Sunday, July 15, 2012

On Babies and Books and E-Readers

Baby #3 is due in February.  I told Sam that I absolutely want an e-Reader for Christmas.  I remember Atticus nursing every 2-2.5 hours for 30 minutes to an hour at a time FOR THE FIRST 4 MONTHS. I'm not a TV gal and one can only watch so many Masterpiece Drama DVDs.  I tried to read ...but I ended up propping the book on Atticus at times.  And then there was the time I decided to re-read Harry Potter because I didn't think my brain could focus on anything else. I was screwed, propping those monster books up and turning pages was awful.

Now, I have never really wanted an e-reader. I like the feel, smell, and texture of good ole tangible books. I don't want an e-reader to be an expensive -- at least expensive to me -- something and I only use it for 6 months.  I know I will mostly download free classics and library books. No Fifty Shades of Bleh for me.

Book one addiction (excepting coffee).  You know what this means..... collection development policy update time.

I notice that I've really moved away from buying random titles and I do much better with buying authors, titles, and publishers that I collect. I'd really like to move to completely collecting titles either with a particular publisher I am already collecting (Virago, Persephone, NYRB) OR move to getting "nice copies". For example:

The Penguin English Library (paperbacks)
Hardback Puffin Classics
Penguin clothbound books
Penguin threads
Penguin deluxe classics

I have to hand it to Penguin, this press is really thinking ahead.  I think in this day of e-books the artistry of monographs will be what people will look to buy.  My plan is to limit my purchases to 1). presses I collect 2). beautiful copies and 3). good condition vintage copies of authors I love.  I also plan on slowly replacing some of my worn out thrift store books and ex-library copies with nice copies. I'm also putting aside classics for the kids. I know Hope isn't a big reader, but my Dame Darcy illustrated copy of Jane Eyre will be for her -- if she wants it.

Here is what I'm envisioning -- e-reader for nursing sessions, at the cafe, and on my work lunch breaks. Then when I'm at home and the kids are in bed I will brew a pot of tea, curl up on the couch, and read a beautiful, pristine, artistically rendered edition of the classic I am reading on the e-reader.  The best of both worlds indeed.

What do you think of my plan?  If you have an e-reader, how do you determine what to buy electronically versus hard-copy purchases?


daena said...

I love my ereader, but was extremely hesitant to purchase one in the beginning. I too love the feel and smell of a good book. Collecting books and music are my two passions. It was such a helpful tool when nursing, I can't stress that enough. I usually reserve my kindle for all the free classics and books that are of the moment popular novels as well as book club selections.

Allie said...

Congrats on the new little one on the way. :)

I love my ereader. I was really unsure about it because I LOVE my books, but it fills in the gaps very nicely. I love reading with it at night in bed (the light doesn't bother the husband), and I find it travels really well.

I'm like you-I would rather collect books that I will love and cherish. I have the clothbound collection and the Puffin now I am on to collecting the English Library edition. :) I'm a sucker for a pretty cover, but since I am hoping to keep my books for always, I would rather love the books I buy.

Chris said...

I'm so with you on what Penguin is doing! I love all of these beautiful book designs! I've added a whole bunch of the hardcover clothbound classics to my wishlist and would love to collect them! I was anti ereader for so long, but I have a Nook Color now and I absolutely love it! I use it when Matt's going to sleep and I want to stay up in bed reading. It hasn't cut into my "real book" reading at all! I've found a nice balance :) I tend to buy books on there I wouldn't pay full price for but that I'm curious about….sort of "beach book" type reads!

Lindsey Sparks said...

I use my Nook when I travel and at lunch at work. I keep it in purse so I sometimes also read it when I'm waiting for a doctor's appointment or things like that. I still love my hard copy books best, but it is nice to have. I actually haven't bought any books for it in the year and a half that I've had it. I download free classics, mainly hard to find ones or books that while classic I doubt I'll want to reread (or own a pretty copy of!). When I read Moby Dick, I read a free copy on my Nook instead of my hard copy just because it was easier to lug around. I also sometimes check out library books on it. I can sometimes get the hot new book or young adult titles that I might have to wait a while to get as a hard copy through the library. Sometimes the young adult books at my library are kind of germy looking and dirty, so reading them on the new also helps with that. :) Plus, if I want a book at midnight I can get it instantly instead of heading to the library the next day.