In recent years, I have become an avid digital book reader. I enjoy listening to books when my eyes or hands are otherwise engaged and I am unable to curl up with a new book. And I have found it incredibly convenient to be able to purchase or borrow digital titles any time I want. However, I have lately found that I miss the feel of a new-to-me book in my hands. With both my library and local bookstore closed, getting a new physical book into my possession has been a struggle. Of course, I have access to Kindle Unlimited, Overdrive, Libby, Hoopla, and a variety of other online sources for digital books, but when I am listening to a thunderstorm, or curling up for bed, I want a *real* book.
Audio books have a special place in my life. I prefer to listen to a good story while working out, completing a jigsaw puzzle or knitting. I have also found they help make both indoor and outdoor chores more tolerable. I don’t have the same relationship with books I listen to instead of read, but I can still appreciate the craft, the word play and can further enjoy the narration (when done well). My older niece has started to enjoy them, too. She also likes the fact that we can both listen while we use our hands to work on arts and crafts projects and we aren’t quite as stifled with one of us needing to hold and read a book. Audio books certainly have a place in my life.
Digital books have become very popular and I certainly have benefited from the medium. I love having a library of books at my fingertips. I own both a Nook and a Kindle and have apps for both of them on various devices. I pick up free and cheap books for either app on a variety of sites. And of course, I have a fantastic local library resource. The best thing about being digital, is in the middle of the night (or snow storm or nap time or whatever), I can pick up the next book in whatever series I may be reading, or that books whose title I have just now remembered. Digital books have made my life more convenient.
Physical books, however, will always be my favorite. Even with all of my other options, I was a weekly visitor to my local library and would frequently walk out with 10 or more books I just needed to have right now. I used the hold feature to make sure I had early access to new releases and less popular titles alike. Browsing the shelves was an afternoon activity for me. I own hundreds (if not more) physical books and proudly house them in a main floor library in my home. There is not a room in my house that does not have a few (or more) books in it.
During this unprecedented time of everything being closed and leaving the house being frowned upon, I have missed bringing new-to-me titles into my home. I made a comment about this to my husband last week. He immediately made a plan to visit our local dollar store, without telling me. He went there with the sole purpose of being able to inexpensively bring me home a collection of new titles. Our dollar store is awesome, it carries a wide variety of hard and soft cover books that are always $1.00. I have made some amazing finds there. So, he goes out, purportedly, for our weekly grocery shopping and comes home with two bags full of new titles for me to peruse. I am a very lucky woman!
So while there is a great variety of types and availability for books new and old, I am glad for the old standard and am glad when I feel the heft of a new exciting story. Are other people experiencing this? Have most of us readers moved to the digital world?