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5 Secret Emotions Only E-Reader Addicts Understand

Diagnose your affliction; seek support in fellow sufferers.

by
Hannah Sternberg

Bio

March 15, 2014 - 10:00 am
woman-reading-kindle-mobi-e1357903297243

I love my Kindle, and my Kindle cloud account, which allows me to read books I’ve purchased on any device (for the times when I forget my Kindle, have to take an unexpected Metro ride, or carry a ridiculously small purse to match my outfit). I used to be that person who never went anywhere without a book. I still am that person — but instead of having to tote around a paperback, reading the same book I read at home, from the same page I left off, is as simple as whipping out my phone. My name is Hannah Sternberg and I’m an eReader Addict.

You, too, may be an eReader Addict, if you’ve experienced one or more of the following:

 

5) Frustration, when you tap a word to call up its definition, only to remember that you’re reading a print book today.

 

4) Annoyance, when you hear, “Print books are superior because they never run out of batteries.” Sure…but they can also lose pages when the binding gets old, get smudged in the rain, break in half at the spine, get discolored with age, and attract bugs. Everything has strengths and weaknesses. If the fact that I have to recharge my Kindle once a month is the best criticism you’ve got, I don’t think that makes it inferior.DSC00529_large_verge_medium_landscape

 

3)  Exhilaration, when you discover that one of your favorite authors has started releasing (in digital form) short stories, novellas, and tie-ins to their previous works that would never have made it through the gamut of traditional publishing.

 

2) Furtive delight, when you realize no one is above reading something racy or silly on public transportation when you’re protected from cover-peeking snoopers. Additionally: smug amusement when you put on a serious, contemplative face while reading Sh!t My Dad Says on the Metro. Why yes, sir, this is my second time through Proust.

1) Waves of gratitude and joy, when you realize the world is just a little bit closer to every book being available anywhere. The world is my library, and while I may never have time to read it all, the barriers to accessing whatever literature my heart desires are growing smaller and smaller.

Hannah Sternberg is a writer and cocktail conquistador operating out of Washington, DC. Her second novel, Bulfinch, is now available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Relieve your itchy fingers and click here to buy it now.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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I like my Kindle, too, but print books are better for random access and for consulting tables, indices, photographs, etc., and finding that character's name that didn't seem important enough at the time to bookmark it electronically 60-some pages ago.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
If only Orwell had foreseen e-readers he could have done away with all of that time-consuming cut & paste censorship in 1984. Now, simply control the source of the feeds, and voila! And, no messy burning of books, ala Fahrenheit 451!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read almost everything on Kindle now. The only part of the experience that's not exactly what I want it to be is Amazon's browsing experience. Their recommendations are rarely helpful, and the free-browsing experience is very linear -- sometimes I don't know what I want but working myself page by page through an entire topic category is a poor way to browse.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
That is definitely the flaw. I usually browse and order books from the Amazon main site on my computer in my free time so I'm not stuck trying to find one on the Kindle browser.

But even with that -- I love my Kindles!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
A number of people will read something new on a Kindle really like and then buy the book. The nice thing for me is I'm on a fixed income and live in a small apartment. So between the free books available and the downloads the library has for Ebook readers I save room and money.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Am I the only one, or is somebody else frustrated with these articles which run 6 pages on PJM that could just as well take just one?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's why they have the "View as Single Page" link. Next to the "Page x of y".

Although I do wish they would make that the default, I understand - each "page" actually fits on most handhelds of any kind.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. And the dumb ones are the 2 page articles which could just be one page and don't need the pointless next/'view as a single page' option.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, you gain and lose. Ebooks have an especially outsize influence outside one's easy access to bookstores. I can remember many a half a day spent scouring book stores in Cuzco and Rio de Janeiro desperate for some English-language paperbacks to trade in and new ones to read. Not today.

