While I admit to loving my Kindle and buying books from Amazon specifically to read on my digital devices, I am not about to give up my love for the (physically) printed word. And I know I’m not alone.
There is something so satisfying about reading a real book that you just don’t get reading on an e-reader. On an e-reader, every book is more or less the same. Real books are individuals. Even when you’re reading a brand new one, the difference between paperback and hard bound, paper weights, font size and style, and paper size factor into the reading experience and make it something more than it is on a digital device.
Don’t even get me started on the sweet, sacred smell of old books.
Barnes & Noble/Borders bookstores are great and all, but there is nothing like an independent/used bookstore, where you can walk in the doors and get a giant facefull of old book smell. And you can just hang out there, looking at (read: smelling) books for hours. It’s not weird. I have done this multiple times and I am almost never the only one.
So even though I am an avid technology lover and e-reader user, I have been disheartened in years past because the independent bookstores are closing their doors one right after the other. Heck, the only reason I think B&N is staying afloat is because of the Nook‘s success (despite having to keep pace with the Kindle and now the iPad).
Dear reader, I don’t know what I’ll do when there are no more old books to smell.
That’s why I loved the Atlantic’s article so much. It’s clear that I am not the only bookstore enthusiast out there.
What about you? Do you still go to bookstores or are you married to your e-reader now?