06 Jun Tales of A Former Ebook Skeptic
by Lucille de Mesa
Like most bookaholics, I started my encounter with these magical objects at a very young age. I blame my mother for my book obsession – she introduced me to storybooks mostly full of colorful animal drawings, which were of course attractive to children.
In my early high school years, as I raved about the film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” my friend informed me about the book series and lent me the first book that started my burning passion for reading.
In between the gap years of the Harry Potter series, I started to collect, discover and buy more Young Adult books. Books were starting to pile up on my once empty bookshelf. I read everywhere and any time that I could. I read about witches, vampires, high school jocks and preps, models obsessed about their bodies and misfits that found their own purpose in the world they live in.
And in the midst of devouring books, I developed a quirky yet disturbing habit: I loved the smell of new books.
It is an addiction I cannot stop to this day. My friends find it weird I smell the books in the bookstore before purchasing them. They tell me I am nuts but maybe I’m just crazy over the scent of ink and paper combined.
But then I had dark times in book collecting. I tried to find books I can obsess about but failed. My collecting started to simmer down from five books to a measly single book, so I focused on other hobbies and college text books. I started to feel like a part of me was missing.
Ebooks and ebook readers came into the picture around the year that my book addiction reverted to normal. At first, I was reluctant to purchase such electronic advancement. I was even one of the people who discouraged my peers from replacing traditional books to ebook readers!
However, when I started travelling more, the exhaustion of carrying a book in my bag while braving the streets of the bustling city took its toll on me. I later decided I leave my beloved hard bounds at home rather than bring them around with me. My paperbacks were also having a rough time inside my bag full of sharp instruments I needed for my clinical requirements. I felt guilty for leaving them alone at home with no human to flip through their alluring pages. I searched high and low for a solution but I found I really had to leave my beloved at home where they were safe.
I later saw my best friend intensely staring at her phone, as if reading a very crucial scene in a book and, well, she was indeed. I initially felt betrayed because she was one of the few people that was part of my “no to ebook” movement. Despite the feeling of treachery, I allowed her to convince me how practical it is to use a smartphone as an ebook reader.
I was a bit reluctant with the switch, especially since my eyes suffered from the light my device was emitting. I stopped reading ebooks on my phone and kept the application exclusively for my etextbooks in case there was a surprise graded recitation in my classes.
An ebook convert
I love reading books in ebook format now. .PDFs, .PUBs, .MOBIs and all those file extensions. The magic of having several books in a light and easy to carry device made it a turning point for me. Especially when I purchased my first ebook reader, which my sister persuaded me to get.
I can now bring 10 and even up to a hundred books in my bag and it won’t hurt my back, shoulders or my bibliophile heart. I need not have to worry about my books being damaged by any object lurking inside my bag. I know it’s bad for my eyes but I can read my books even if all the lights in my room are turned off. I can also search the meaning of an unfamiliar word just by pressing or tapping on my device. There is more I need to discover about the world of ebooks and I am learning day by day and enjoying my book adventures at the same time. ☁