eReader Guilt

I received a Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader for my birthday last year.  I’ve really enjoyed it, and my reading time has increased.  Once upon a time I was an avid reader, absorbing everything I touched, but ’round about my mid-20’s, I nearly stopped reading books all together.  I just lost interest.  I felt there was nothing new.  Turns out it may have also been the fact that they were everywhere.  When I bought a book, I couldn’t get rid of it.  I had three 5-shelf bookcases filled with books.  Filled so full, in fact, that I even had books laying down and stacked in front of upright rows of books.  I couldn’t bare the thought of getting rid of any of these fantastic escapes.  But, like I said, I eventually fizzled out anyways.

Shortly after I was married, during a yardsale, I gathered up all my books and threw them in a box.  My wife sold them all.  We even had a guy ask if I had more, and when my wife asked, I sighed and gave her everything else I had kept, except for my copy of Stephen King’s The Stand: Complete & Uncut Edition.  And there I was, bookless.

Fast forward.

Barnes & Noble announces the Nook.  The Sony e-readers and the Amazon Kindles had been out (as well as all the “lesser” branded readers) but I’d never really caught the “I Gotta Have One” bug.  The Nook caught my eye, though.  Maybe because of the fact it was linked to the large Barnes & Noble name.  Maybe it was the fact that it had the tiny little color touch screen on the bottom.  I don’t know.  But I had to have one!

When the Nook was released, the sucker was back ordered for months.  Stores weren’t even allowed demo units for people to look at.  About that time, though, Sony and Amazon were suddenly allowing more retail stores to carry their readers.  Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Best Buy, all the big box stores suddenly had e-readers on display.  I stuck to my guns and got my Barnes & Noble Nook in March, I think.  A month after my birthday, but I was pleased regardless.  Since then, I’ve been delving back into my old reading habits.  Also glad to say that our son has developed his own reading bug and usually has at least 2 books going at any given time.  I envy him in that matter.  My old, slow brain can handle maybe one, but to read two separate books at the same time?!  Insanity, I say.

In the old days, I was a strict horror aficionado.  Recently, though, I’m a fantasy lover.  I read George R. R. Martin before the Game of Thrones television series was cool.  I still read my Stephen King and I’ve suddenly had a taste for biographies and short story collections.  I still visit bookstores, especially B&N, but now that I have an e-reader, I feel a little guilty when I walk in to a brick and mortar store and browse the shelves.  It’s like I’m cheating on my Nook by looking at the physical copies of the bestsellers.  E-reader guilt syndrome.  Is it okay to still buy the paperbacks and hardbacks if you spend the cash to own a digital reader?  I know I’m being ridiculous, but I’m a weird-o anyways.



4 thoughts on “eReader Guilt

  1. I have the reverse guilt. When i walk into B&N i feel guilty for not buying a book, although many trips , i don’t leave without a book in hand. I buy a book most of the time after i have read it on my Nook. If it is really good , i must carry the physical copy and add it to my collection. I had to get rid of most of my books from my days of youth (LOL). It was either donate to the library or give kid away (society frowns upon the giving kid away option). Now sometimes the ebook is more expensive than the book, so most of the time these are the books i buy when i have guilty feelings of deserting the physical copy. My husband, however, seems to read more now that we got the Nook. So, the e-reader is not evil if people are reading, but it is cutting down the amount of books available and killing bookstores off one by one (Borders anyone?) I noticed B&N is getting more toys and games and is shrinking the books, is this strategic warfare in getting people to invest in their e-reader? or just a final attempt to boost sales? So the e-reader is just like anything digital media available there are good points and bad points.

  2. I noticed all the empty displays they had put up. I also freaked out when I went to the fantasy/sci-fi section and was lost because nothing was where it should be. Their online store has always sold games and gadgets, so I wonder if they’re just trying to push it in their brick stores. Also, they could just be getting ready for Christmas and trying to push gift ideas on unsuspecting folk that come in for a book or giftcard.

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