I have a confession…

…I own an iPad.

That picture up there? Taken with my iPad. What’s more, I took it at one of those trendy coffee shops that serves slow pour coffee. It’s a favorite spot for young professionals and social media types in my town (all of them Mac users). And just to seal the deal, I ordered one of those slow pour coffees instead of my usual cheapest-item-on-the-menu drip coffee, which, by the way, tasted of tomato soup.

Yep, I am that person.

Before you all unfriend/unfollow/unsubscribe me (whatever), let me explain. It was a gift. A hugely generous, completely unexpected, throat-in-my-mouth gift from my family Secret Santa this year (we draw names). Believe me, I’m still in shock. Most of the time we give each other handmade gifts; this year I gave my person a box of LUSH soaps. I did try not accepting it, but finally had to accept it as the amazing, generous gift that it was. Sometimes all you can do when you’re given one of those is say thank you and sit down. And so today I own an iPad.

I know what you’re thinking. What about all those things you said about ebooks and ereaders being poop? I know. And that brings me to the point of this post.

I own an iPad and I have yet to purchase an ebook. 

I admit that it is one fine piece of technology. I have spent more hours playing Angry Birds than I care to admit. Plus, it’s beautifully portable so makes for easy browsing, emailing and light working on the go. I’ve also found it a useful tool when visiting shops for my indie features. No complaints on the camera feature either and, in fact, I’d go so far as say it’s even pretty good. (No worse than my usual photography). Plus, I can type notes easily on it when I’m interviewing people or writing down my observations.

But when it came time to buy a new book this week, you know, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend money on an ebook that doesn’t actually, physically exist. There’s no question that if I were to obtain an ebook I’d buy it through an indie provider, but for the cost of the ebook I’d rather just have the book book. Oh dear, I sound so old fashioned. But it’s true. If I’m going to spend money, I want to hold whatever it is I’ve bought in my hands. I want to be able to loan it out after I’ve finished reading it. I want to take it into the bath with me.

Still, I’m all for being open minded. Maybe one day I’ll read an ebook on my iPad and then write a new post listing its merits and/or shortcomings. But until that day, I’ll continue to use my iPad to play Angry Birds, catch up on emails and watch hilarious interviews with a one year-old, and then, when my eyes are good and tired of looking at a bright screen, switch to paper and ink for my reading pleasure.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you own an iPad, kindle, nook, or iPhone? (I’m still old school in that department – I rock a flip phone.) Would you ever move your personal library completely to the electronic realm? Have you already?


  1. I have a Kindle, which I got for Christmas in 2010. I still buy books in hard copy format as well, and if I truly enjoy a book, I typically own it in both formats. I actually enjoy the Kindle for trips and when I’m on the go because it is easy to carry, easy to read, and convenient. Rather than bring two or three books on a trip, I just download them so I have ample reading material. I still think books are the better deal, and I do buy them often from various sources, but Kindle has served a purpose to. I resisted at first, but it does have some perks as well as drawbacks. Please don’t hate me! :-)

    • Erin said:

      Jamie – of course I don’t hate you! Ha! The biggest appeal for me of an electronic library is the space save. Having moved/travelled across the pond a time or two, I’ve developed an aversion to acquiring “stuff” that I know we’ll have to find a place for sooner or later. It’s just books are the one thing I can’t quite give up. Let’s hope there will always be used bookstores around who will buy them from me.

  2. I’m right there with you — hubby has iPad, we have no books (other than my own novels — ha — have to have those, of course.)

    I see the value of both — but of course love actual books, need actual bookstores.

    • Erin said:

      Oh good! Glad to know I’m not alone on this. THanks!

  3. Anne said:

    I am so glad you are enjoying your Secret Santa gift. He was as blessed to be able to give it to you as you were to receive it. Joy works both ways! Now you can show me how to use one :)

    • Erin said:

      It was an incredible gift. Still can’t believe it.

  4. Kindle all the way when it comes to reading – it’s not back-lit so it’s not tiring to read like other screens. Ipads are amazing though – jealous of yours.

  5. juliennelw said:

    Quite a few members of the book club I’m in have an e-reader Nook or Kindle given to them as presents and they love the convenience. I’m on the fence about this and I figure I’ll go to the “dark side” if it’s given to me as a present also! I still love the touch and feel of printed books and so does my 12 year old daughter although she has gleefully discovered (recently) free ebooks via her iPod which she got as a Christmas present.

  6. Cassie said:

    This cracks me up. Thanks for making my day a bit lighter.

  7. I remember when my family put money together and the whole lot of them, for my birthday, bought me a massive-storage iPod touch. Internet access everywhere, thousands of songs storage, it was a phenomenal gift. But not exactly my cup of tea. I lost the thing after a year or so, and then found my original never-let-me-down 300 song storage and an FM radio mp3 player. Technophobe- right here.

    On the subject of ebooks, I’ve read them, I even have an ebook library on my laptop that I often use because of the larger screen, but until Apple or Sony make an ebook reader where I can physically TURN the page, by lifting the bottom corner and moving it in an anti-clockwise direction until the two pages I’m looking at are at an 180 degree angle… I’m just going to keep buying my books in physical holdable page-turnable format.
    Again. Technophobe. But book-buying websites will never ever beat the atmosphere of an actual bookshop with actual human contact and customer service. (Rant. Whoops.) :D

  8. I JUST talked about this– http://drunkliterature.com/2012/01/25/i-too-wonder-if-everyone-is-hanging-out-without-me/– but with an opposite effect. I, too, received an iPad this Christmas and after years of resisting the e-book mania… I caved. Sort of.

    I bought a short story on my Kindle app. It’s something I can read on the go, and if I like it enough, I plan on purchasing the book it came from. My library also loans out e-Books, so I have instant access when I go on a midnight book hunting frenzy. Another neat thing about eReaders is the “book sample”– where you can download a portion of the book to see if it’s something you’ll like (I always feel guilty sampling books in a bookstore for some reason).

    It by no means replaces real books. And I will always have every inch of my living space covered in the printed word and will always be a parton of my local bookstores. However, I am also fascinated by technology and what it holds for the publishing industry, and if I criticize that sector, I better know what I’m talking about by actively participating in it.

    Go on with your bad self! Resist the lure of the ebook! There’s a million other things that you can do with an iPad rather than read, anyway. But it’s not the worst thing to know that the option is there, should a moment of weakness strike.

  9. i started carrying three books with me when i traveled. i did this because i wasted way too much money purchasing books at airport bookstores for double the list price because there was just no conceivable way that i could sit in an airport without reading something. so, this year i told everyone i know that i wanted a kindle for christmas and actually ended up receiving two of them – the kindle fire, and the kindle touch. i carry the touch with me everywhere. it’s light, fits in my purse, holds an absurd number of titles, and doesn’t have a backlit screen like an ipad (or the kindle fire), so the experience is as gentle on the eyes as reading an actual book. the fire is awesome for full color magazines, games/apps, and easy surfing – plus the two talk to each other to sync to my furthest page read so that i can pick right back up on either device, or on the kindle app on my phone. honestly, i will probably never buy another printed book again. i loathe packing them, moving them, traveling with them, dealing with sore wrists with particularly thick hardbacks – but, can relate in that i cannot be without a good read. now that many libraries offer ebook check out options and i can cart around my entire entourage of novels and travel books and magazines, or download a sample of a book a friend is reading/recommends in one touch, it’s tough for me to look at printed titles the same way.

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