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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Last Book by Nikole

The arrival of the ereader has really thrown me for a loop.  I have always enjoyed reading and everything that includes.  I have a library at home filled with many different books on a variety of subjects and authors.  I have yet to even part with my collection of “Babysitter Club” books or my Golden Books collection from my younger years.  I still have my well-worn copy of “The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree” by Stan and Jan Berenstain!  I can’t imagine not having those books to pass on to my little one.

When I first heard about ereaders, I immediately thought of one book called “The Last Book in the Universe” by Rodman Philbrick.  Philbrick describes a futuristic world in which books no longer exist.  The main character, an older man named Ryter, is the only person on Earth who can still read.  He teaches one young man the importance of books.  Ryter’s main goal is to finish his book before he dies, so he can recreate the world of reading. 

In this book, reading itself has been replaced with an invention called a mind probe, where a needle is literally stuck into your head and the images are projected into your mind.  This book alone could scare you off electronic readers and the elimination of actual books! 

Yet, that is the direction our society is taking.  With the appearance of electronic reading devices, the actual book is getting shifted to the side.  I can honestly say that when I first heard about a device in which you can download books, I was appalled!  Who would want to read from a computer-like device all the time?  I certainly didn’t! 

However, on the last trip I took, I ended up lugging around pounds and pounds of books.  That made me decide that traveling with an ereader might not be so bad.  I briefly mentioned this to my mom and ended up with a Kindle Fire for Christmas.  I have only read one book so far on it, but I have to admit, I am actually enjoying it. 

I have determined there are quite a few advantages to electronic readers:
1.           Light-up screen equals no more flashlight reading.
2.           Traveling is so much easier (and lighter) with a reading device.  
3.           I can download a book from the library at practically any time and there are no overdues!
4.           I like having a dictionary at my disposal.
5.           I like knowing how far along I am in the book—percentage-wise.
6.           I can take notes in the book without actually having to write in it.
7.           As a previous teacher, I noticed many non-reading students suddenly become interested in reading.

But, there are still disadvantages:
1.           Paying for a book that I can’t physically hold and keep in my home library is hard.
2.           I don’t actually know what page I’m on.
3.           There is some eye-strain when reading on the device.
4.           It has a battery that you are dependent on.
5.           Sometimes reading devices are complicated to work.

All in all, I see our world becoming more and more ebook minded and that maybe it is not such a terrible thing.  However, for the true book-lovers out there, there will never be an e-reader that replaces an actual book.  For the ereader converts who want help using our ebook service, make sure to sign up for our class on Feb. 16.

Stillwater, OK.


  1. Kindle's app for either your laptop or phone does allow for you to know what page you are on as well how far along your are in the book percentagewise. While I too love my books, the e-reader has allowed me a tremendous freedom to always have something to read no matter where I go. It also allows me to "carry" multiple books with me at a time just in case I am almost done with one and want to dive right in to another or am travelling.

  2. We agree! I am getting more and more used to ebooks everyday--now i just need an app that will mist that lovely, subtle musty book smell i love!