When I first heard the topic was “Favorite Reader,” I wasn’t sure which reader I should talk about. Should I mention my mom, who’s my favorite reader because she tells me she loves the book, even with the flaws we both know are there? Or is it the reader in my mind that I write for as I’m drafting up a book? She’s the one who helps guide me through the process, who complains when the plot wanders off on a tangent or nods her head in approval when the wording for an action scene comes out just right.
Then there’s the other type of reader: the e-reader. I don’t actually own one myself, much preferring to read a traditional paperback. I can throw it in my car to read in those minutes when I’m waiting for the final school bell to ring, and it won’t matter if my youngest snatches it out of my hands and flips through the pages while bending the cover (though I’d prefer he didn’t). I can carry one with me as I take my kids to swim lessons, reading a paragraph here and there, or when I’m waiting at the dentist. I never need to worry about battery life, and I don’t need to power it on or power it down. When I’m done reading, I simply close the book and set it aside or stuff it in the backpack. I can leave a paperback anywhere in the house and not worry about the kids picking it up and breaking it.
But someday my kids are going to grow up. Heck, they might even move out of the house. Worries about sticky fingers and small children who love to drop everything they pick up will be a thing of the past. My husband and I can take vacations where I have time for myself (no, really, it could happen), and that’s when an e-reader will come in handy. Instead of cramming half a dozen paperbacks into my suitcase next to my shoes, I can store hundreds of books on a single device. If I hear about a new book, I can download it immediately instead of hunting down a bookstore or standing by my mailbox, waiting for the Amazon box to arrive.
Of course, by the time this happens, e-readers may be obsolete. In another fifteen years, tiny chips might be implanted in our brains and a Suri-like voice will read each book to us in the accent of our choosing.
In the meantime, I like to keep up with industry trends, just in case I decide to splurge on an e-reader before my kids have graduated high school. If you have an e-reader, what kind do you have? More importantly, how do you like it?