathtub could potentially destroy a whole library full of books.
My other concern with using an e-reader has to do with sharing books. I love to share my books. If I read a great book, I tell my friends about it and offer to loan it to them to read. Books I read and don’t want to keep in my personal library, I donate to my church library so others can have the enjoyment of reading them. Sometimes I gift books I have read to people I feel God is telling me to give the book to.
An e-reader doesn’t allow me to share books. It doesn’t allow me to share the love of reading with others. It’s a self-serving tool.
You might respond that e-readers can now lend books to one another. True. However, what if my friend doesn’t have an e-reader? Then I either have to give up my reading device for a couple weeks, or tell my friend to buy the book.
Some publishers reading this post will be thinking, “e-Readers help me sell more copies of my books. Sharing books reduces sales, which means less revenue.”
I would counter that argument with this: There have been many times when I have read a book someone has shared with me and then turned around and purchased the book either for my library or as a gift for someone else. In these instances, sharing a book has resulted in creating a sale for the publisher.
I confess: I am not a techie. I don’t need the latest gadget. I usually wait until a device has well saturated the public before I buy in. I guess the same will be true for an e-reader.