First and foremost I am a Bibliophile, which is basically a lover of books. In my particular case a collector of books as well. Old or new, dusty or shiny new, digital or analog, I love them all.
However, I do also love to wander around a used book store. Actually, I love to wander around ANY book store, full stop. Financially though a used book store is more attractive. Plus, you just never know what you may find in a used book store. Sometimes wandering in off the street feels like you’ve come upon an enchanted forest of books, not knowing exactly what you may find.
I’m not so certain that being a bibliophile is medium based though, is it? I mean you still can love music and listen to your songs digitally. My reading today is almost 75% NOT via print media, why shouldn’t I have some sort of mobile device? When I think in terms of cost it makes sense as the output to buy the reader is out weighed when you factor in the reduced price of ebooks to hard copy. So for me they are an opportunity to once again read those delicious new books when they come out. I have too many books anyways. Which is especially prevalent when one has to pack them all up and move them 3 hours away.
Sadly though I just don’t currently own an eReader of any kind – yet. I can see myself with one though. I really think I’d like it. So I plan on giving myself one as a little gift in a few months. Might even end up buying used.
Ultimately it really comes down to some simple concepts for me though – first it is about the story and the characters, I see the medium of delivery of less significance. Also, it’s not a big leap to see that ebooks are changing the publishing industry. Quite frankly the whole literary world will change as digital works become more interactive. Even general non-fiction and reference works become both more available, but also more valuable in terms of citations, quoting, bookmarking passages. I find that fabulous.
Regardless though, hard copy books will always have room in my life. As time goes on books will become much like old record albums, or even CD’s as they are replaced with the preferred, and probably more interactive, digital formats. That future scarcity is even more reason to keep collecting books. Of course that’s the book collecting bibliophile in me talking. So I guess I’m firmly in both camps.
As Cicero said, “a room without books is like a body without a soul”.