Soon after I started reading on the Kindle, I mused here about being a Bookstore Mooch.
Now that more than a full year has gone by, I have read over twenty-two books on the Kindle. I might add that there are many other e-Readers on the market, and my comments here have nothing to do specifically with the Kindle. They are about e-Readers in general.
I like the Kindle. I read faster. I read more. I read more often. I am that guy in the restaurant for lunch that sits at the table by himself, kindle propped up by the salt shaker, reading away while eating. I seldom read hardcopy books when doing lunch or dinner alone. Books were too cumbersome, and most of the time I simply didn’t have one with me. But the Kindle is always with me.
When buying books online, Amazon does a pretty good job allowing previewing of some books. The reviews are very helpful. Reading adverse reviews of a book I wanted to buy has stopped me from buying. I could not have done that in a bookstore.
But visiting bookstores and browsing is still one of my favorite pastimes. You can’t browse books very well online. You can’t see the cover images, touch them, open a page here, turn over a book there, get a feel for the book with e-Books. Also, I still buy hardcopy books when there are pictures, diagrams and charts (like business books). This kind of material is awkward to process on a small screen. Flipping pages back to a chart for reference is much better done on paper.
Also, books and magazines on art and photography need to remain in hardcopy form.
I wonder where bookstores are going. Borders is right now in bankruptcy. They are closing down many stores. Borders was an icon for many years. If paper publishing goes away and all content becomes only digital, I won’t be able to visit bookstores and do those things bookstores allow so well. I won’t be able to mooch anymore.
And while I say this, while I will miss bookstores badly, in the past year, I have bought very few books in the bookstores. I have put books I saw on my book list on my Droid, and then bought them leisurely from Amazon later.
Bookstores are going under, and I, a lover of bookstores, am helping them along on that route.