Last Christmas, my parents got me a Sony e-reader. At first, I was enchanted by its whispered promises. “I don’t have to carry around ten pounds worth of books on vacation anymore?? My 500+ paged novels now can fit conveniently in my purse via this slim little thing?? I can be hip and cool and all of the popular kids will like me??” my brain thought feverishly.
It’s definitely taken some getting used to (and I’ll admit, I still like getting the real deal better than the electronic versions). Books are intensely personal items for me; each book I have in my shelves isn’t just a book, it’s a time, a place, a mindset. The stains on page 114 of Portnoy’s Complaint are from a spilled Pasifico beer. The folded down dog-eared corners in my copy of Brave New World are a representation of the favorite passages of my 17-year-old self. And poor, poor Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is so marked with annotations that J. M. Barrie is surely rolling in his grave.
But that’s the beauty of books. It’s in their tangible pages, their glue at the seams, their reassuring weight, and, most of all, their ability to hold memories within them.
There is something to be said for e-readers, though, especially when sites like Planet ebook offer 50+ classics you can download on your e-reader…brace yourselves, fearless readers…FOR FREE. I’m talking Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, Frankenstein, The Great Gatsby…
For some free books (how could you possibly say no??) click HERE.