Death of Borders, Birth of the Digital Era

the last borders
From Flickr

The last Borders, the only American bookstore that holds fantasy and manga titles in Puerto Rico is closing.

I went there as it held its closing sales. It was a flurry of activity. It was impossible to find anything and yet there was still so much good stuff there.

I wanted to get a fantasy novel, something I haven’t read, but been meaning to read. It was a tough choice and in the end, due to the fact I have plenty of books still unread and I’m trying to save money (it only had a 25% discount and I had five books in my arms), I didn’t buy any fantasy novels. But a strange thought occurred to me.

As I left, I remembered the book I had put back (I think it was the Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman), I actually thought:

“If it were an e-book and I had an e-reader, I’d totally get it.”

That shocked me because I never had that type of thought before.

Suddenly, I was hesitating more to buy a physical book than an e-book, when it used to be the opposite.

There’s still  something an e-book can’t provide that real books and real books stores can provide.

You can actually sit down and pick any part of the book you wish to view.  You can’t do that with an e-book. I believe it’s one of its weaknesses among other weaknesses. I may go into it in another blog post one day…

But with the last bookstore in my vicinity gone, and the fact I have no patience for snail mail, I am more tempted than ever to get an e-reader.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the very death of the bookstore will feed the e-book boom till it’s our main source of book consumption.

Of course, I’m sure I’m ten years too late with this revelation.

Well, I think it’s time for me to join the bandwagon.

So I ask you, Great Gods of the Internet, what’s the best, cheapest e-reader?

I really want an iPad, but they’re extremely expensive and I doubt they’re good for reading for long periods of time straight. My eyes will probably die after the third or fifth hour.

I’m thinking a Kindle, but I’m not sure. Does anyone own an e-reader or shopped for one have any suggestions?



4 thoughts on “Death of Borders, Birth of the Digital Era

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  1. I never thought I would own an ereader because I love physical books so much, but our local Borders closed several months ago and suddenly it made a lot of sense. I got a Kindle, and though there are a few downsides (can’t flip through the book, not as aesthetically satisfying) there are still a lot of benefits: Free classics, instant gratification, portability. Plus if you’re into self-pubbed ebooks this is the easiest way to read them. And there are some decent magazine or blog subscriptions that are kind of cool.

    To be honest, though, I don’t have any idea how it compares with other readers.

  2. Thanks for the comment!

    That’s pretty much how I feel about e-books. You can’t flip through them and some of them are black and white, and though that doesn’t really matter for what’s inside the book, a black and white cover makes me feel like the book was simply put through a b/w copy machine, which makes it feel cheap. At least to me.

    But I do love the idea of having instant access to books.

    The Kindle is highest on my list so far, since I can buy it at a local Radioshack at a decent price. But again, the lack of color bugs me…

    1. Oh, I forgot the most important thing! I’m going to be doing this soon and I’m kind of excited for it. If you turn your own MS into a PDF you can load it onto your Kindle. You can bookmark things, make highlights, and write notes, so I think it might be good for a final round of edits or for Beta readers.

  3. I’m 39. That might be important information.

    My kids, with the help of Grandma, got me the Color Nook for Christmas. One of the first impressions was my new ability to read in the dark without any added strain to my eyes. Free classics and online dictionary. I was in love.

    It’s August and I went back to reading physical books about three months ago. The Nook has been on my kitchen counter collecting dust for over three months and I never looked back. My ten year old daughter is about to take it over, an avid reader, mostly because it’s cool. I’m curious in how her experience might differ from mine.

    I can’t help it. I still prefer holding a book, marking the pages with pen, and throwing it around without care. Recording electronically is just not the same as my own scribble when I’m trying to learn something. There is still some small nuances to be worked out with ereaders that I think might help the shift for people like me. The user interface when attached to my computer still stinks. I mean sucks. It’s reminiscent of mp3 players before iTunes came along. And oddly enough the screen is too flat for me. I like curling pages, multiple open books, and paperwork in random places for me to pick up and read. I’m sure I can be trained out of it, but why should I adapt just because.

    Besides, the libraries in my town are some the best places to hang out.

    I don’t recommend the Color Nook. It’s doesn’t allow you to bookmark pages that are in a PDF format. Booooo.

    Just my experience.
    Good luck.

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