Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Out of Sight, Out of Mind; or, An eBook Conundrum

I love print books, but I think ebooks are cool too. I've read a few and appreciate being able to read into the night with no lights on that keep my hubby awake. I like books being saved on clouds, so that when my son deletes every app on my iPad, recovery of the books is easy. I really like being able to quickly and easily look up words I don't know. I take notes without having to look for a pen and paper (I can't write in books, I use sticky notes typically). Ebooks have all sorts of conveniences.

Here's my problem. I forget about them. My print books are on shelves, overflowing shelves, in my living room, so I see them every day. Different titles catch my eye, I think about the books I want to read and the ones I have read. I think about how many there are, if I could bare parting with any of them. I think about how I felt, what I thought, when I read them and when I purchased them. I see them.  My ebooks exist in the digital world.  I only see them if I open the app.  I don't think about them, because I don't see them.  When I have read an ebook, I have made the decision before hand that the next book I'll read will be Villette or UR, reading an ebook I don't think has ever been a random decision, where I just pick up a book on a feeling. I've always suspected this about myself, but only fully realized it recently.
I was out with my Hubby and his dad. We were in a shop when I saw a super cool mug, the banned books mug.  I was reading off all the books I've read with my father-in-law when I got to Animal Farm.  He said, "You've read Animal Farm." in an obviously kind of way.  I said, "No, I've read 1984, not Animal Farm." He was quite surprised.  I told him, "It's because I have it as an ebook, I forget it's there." It's true. 

I have so many ebooks that I'm excited to read... like Animal Farm. I have Cat's Cradle and Mansfield Park. I have The Scorpio Races, Shatter Me and loads of other examples I can't think of because I don't have the apps open in front of me right now.  What do I do?  Schedule my reading more?  Make notes for myself?  Open every ereading app I have before choosing my next book?  Definitely not the last one.  Maybe make more notes.  That seems like the least obtrusive option.  Because really, I want to read Animal Farm and all those other books.  I also feel like if my book-loving father-in-law, thinks I should read Animal Farm, I should.  He also almost exclusive reads ebooks now. Reading in any form is good, and reading all the books I own would be great.


  1. Anonymous10/8/14 17:50

    I have the same problem. I forget the ebooks! I discovered today that I had the biography of C. Dickens ( Tomalin) and just ordered the print book! I love the feel of books but the ease of reading an ebook ( notes, looking up words without a pen) is wonderful. I use ebooks for reading in French. Zola's books leave no room in the margins for a quick note and on my IPAD I can easlily write down my thoughts. I think I still will stick to print books. I have a classic book list to read and have most of the books piled up near my reading table. It is great to watch the pile get smaller as I progress!

    1. I keep pretty good track of which print and ebooks I own (spreadsheet), so I haven't accidentally double purchased anything. I also know what you mean about watching a physical stack of books grow smaller as you read them. I appreciate ebooks, I just need to remember them. I'll be reading Animal Farm soon, and I have that as an ebook. Good luck with your book pile!