Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Hard Copy or Digital?

I'm in a bit of a pickle lately. Like a typical Librarian I'm struggling to make a decision about a minor thing-honestly, I'm better with the big decisions. Well, that's what I tell myself anyway.

The thing is, it recently came to my attention that my brain is turning to mush, and my muster of the English language has deteriorated. For the time being I'm putting this down to my lack of reading-translate to 'it's not a tumor'. So I must read more. Simple. The decision pickle lies in the small problem of me making an effort to reduce the amount of clutter in our home, and part of that means not purchasing books that I will only read once and add to the expanding bookshelf. I thought I would just go to the library and borrow a novel. Problem is, I have a list of novels that I want to read, and none of them are at my local library. One will be available in June 2013, but I think my brain will be past salvaging if I wait until then.

So, the novels must be purchased. I can buy a hard cover book and simply donate it to the library when I'm finished with it, or I can download it and read it on my smart phone. The old fashioned part of me loves holding a book and turning the pages, but the option to read a teaser of the novel that I've been waiting to come out for 6 months (without even having to leave the house to buy it) is too tempting and I download the first two chapters for free.

I'm instantly hooked to the novel and the first two chapters are read within two nights. I find that there are many benefits to reading off my smart phone; I can lay down comfortably in bed and easily swipe to the next page, the novel has its very own nightlight built in, and I don't burst my handbag at the seems by trying to shove lunch and a novel in there. Perhaps I'm converted-except for the fact that the novel I want was only just released and the paperback and digital copy are the same price on Amazon. This just doesn't sit well with my cheap self. So I download a $4 book instead of a $17 book and start reading happily. The only problem; now that I'm such a heavy user of my smart phone I do need to charge it every night. Perhaps I do need a Galaxy Tab...the bigger screen would be nice...

Is the Hard Copy vs Digital Book dilemma completely resolved for me? Not yet, but for the time being I will enjoy 'smart' reading and take comfort in the fact that I don't need to make a decision just yet, as for now hard copy books are still readily available.

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