E-books have no smell, I want my paper back

Katelyn Siegert, Verge Designer

There’s something to be said for the smell of a crisp, newly purchased hardcover book.

Opening a book for the first time and hearing the spine crack is like music to my ears.

When I hold a 600-page hardcover in my hands, my mind immediately begins planning the next seven hours I’ll spend immersed in another story, eating anything dipped in chocolate and hiding from my responsibilities.

Don’t get me wrong though, I love going out with friends on the weekends and participating in as much debauchery as the next girl.

I enjoy sequestering myself with a good book even more sometimes.

I feel no shame in turning down invitations from friends to hole up in my room and get so involved in a story that I actually laugh, cry and feel anxiety for the characters.

I’m not a hermit, I promise.

I’m just an outgoing introvert with an infatuation with books of all kinds.

I recently jumped on the e-book train.

Like most people of “my generation,” I’m accustomed to the instant gratification that technology provides today.

Instead of waiting days to drive to the nearest bookstore for the sequel to the latest series I’m emotionally involved in, I can just tap the touchscreen on my Kindle a few times and have that book in my hands within seconds.

Not to mention, e-books tend to be cheaper than hardcovers and most paperbacks, without paying for shipping or gas.

Directly linked to my Amazon.com account, it’s almost too easy to have what I want when I want it.

There’s no more anxious waiting to find time to make a trip to the store, I can find cheaper deals with sites like Bookbub and I don’t even have to leave my apartment to have the things I want.

Because e-books save paper, time and money, they’re just more practical for today’s consumer.

But what if I want the sounds, smells and nostalgia that come with a traditional paper book, whether it’s brand-new or has been passed along via library loan?

I can’t dog-ear the pages on my Kindle.

I can’t easily lend the separate e-books to a friend after I gush about how she just has to read it.

For as many extra features that my Kindle has, there are just as many things I can’t do with it that almost makes me wish I had a hard copy of the same book instead.

I can’t read for long expanses of time without juicing it up.

I can’t take my Kindle to the pool for fear of overheating its battery and accidently dropping it in the water.

Sure, e-readers allow users to read in dark rooms and change a book’s font size, but it takes away from the simple joy of reading.

Most people read to do just that, read.

I sincerely hope that paper books will be a permanent fixture of our society so, hopefully I’ll be able to afford them when I’m not a broke college student.

Books shouldn’t need frills, extra features or access to my credit card.

Katelyn Siegert is a senior journalism major.
She can be reached at 581-2812 or
[email protected]