I get it. I didn’t always “get” ebooks. I’m a print book lover through and through. I grew up reading solid, hard cover books that I’d displayed proudly on ever surface of my home just like all of you. I’d stuff them in my bags before going somewhere just in case I got bored, and when my mom grounded me it wasn’t from friends or dances, it was from my books. Usually, half read books, which was almost an unforgivable punishment.
When people first started publishing ebooks, I laughed and thought, “Who would want to just stare at their screen for hours when they could be flipping through pages?” When people would bring up electronic books around me, I’d quickly pipe up in defense of my print book friends, “Well, I still prefer reading real books because of X, Y, and Z.”
But one day, something changed. I started reading an ebook on my phone while waiting for my late ride to pick me up, and I realized, maybe there’s a place in this world for ebooks after all. Have I stopped reading print books? Absolutely not. They have their place too. But I’ve also learned the many benefits that come with ebooks—like free versions of all the classics in the public domain, a lighter load to carry, having a collections of books to pick from everywhere I have my phone, and the ability to discover hundreds of new authors without having to pay a dime. (Although, once I’ve found a really good author I usually end up spending a little more than a dime on his or her other books—and happily so.)
This is what my journey from print books to ebooks was like. Can you relate? When did you accept ebooks?
The Journey From Print Books Defender to Ebook Acceptance
First, you saw what happened to newspapers (may they rest in peace), and you worried that your beloved print books would be next.
So you started imaging all the horrible things that would happen to books should ebooks prevail.
You imagined your children and grandchildren growing up not knowing what real books felt like, or what it was like to see the number of pages increase, showing your progress.
You lovingly ran your fingers over your print book while imagining what it would be like to never feel the pages between your fingertips again.
And you couldn’t help but wondering, if print books died, would the authors be able to survive?
What about your beloved book club?
Would libraries vanish overnight?
Would the world as we know it cease to exist?
Which naturally lead you to start listing all of the superior quality of books that ebooks would never be able to live up to.
No feature of books was too small or trivial to go on your list. Print books were obviously better than ebooks and you had a million and one reasons why.
People would try to convince you to try ebooks before you were ready, using their own endless lists of why ebooks were superior.
Or by trying to convince you that ebooks were just the next step in a natural cycle, “People used to use animal skins and scrolls. I bet people thought they were crazy too when someone started writing on trees. Think of how great ebooks are for the environment!”
But no matter how many good reasons they gave you, you couldn’t let go of the feeling that print books are precious and need to be protected. The thought of print books going extinct was just too horrible to bear.
So you’d play with fire, you’d download an ebook or two, usually a free classic or a free romance novel that caught your eye. But every time you’d start reading one of your ebooks, you’d catch your print books peeking at your from the shelves and feel like you were cheating on them.
But the one day, while you were enduring an extra long wait, you scrolled through your phone and remembered all the ebooks you had downloaded out of curiosity. And you started reading one casually.
And when you got on the bus you continued reading it. And when you got home you were so invested in the book that you had to keep reading. And then, the next day, while you were waiting again, you pulled out your device and starting reading some more.
And that’s when you realized, “Hey, this is super convenient.”
“Maybe I can stop bringing an extra large bag everywhere I go.
And suddenly, you no longer had to plan out “at-home” reading books and “appropriate-for-public” books.
And reading in the dark suddenly didn’t require strategic light placement thanks to the back light in your screen.
And now when you’re reading in public, people just think you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, which is socially acceptable, instead of looking at you weird for reading a book in public, which for some odd reason seems to be socially off-putting.
And from that day forward you made peace with ebooks, They grew on you slowly, and now you can’t imagine going back to not having a library ready at your fingertips at a moment’s notice. You suddenly have much more space in your suitcase when packing for trips, and you’ve gotten kind of used to the free ebooks selection and the feel of a little bit more cash in your wallet.
Don’t get me wrong, ebooks have their downsides, too. Like when you’re on a reading binge and your reading device thinks it’s okay to die right in the middle of an epic scene.
Which is why you often have books in both formats if you’re being honest.
If you’re still worried about ebooks taking over the world, check out this article about how print sales have increased all this year, which proves that print books aren’t going out of style any time soon. So now you can download those ebooks guilt-free.
Did you go through any of these stages when accepting ebooks? Let us know in the comments below!
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