I haven’t yet read an ebook yet, have you?  I was sitting in a Jiffy Lube waiting room the other day, and noticed there was a woman sitting beside me reading an ebook on her Kindle.  She was kind enough (thrilled actually) to let me have a look at the Kindle and explore its many pleasing features.  I was struck at how easy the screen was on my eyes–no irritating glare–and how many (“around 100” she said) ebooks she had stored in the darn thing.

When I was in high school in the early 1980s, I was obsessed with music and used to buy a new vinyl record every week.  Audio cds came on the scene in 1982, but I was skeptical of this new technolgy at first.  I can remember thinking that these new digital discs didn’t sound as “warm” as the analog vinyl.  And I loved album cover art–the packaging of conventional LPs.  I haven’t leaped into the world of ebook technology yet, but I can defintely say that I will in the near future.  People say “I can’t curl up on the sofa and read an ebook the way I can a paperback.”  Well, as the old saying goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”  Isn’t it the riveting prose that takes us away when we read, not the “feel of the book in our hands” as anti-ebook people tend to argue?  I would argue that the “warm” feeling we get from reading comes from the prose itself, not the book’s medium.  I think conventional paper books will be around for a long time to come (just as vinyl records still are 28 years later), but I also believe that ebook technology will become mainstream in the future.  Has it already?  Not with the librarians I know.