Bubby: We here at Bubble Bath Books love our E-Books. We really do. Probably 85% or more of what we read comes to us electronically through our email, as if by magic. Both Sissy and I read primarily on our Kindles (although Sissy’s Kindle is ancient and needs to be destroyed…or replaced for her birthday, hint, hint). It’s efficient, cheap and easy. But often, the magic doesn’t work so well.
Sissy: Case in point: I’ve been trying to find the “downloads” section on my Kindle because the only way I can get this particular emailed book (henceforth referred to as “The Rom-Com”) is to download it. I swear I’ve downloaded it 500 times but it’s still not showing up. It’s like there’s a secret world of downloaded stuff somewhere but I can’t find it anywhere!
Bubby: And lest you think, like I might have, that Sissy is elderly and thus the issue is user error, it’s not. I can’t find The Rom-Com on her Kindle either. And I’m technologically savvy, I am! (In all honesty, Sissy is too.) These sorts of things just happen every so often, for no good reason. We download books all the time without any problem but not today!
Sissy: There is a prompt that stays on my screen for approximately 5 seconds that allows me to open The Rom-Com and read it. However. If you click out of it for any reason, The Rom-Com is lost into the pit of downloads never to be seen again. So I’ve decided this time to leave it open until I’ve read the entire book, thus rendering myself unable to look at anything else on my device. I’m sure one of my smartical relatives under the age of 30 could point out to me what I’m doing wrong, but nobody on the whole Google seems to know where to find the mystical downloads section, so I’m not hopeful…
Bubby: And that, dear readers, is why I still love paper books. When I can’t find a real paper book in the place where I last left it, or on the shelf where it is supposed to be, it’s not because it has disappeared into the aether. Unless the aether is what we’re calling my teenager’s bedrooms these days. Generally I can lay my hands on whatever book I want within a few minutes. It never gets deleted, it never gets corrupted, I can read it even if I’ve forgotten to charge my devices and it smells good. My Kindle smells like plastic. And a little like chocolate but that’s because I spilled some hot fudge milkshake on it last night. But mostly like plastic.
Sissy: “Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”― Stephen Fry. I do believe that there is a place for both in the universe. Paper books provide a homey ambiance on my shelves that no electronic device can ever replicate. Be that as it may, I have become highly reliant on my Kindle and I wish that someone would read this and help my clueless self out, kind of like my peeps do on Facebook when I do something non-techno savvy. I get comments like, “Hey, moron, all you have to do is click here and save to there and et voilà, problem solved.” They don’t actually say the moron part but I can feel it oozing from their millennial pores.
Bubby: They totally say the moron part. Just not out loud. I too get great satisfaction from seeing my books all lined up and pretty on the shelf. I have a shelf that’s devoted to signed first editions by contemporary authors that I love, a shelf that’s all leather edition classics (from Barnes and Noble – they look impressively pricey but they’re not), and a spot where I have a few super special editions of Brandon Sanderson books that I paid entirely too much for but I love anyway. But I’m not ever going to give up my Kindle or my ability to read on my phone. The mere fact that I can have 50 books at my fingertips, taking up less space than my wallet makes me so very happy. Yes, real books don’t have technical glitches that make me and Sissy crazy, but they’re heavy. And you can only fit so many in your luggage. So I’ll continue to just have both, please and thank you.
Sissy: End of discussion. We agree that we need both. And both frustrate the heck out of us. We’d like you to weigh in, readers. Are you exuberant for e-readers or are you bound to books? Let us know. We’ll be here, reading something, in one format or another. Always.