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Overcoming my e-prejudices

Published 9:51pm Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When e-books hit the market, I admit I turned my nose up at the concept. A lifelong love of books left me with the feeling that the reading experience required feeling and smelling and hearing the pages as they were turned. Anything else would cheapen what had become a ritualistic experience for me.

When a lot of my peers started buying e-readers, I again scoffed at their value. Swiping or tapping a screen to scroll through words just seemed like work to me. Never mind it takes more effort to physically turn the pages of a paper book.

No, I was more than content to keep filling my bookshelves with beloved books, trading them with friends and coworkers and even hunting through my local library, looking for a great read when I no longer had the cash to buy new books.

And then my mother got a Nook and then a Kindle. Then my sister did, and then my sister-in-law. So many people I knew were jumping on the e-reader bandwagon that I was beginning to be surrounded by the technological menace.

So I decided to borrow my mother’s. Just for research, of course! I had to use it in order to figure out how to fight it, right?

But I got hooked, against my better judgment. And that’s when I got one myself, a gift from my father. And I filled it to the brim with more books than I have time to read, many of them free classics from my childhood that I enjoy returning to as an adult.

I’ve learned there are many reasons to love e-books, from their ease of access to being available at a cheaper price. And traveling is even easier, now that I don’t have to remember to bring three or four books on the off chance that I have too much free time and not enough reading material.

And being a big proponent of children and teen reading, it’s great to know that e-books can often encourage youngsters to read, thanks to the novelty of reading the same old books on an exciting, new ‘gadget.’

Suffolk library patrons — kids and adults alike — can now check e-books out from the comfort of their homes, cutting out a time-consuming and gas-guzzling drive to your local branch. Patrons just need to download the Blio app to a Kindle Fire, Android phone or tablet, iPad or iPhone Touch 3 or higher. From there, users create an account, and then the world of e-books is opened up.

Despite my initial hesitation, e-books are poised to bring everyone — from children to teens to adults — into the wonderful world of literature, and that’s something worth supporting.

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