So, lately the object of my affection has been this –
The Kobo e-reader.
I want one. I need one. I spend hours fantasising what it will smell like when I take it out of the box. What it will feel like in my hands. The first book I will devour on it. The envious looks of techie hipsters in my university town. I have to own one. At least…I think I do.
This is where the rational part of me kicks in. Do I really need one? Well, no. While I can appreciate the convenience of the Kobo and my gadget lust can keep me rattling off the positives there is a tiny, ever growing part of me that thinks of all the downsides.
First, I love the feeling of a book in my hand. I love the smell of a new book. These sensory things are taken away from you with an e-reader. Secondly, I don’t typically buy books, let alone $150 devices that allow you to read them. I take them out of the library. This is a lesson hard learned for me. I used to buy all my books, but a summer of sporadic bartending shifts right after I graduated university taught me that I cannot afford my own reading habit, so I got a library card. Books cost money and the way that I can devour a good book could leave me with a heavy debt. Also, at this increasingly practical time in my life (call it growing up) it seems silly to pay for something I only use once when there is a big building a block from my flat that lets you take them for free. Free!
One of my favourite things about the books that I do buy is that when I really love them I can give them away to my friends so that they can enjoy them too. I actually used to do this with library books too. If I read something I loved and knew my friend Meghan would like too, I would put it in her mailbox on the way to work. She would get a chance to read it and then return it to the library for me. Finally, the thing that worries me most about the Kobo is the wireless access. This is a pro and a con really. It’s a nice idea that if I finish a book somewhere away from home I can simply buy another and in an instant be reading something else delicious. The problem is that I am not sure that my centre for delayed gratification is strong enough to resist buying every single book I have ever wanted to read all at once.
So will tech lust win or will I remain a Luddite? All I can say is that the Kobo is going on my Christmas wish list. It’s in Santa’s hands now….