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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Read and Release

The other day, I was going through my email and came upon a post from KS Augustin on one of my list groups. She welcomed people to her blog and I decided to take a look. She has a very neat blog, by the way.

As I was reading some of the entries, she mentioned that she had moved, leaving behind more than 2500 books. I have no idea how many books I have, but between two houses, numerous bookshelves and countless boxes, I am no slouch in the book hording department.

But KS said something that struck a chord. She said she was glad for the rise of e-books, making it so much easier to read and accumulate novels. It hit me like a thunderbolt. Is that why electronic books are gaining popularity? Is there a correlation, not just with the convenience of moving our libraries with us no matter where we go in this world, but also with the public's increasing inclination to read and release?

I don't reread many books. I can count on one hand how many books I have reread. (okay, one and a half hands) There are just too many books out there to linger too long on older work. And while I much prefer the feel of having a book in my hands, I think I can get used to reading off a screen.

A couple of years ago, my company went to on-screen proofing (in an effort to reduce paper). Lots of people balked, but it's amazing how quickly we all adapted. Today, as I walk around the office, I never hear a single gripe about reading off the screen. Why? Because we've discovered that not only can we enlarge the text size to our comfort reading level, but we also aren't drowning in paper everywhere we go.

My generation knew only one kind of book, something tactile…and usually heavy. But the generations being born today will not flinch for a moment with the new mediums. So while I might be more comfortable with something physical, I think I can adjust, and I can embrace e-books with open arms--and less tired eyes.