Last Friday, Joanne of Whole Latte Life, left a comment asking me if I was experiencing the same kind of ga-ga-ness over the e-book that everyone else had. I started to give a rather thoughtful response to her comment, but I soon as I got started, I stopped. Not because I was getting upset or anything like that, but simply my response was starting to shape up as a long winded comment. Not that I don't mind long comments to any of my posts, nor do I mind giving one, but the comment I was leaving got me to thinking about turning it into blog post.
My personal feelings about the E-book are probably as far away from the norm as you can possibly get. There are quite a few reasons as to why I don't do E-books and they all stem from just these two: computers and the basic design of the reader.
Between work and home, I spend on the average about 14 hours a day on the computer. The most in depth items I will read on a regular basis on my computer in no order of importance are: blogs, e-zines, a few non-news websites and news websites. The last thing that I really want to read on my computer is a book. Why? Because I'm one of those souls who has (and still have to a certain degree to this day) a short attention span.
While I've managed to work on it over the years to the point where I can read something that contains less than 6,000 words without having my eyes glaze over, reading a book on my computer would probably make my eyes glaze over, no matter how well written it is. There is an exception to that rule, and that usually involves a level of trust normally not seen in my personal world.
The other main reason as to why I don't do E-books is the design of the reader itself. Most readers start at about the size of the pop-up comment window that I have on this blog. For me, that is major problem of expensive proportions. Why major? As most of you know, I suffer from a neuro-muscular disease called CMT, which has basically taken root in my hands and is slowly turning them into shrunken pieces of skin and bone. While I can still type (typing speed is now about 20 wpm on a good day), holding things of various shapes and sizes is at best a struggle that sometimes can be compensated with rubber fingertips, but quite often requires me to Mickey Mouse my grip with various body parts that don't start with the letter "H".
Why expensive? Well, what do you get when you have a small piece of electronic equipment that starts at around $75 and you put it into the hands of someone who has no manual dexterity and has developed a moderate case of the drops that they cannot control? Exactly.
So even though I am looking forward to having something published in that new medium in the near future, chances are I will not be using it on a personal basis. And suggesting that I download the app to my computer won't work either because that falls into the first part of this post as to why I don't do E-books.
I dig print. I will always dig print. To me, there is nothing more relaxing or more inviting than to wander a bookstore or a library (public or private) checking out what titles are floating around on the shelf. I've often found interesting books to read that I wouldn't even have thought of previously had I not been wandering around that particular institution or business.
Having to surf Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Smashwords to find a suitable book to read is to me, not relaxing. Smacks of doing mindless research for work or tedious research for a book, which to me jacks up my frustration level to the nth degree.
In summation, I do not loathe or hate E-books, because anything that can get people to actually READ is as far as I'm concerned, a major plus. I just prefer not to pursue my hobby of reading books digitally.