I remember running into a guy in Bali at a backpacker's book exchange in 1999 who really wanted to find Jordan's Wheel of Time No.5. That wouldn't happen now. I used to motorcycle from paperback exchange to paperback exchange because I read every day and 3 months is a long time.

But the thing is, those slim pickings on the backpacking circuit meant you'd try things you otherwise might ignore. The following year in Bali I found W. Michael Gear's Forbidden Border trilogy. Bought the first one, liked it, and went back on my motorcycle for the other 2. Given Gear's past work, I never would've tried that first one in the states - now that trilogy is a go-to read for me.

In Athens in 2002 there was almost nothing to be had by way of science fiction or fantasy in this book store I was in so I tried something new by George R.R. Martin, a mid-list author who's work had never done anything for me. The book was A Game of Thrones. I never would've picked that up in the states. Now it's one of my favorite series.

Sometimes it works the opposite way. On a 6 month trip in 1986, I slogged my way through the (to me) terrible Thomas Covenant trilogy by Stephen Donaldson because that's all Singapore had and I knew the Sumatra I was heading for would have zilch.

In the old days, backpacking 6, 7 months in the back end of the Third World was a (happily) fairly isolating experience of language and local transport challenges. That's all gone now. People who speak English cater to backpackers and with special transport.

Go to Varanasi, India or Bali today and it's backpackers never off their cellphones, and on usually much shorter trips measured in 2 or 3 weeks rather than the mammoth 6 months plus rite-of-passage explorations to out of the way hamlets in the heart of S. America. I wonder why these new people on their cell phones ever left home since they no longer experience forced immersion into those cultures, having to learn languages and communicating home only by letters or the occasional expensive long-distance phone call.

Having a thing at your fingertips is a great thing but can also be something that robs character building and the focus that comes with treating a thing as an event to focus on rather than carrying the Library of Alexandria around with you on a tiny passport drive or the internet. As often as not, people learn languages because they have to. If you don't have to you might not.

There's a difference between sipping fine wine and chugging it out of the bottle
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
At first I thought were place-dropping, but if you were a pack-packer in those interesting places, then Bravo!

I've still got several shelves of rather weathered, worn hard cover books I've loved over the years, some merely liked, some are simple souvenirs. All are saved.

But, it's now easier to get into bed with an iPad [sigh] with Kindle downloaded on it.....actually making notes [sort of] in the margins, and highlighting a line to attract my attention later as a citation; and using a stylus, as I really, really don't like finger smudges accumulating. Peanut butter sandwiches are best eaten downstairs earlier.

My name is Charlie, and I'm an addict.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not place-dropping. Books were a central part of my long trips, with time spent replenishing them. I read Tarzan and the Ant Men by firelight and fog during a two night solo stay atop Santa Maria volcano on Guatemala with the active crater Santiaguito rumbling in eruption below. Traded for it in a book store I'd found by searching around Guatemala City.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, I am the person who reads books until they die from overuse. I am considering an eReader, but I also will never stop laying in a library of traditional books ... why?

If something should ever happen to our electronics, I will still have all my hardcopy books to read. Then all have to do I hope I never lose my eyes site.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
LARGE print is nice, for reading in bed without needing your trifocal glasses.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can adjust the font size, type and background (white on black, black on white, or some dimly lit sepia).

What I miss is browsing a friend's bookshelves, or having someone browse mine, to get started on a new series, or to read something by an author I haven't tried before.

It also helps when you need something new to read at 10pm on a Sunday. Sure, I love browsing a bookstore, but there's so much now that doesn't fit on the 8 bookcases labeled SciFi-Fantasy.

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a Kindle-only author I appreciate your article. Kindle is a miracle that allows you to carry a library with you and soon I am sure everything ever written will be available to K-readers. Good thing that this kind of "seconds" don't add inches to our waistline! :o)
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is wonderful! I would only add one thing: Never having to explain to your loved ones why you're re-reading the same book over again. For all they know now, I'm always reading something new.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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