When the iPad first came out, I was enthralled, like any other 7th grader would have been. The colors, the touch screen, the apps; it was like something out of a science fiction novel. At the time, I was so preoccupied with the “coolness” of this new toy that I never thought about what its invention would mean for the fate of my precious books.
It took me a while to really begin reading on my iPad. When I first got mine, the titles available were very limited and there were very few books targeted towards younger audiences. However, as this started to change, I began to see the appeal of reading on a device rather than a physical book. For one thing, my iPad allowed me to stay up reading long past my sister, who always wanted the lights off in the room we shared, went to bed. When my family went on vacation, I could actually take clothes with me, rather than fifteen pounds of books. I could also buy books more easily; I didn’t need a parent to drive me all the way to the bookstore in order to get my latest obsession.
Even though I loved the iPad for its practicality, bookstores were (and still are) my favorite kinds of stores. Searching on Amazon will never compare to browsing through a Barnes and Noble or a Borders (Rest in peace Borders; I miss you). I have even read books on my Kindle that I loved so much I needed to have them in paperback for my bookshelf. The idea of people only reading on their iPad or Kindle saddens me, for I have always thought of books as beautiful. Something about owning them and being able to see them and touch them gives their stories a more realistic quality.
I think that my love of physical books is echoed by many people. Because of this, I think that the printed book will never die. I read an article recently saying that as the prices of Kindle books rose to be equatable with that of printed books, more and more readers were choosing to buy physical copies of their favorite books. This was encouraging as a reader, but I think the more important thing is that people are reading. While I love a good book in my hands, not everyone feels that way. Book sales are indeed changing, but I do believe that passionate, die-hard readers will continue to support the sale of books until their dying breaths.