Friday, 27 December 2013

I Have Been Digitized.

I always thought that, with the exception of textbooks, nothing could beat a real paper book so I had little interest in e-books except for books that were impossible to find, (i.e. The Dark Crystal novelization.) which I had been reading on my iPhone. I figured that if I went to get an e-reader I'd just get an iPad, because it's an all-in-one device.

I received a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas.

It was quite an unexpected gift and I was grateful, but I admit I approached it with some trepidation. It wasn't overly fancy, with a simple grey-scale display. I moved my books that I had on my phone onto my new Kindle. After 10 minutes of playing with my new Kindle the day I got it, I have been converted to the wonder of e-readers.

I plowed through my Goodreads to read list and my Amazon wishlist and bought books! I bought so many books! I even bought some books from writers who spend time on Absolute Write. I think I even read faster. I devoured the disappointing A Child Called 'It' in about a day and a half.

Yesterday I made my first note regarding the book I was reading. While on the bus.

But I have to draw the line somewhere.

There are books that I refuse to have digitally. There are books that, if you've only read the e-book version, I truly feel you're missing something. I will list them now.

First and foremost, the number one book that you absolutely cannot read the e-book version and authentically say you've read this book is HOUSE of Leaves. This book is interactive. If you can't see the pages that are slightly bigger than the cover, or feel the labyrinth embossed on the cover, or see the shocking bright red text, or the purple text, or the little green check mark, or turn the book upside down, or notice that page numbers are missing, or flip rapid-fire through the pages during the climax, you haven't experienced this novel. You simply haven't. Don't waste your time. Invest in the amazing full colour soft-cover kick-ass version, or just pass the story by.

The second is Clive Barker's Mister B. Gone. I can't really describe why that is without giving spoilers, but the whole conceit of the book works only in paper and binding form.

World War Z by Max Brook. Now, I'm kind of on the fence about this one. One thing I loved about WWZ was that it felt like a history text book. I read the hard-cover version and I felt like I was reading a possible history. However, if there really was a zombie outbreak, e-books would probably be easier to produce and need less resources than actual books. So this one is 50/50. Both options work.

John Dies At the End by David Wong. I'm biased with this one. I just love my copy of JDatE so much. I love the way the paperback feels. It's light and airy and malleable. It's just such a well-produced book. I can completely imagine reading this as an e-book but it feels like it would miss some atmospheric awesomeness. But that's probably just my take on it.

But I'm dead serious about HOUSE of Leaves.

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