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Traci Arbios: The e-reader, my latest love

Traci Arbios • May 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Do you ever look back in time and think, “Wow, I said that stupid thing?” While I’m not a huge fan of that feeling, I think admitting that I was horrendously, boorishly wrong about something makes me — at the very least — an aware person (if not also amazingly astute, incredibly broad-minded, close to godly and mildly good-looking. Also, humble.)Last year some time, I made this stupid remark: “I don’t think I’d like e-books.” Among the lame reasons I gave were:— I like the feeling of holding the book in my hand.— I like the smell of the paper.— Reading is very intimate; I take my book with me everywhere.— Reading on a computer bugs my eyes.I sit here, one year later, and I quietly punch those statements in their moronic faces. Why? A few months ago, I read my first book on my iPhone, and later, on an iPad and GUESS WHAT I DISCOVERED?So. Much. Awesome. A whole plethora of awesome. In fact, I think there is so much awesome in reading on my iPad that I may well be slowly overdosing on the awesome.First off, when reading on an e-reader, guess where you hold it? IN YOUR HAND. Gosh, pretty much exactly like an actual book. Weird right? But it gets better. You know how sometimes, when you choose a book and it has like 700 pages and it’s all unwieldy? E-readers aren’t heavy. No matter how large the book, the e-reader ALWAYS WEIGHS THE SAME. Amazing.As for the smell of the paper? E-readers don’t smell — which can actually be a good thing. Plus they also don’t come with other surprises left from previous readers — like potato chip crumbles in the binding or the casually stuck booger.Reading on an e-reader is exactly as intimate as reading a book, only (and I’m not making this up) BETTER. Why? I read before I go to sleep. In fact, a book usually leads me to slumber. So I lay on my right side, and I read, and when I reach the end of the page? I have to roll over as I turn the page, so I can balance the massive tome correctly, to save at least one arm from blood loss. And then when my husband goes to sleep and I still have my light because I am in no way tired enough to put the book down at what coincidentally is always some climactic moment? I weigh my selfish must-keep-reading desires against my worst-person-ever guilt over the possibility that the light bugs him. Usually, the latter lasts for about 5 seconds as I continue reading, but you get my point.With the e-reader, there is no flippy floppy. I don’t have to worry about balancing my book correctly so my arms don’t collapse under its weight or trying to find a way to bolster the book with a pillow and then constantly readjust. The e-reader’s case (which is essential, to keep the electronic gadget safe from my stupidity) also acts like a stand, so I can (in the words of a great man) “set it and forget it.” Turning the page requires the barest finger swipe. Better? The e-reader page is back lit with a soft light that I can adjust, so I’m not worried it the light is bothering anyone else. Further? I can also adjust the font size, taking it easy on my tired eyes.Finally, I DO take my e-reader everywhere, just like I did my book. Only with the e-reader, I’m not embarrassed by the cover art of whatever shlocky, delicious piece of trash book I happen to be reading. Nor do I have to define it to prying eyes, or endure making idle chit chat, say, in the doctor’s office with someone who’s also read the same book because they CAN’T SEE THE TITLE. Awkward, end-revealing, spoiler conversations averted!So there you have it. I go on record, formally: I love e-books, Sam-I-Am. They are awesome, and I highly recommend the conversion to others———Traci Arbios is a mom, stepmom, adoptive mom and working mom. She lives with and writes about her blended family of seven kids, two pets and one amazingly patient husband at www.thefullmoxie.com. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/traciawesome; contact her at traci@thefullmoxie.com; or zap her on twitter, @traciAWESOME.

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