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 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 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 or iTunes. (I still prefer Kindle and 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. :)