Friday, December 14

The March Toward a Digital Society

I became interested in a book today ("Pioneering Palm Beach: The Deweys and the South Florida Frontier") and went to Amazon.com to buy a copy. It's only available in paperback, not Kindle. In a rush of emotion that surprised me, I felt an almost revulsion at the thought of buying another physical book.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE TO READ. I buy more books now than I EVER did before I started with Kindle (and we have a house that's full of books!). But the convenience of always having my library available to me wherever I go, on my iPad, on my iPhone, on any of my computers, etc., has so completely won me over that I actually don't even WANT books printed on paper any more.

I'm sure there are purists reading this who are appalled. I would have been, too, had this not just happened to me. A couple years ago, I spent my Amazon.com birthday money buying beautiful leather bound editions of some of my favorite study bibles. I thought I'd spend hours happily turning pages. They're gorgeous! And they sit on my shelf, brand new, hardly ever opened. I have three bible study apps for my phone, tablet, and computer, and they are SO good and SO convenient that I never use printed copies any more.

This change in my perspective fascinates me. I always "loved a good book." I still do, but I just prefer that it's not an ACTUAL book. I have very mixed emotions about this, and I can't decide why. I didn't miss vinyl records when I moved to the much more useful CD format, and I don't miss buying CDs now that I purchase all my music through Amazon.com or iTunes. (I still prefer Kindle and Amazon.com MP3 over iBooks and iTunes, but why that is the case is the subject for another musing.)

I messaged the author of the book through their Facebook page, asking if there were any plans to publish it in Kindle format. And I realized that, at least for today, my interest in the book, which would have led to an immediate impulse purchase, isn't strong enough to make me buy it in what I perceive to be an inconvenient format.

I know I'm a geek. I get that. But I'm becoming a reverse snob. Just like the elitist jerks that turn their noses up at e-books and digital downloads, I find myself doing the same thing for the old formats.

I wonder if I will be able to live with myself in the morning. :)

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