A couple of months ago, I was lying on a Florida beach with my mom when she said, So? What are you reading?
Shame silenced me. Once a reader so voracious you’d never catch me more than 10 feet from a printed page, it had been awhile. A long while. And then there was my mom. In her 70s, she has only recently mastered Facebook, but here she was, devouring every bestseller around on her cool new Kobo e-reader.
For the first time ever, I felt like I was missing the party. The world has been reading on a portable screen for years and I’m still squinting, dog-earing pages, even going as old school as to underline passages that speak to me with a pencil (remember pencils?). I’m like a throwback to the 80s. You know the kind. A high schooler who just refuses to grow up.
The funny thing is compared to the rest of my friends, I’m tech savvy. I practically live in a land of technology—for work, for play, for communication. So why is it that at 49, I’m one of the last of the print book holdouts?
I’ve got my reasons. Books don’t just transport me to another world, they launch me back in time. When I was little, my aunt would drive me and my cousins to the library on rainy days. There was nothing outside to miss so we’d spend hours in the Children’s Book section, a little square of heaven that felt like home. I remember scanning the spines until one caught my attention. I’d pull it out, read a passage, and pretty soon, I’d have to choose which feisty girlfriend to take home with me. Hello Harriet, Hello Ramona and Madeline and Matilda and all the rest of you Brazen Women in the making.
It’s no surprise that my addiction to paper pages continued into adulthood. When I was single, I’d log nights in bookstores, long before big box stores made it was a cool way to pass the time. Books were more than my entertainment. They were my companions and I’d carry them around and make time for them and let them expand my world.
The problem is, things change. These days, I’ve got books on my nightstand I don’t seem to read because I’m too busy watching Netflix at 10pm when I finally hit the sheets. Or I start one and it’s not great and I have no time to replace it. Although I’ve also got an impossibly long list of book recommendations on my phone, it just seems to grow.
Making it out to a bookstore, or a library, is one of those priorities that isn’t really one anymore. Which means that while my mom is expanding her world on a Florida beach, I’m making excuses about why I’m not reading.
Mom: What? You don’t have a Kobo? she asked me, amazed. You? The writer? The reader?
Me: I don’t know how to use it. I like holding a real book in my hands. I read on a screen all day. I don’t want to hurt my eyes.
But sometimes, we’ve got no choice but to face facts. There she was, reading away, while I lay there, doing nada on a beach while my shelves of books at home were just sitting there looking pretty. FOMO? Uh, yeah.
It was time to get plugged and as fate would have it, Kobo dared me to join their 7 Day eReading Challenge. That means they’re daring me to replace my beloved print books with a Kobo Glo HD for 7 days and I’ve never been one to shrink from a dare.
So yeah. Right now, I’m reading Meryl Streep’s new memoir, Her Again, on my new Kobo Glo HD, and I’ve got four more books I’ve been dying to read loaded up next. So far, I’m a fan because this baby eliminates my excuses—I can carry a whole library with me, and read anywhere, anytime. I’ve got everything I need to enjoy reading literally at the touch of a finger. I may even have to go as far as to say that that my new Kobo Glo HD might actually change my life.
Want to know how I fare? Stay tuned because in 7 days I’m going to tell you how it went.
Are you a print book holdout? Ready for the latest in e-reader technology? For a limited time, register for a new Kobo here and get a $5 credit toward your first eBook. Oh, and why not join the challenge for a 7-day period and see what you think? Use #Kobo7 to join the conversation.
Although Brazen Woman was compensated for this post, all opinions, as usual, are ours.