Exiting The Cult of Physical Books for Authentic Book Love

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Helpful reminders to those exiting the “Real-Book” Cult.

When I finally bought my first e-reader (a kindle paperwhite), I felt like a sell-out. “I’m an inauthentic bibliophile,” I skulked.

I’m not kidding, I bought the Kindle in secret. I concealed it most of the time, only pulling it out after double, no, triple-checking behind me to make sure none of my bookish friends were around. Why? Because I wanted to fit in.

It almost felt like I’d betrayed someone.

But after digging deeper, it wasn’t betrayal I felt, it was disloyalty.

After all, I’d spent plenty of breath arguing with book club companions about what it means to be a true book-lover, and I’d finally sold out. I was scared that I wouldn’t be a part of the “group” anymore.

Exiting The Cult of Physical Books for Authentic Book Love

It was an anxiety-riddled season for me.

I constantly sensed someone watching over my shoulder, breathing down my neck, smirking at my unfaithfulness to the true religion of book reading. “You’re a fake!” the demons shouted.

But you know what? I’m over it. And you what else? I got over it pretty quickly.

4 Ways Buying A Kindle Demonstrates Authentic Book-Loving

If you’re sweating over a potential e-reader purchase, like I was, these gentle but genuine reminders might help you.

Remember, you decide what is your own personal book fantasy. No one else. There isn’t a book god.

Here are the top 4 reasons I chose:

1. You can buy more books now (because ebooks are cheaper)

The price differences between printed books (hardback, paperback) and e-books fluctuate depending on the publisher and title, but if you look at big-data, your dollar is going to go a lot further buying e-books.

On average, you will buy 2 to 3 times more ebooks than printed books with the same $1,000 annual book-buying budget. Who’s the real book-lover now? The hard facts don’t lie. The brass tax is that our money goes further with e-books.

2. You’ve let go of appearances.

Now, you’re reading because… you love reading. How many bookstagrammers do you see posting ugly pictures of candle-lit bedspreads with … a black electronic device? None. Ereaders aren’t designed with aesthetics in mind. At least, not in the same way that book covers are.

But e-reader owners are in it for the books themselves. We aren’t reading because we want to show off to our friends, to marketers, or to the world. We’re reading because we want to.

3. You read more books than your “real-book” cult friends.

Why? Because you can. You can bring 9,000 books with you on vacation. You can fit your thousands of books on an airplane in a carry-on, no wait, in your pocket if you want to.

It’s also easier to the turn page on a Kindle than with a physical book. Let’s just ballpark that it takes one second to turn each page.

For mathematical simplicity, pretend that you read 100 books that are 300 pages per year. That’s 500 minutes of reading time wasted on turning pages. If you’re a lifelong reader, (we’ll go with 60 years) you might save yourself 500 hours of time turning pages!

That’s fun math, isn’t it? We’re talking about 20+ days of bonus reading time just because you decided it was worth it to buy an e-reader.

4. Sharing what you read is easier than ever (highlight)

A heart needs a beat, and book-lovers need to share their passion with others. When we love something, we love to express it, shout it from the rooftops (insert quote).

Ereaders make it incredibly easy to share what you’ve read with massive communities online, like Goodreads. You can tweet memorable quotes and lines that stood out to you. Hell, you can even see what highlights others made while reading if you want to. It’s remarkable what technology can do these days.

Don’t let a culture of book shaming stop you from buying an e-reader.

The bottom line is that buying an e-reader exemplifies the fact that you care about the books and the stories themselves, not just the community they are associated with.

It’s like any religion, I suppose. The question each of us has to ask ourselves is, am I here because I’m a true believer, or because I want to fit in? Is your love for the friends you get, or for the way your soul is delighted by the meat and substance of what you are professing?

Let’s be loud and proud of our Kindles, Nooks, Voyages, whatever e-reader you own (or secretly want to own). Let it shine, you are as authentic as any bibliophile I’ve ever known.

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