Don’t Judge a Nook by its Cover

Immutable adj ˈmyü-tə-bəl\ : not capable nor susceptible to change

Right after Christmas, my family took a trip to the mall. Bargains abound and I purchased a half-price, ‘Word-A-Day’ calendar. On January first, when I enthusiastically opened it, the first entry made me pause…Immutable; not capable nor susceptible to change.

I tried it in a sentence: Had I become immutable over the years?

 I didn’t think so, although lately I’d noticed my regular routine fit like a pair of broken-in blue jeans. Anything new and unfamiliar felt, well…wrong.

But immutable would be my grandfather who ate the same breakfast every day. Or my older neighbor who refused to purchase a microwave — even when they became as commonplace as refrigeration.  Or my close friend who touted a long list of reasons to reject the ‘new math.’

In the past, I had embodied the antithesis of immutable. Back in the early 80’s, I welcomed the one PC in my office with open arms while most others skittered by the device as if it were covered with spiders.

Lately, however, one item continued to pop up as a constant reminder that sometimes I DO hate change…electronic readers. Just the casual mention of a Nook or Kindle would start me on a rant that would’ve made Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, proud. I overlooked the fact that a man who lived in the 1400’s might be my only advocate.

So I argued in the name of tradition.

I argued in the name of power conservation.

And I argued about loss. For a Nook could not replace the great feeling that washes over me each time I glance at my bookshelf and spot a book I adored…a reminder of the journey we took together.

In short, I guess my passion had left me immutableto the idea these new devices, which claimed to mimic books, were worth my time.

 However, even Santa had jumped on the e-book band wagon. This Christmas, a Nook waited for me under our tree. Santa, a.k.a. my husband, is so connected to his e-readers that he can sneak a few minutes in fiction-land from any one of three different devices, including his phone.

 When I opened the gift, I smiled and thanked him but wondered why he’d purchased it. Then I recalled the day I’d quipped, “I suppose those devices serve a purpose.” Guess it sounded to him like I was secretly craving one.

But, here’s the shocker…it’s cool!!

In more ways than I could have imagined. Top on the list of pros…instant gratification for my book purchases. I’m a HUGE fan of instant gratification. So, ah-hem…please excuse me while I go finish my plate of crow and order another book.

And allow me to say sorry, Mr. Gutenberg. I’m a fan and will always love printed books; the artwork on the covers, how it feels in my hands, the way a single glance at an author’s name on the binding reminds me how I love their work. Maybe I’ll find new ways to love those things. And maybe not all my book purchases will be electronic.

But next time I find myself in a standoff with change, I’ll repeat ‘it isn’t always bad’ and force my eyes to open for, at least, a peek. Nope…nobody will ever call me immutable.

Teddy Reading A Book

Teddy admits he is immutable when it comes to his reading preferences.


28 responses to “Don’t Judge a Nook by its Cover

  1. Hi Sharon – I loved this article, especially your declaration of loving instant gratification! Reminded me of eating chocolate before getting to the car, haha!

  2. I still find myself resisting. I’m a fan of ebooks and all that goes with them. For everyone else. For me, I still like a book.

    Though I will admit that when I go on vacation, I’d much rather be packing a Nook or a Kindle than the five or so books I’ll blow through that week, sitting on a beach. And book club books–I rarely want to keep them. They get donated to the library.

    And that’s another thing you can do with a book you can’t do with an ebook–pass it on. I like passing them on.

    • Hey Terri! I know what you mean. I almost feel guilty using the Nook. The Nook does have a facility to ‘loan’ to ‘friends’. But it’s not the same as passing along the copy you read. But I must admit, I’ve throw the Nook in my handbag when I’ve run the door out a few times and it’s come in handy. I might not have wanted to lug a book around.
      As a writer, I often write down lines I love from other books. The Nook let’s you highlight it then gives you a summary of all highlighted lines. THAT is something I do like, though.
      I suspect I’ll forever see both sides.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. My resolve to love only printed paper has dissolved. I love my I-pad, though I have only borrowed books from the library, and received only one as a gift. I understand that there is some way to share I- books with friends, but until I figure out that electronic trick my purchases remain touchable paper.
    Horribly practical.

    • Hey Michele,
      Let’s see if in the future the highlight feature on the e-readers helps our books group discussions. Somehow, I think it’s the wine & food that roadblocks the discussions, though. See you soon.

  4. Hi Sharon, I was the same way. Santa (my husband as well) left a Kindle under the tree Christmas 2010. I’m sure we shared the same smile as I too thanked him., then rolled my eyes when he wasn’t looking. But one thing was different. I was adamant I would never, ever use an e-reader. Holding a real book was part of the enjoyment of reading.
    But then we turned it on, the menu came up, I scrolled around, etc., etc. I bought 7 books Christmas morning (at a very reasonable price) and in seconds they were there for me to read. I haven’t looked back since 🙂
    I will always buy my favorite authors, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jodi Picoult, to name a few, harcover books. But for the ones that I would wait for paperback anyway, are on my Kindle as are some others.
    What’s also good is that some of the people on other loops I’m belong to, only e-pub and it allows me to support them as well.
    Enjoy your Nook.

  5. Good one again! I felt the same way about a smart phone but here I am with the Droid 4G.

    • Thanks for reading and posting, Kris. Yea, the Droid is second on my ‘I’ll never use one of those’ list. Followed by twitter. But two years ago I said I’d never have a blog. Never say never, right?

  6. I’ll eventually get an e-reader of some kind. I’m thinking they would be really handy on the treadmill – much easier than trying to get a book to stay open and I’m guessing you can adjust the font to make it easier to read while working out. Not to mention it will definitely help prevent the already tall piles of books I have around the house from getting even taller. And while I admit that I pretty much looked down my nose on them at first, if they help to get young folks reading again, I’m all for it!! 🙂

    Great post, Sharon!

  7. Hi, Sharon, Handsome gave me a Kindle for my birthday and it is awesome to travel with. Not the same aahhh feeling as holding the real thing.

    I do miss my palm. 😦

  8. As I lay in bed every night enveloped in the warmth of my electric blanket, the relaxing sound of the ocean waves surround me from my Soundscapes player while I cuddle contendedly with my recently purchased Nook Tablet. All I need now is a robotic masseuse and I’ll be the happiest camper in the world!

  9. Hey Sharon:
    Thanks for the post. I feel the same way about paper books that you do. But I can feel the gravitational pull of the e-reader. One of the most attractive things? Not having to store/dust all those volumes. I think 2012 maybe an e-reader year for me.
    I also wanted to let you know that Merriam Webster online will email you a word of the day every day. Today’s word was weltschmerz.
    Write on girl!

    • Hey Jeanne,
      After my trip to Germany this summer, I thought (with my near-perfect deutsch accent) “Veltschmerz?” Naturally, I looked it up and found that the german word describes my own mood, as in “If I get one more ‘thanks but no thanks’ on my manuscript, I might develop a serious case of Weltschmerz.” Lol…thanks for the word of the day. I think I’ll sign up! And thanks for posting.

  10. I have an old Kindle and love it. Will eventually upgrade. Bought my dad the Nook for Christmas this year so he could have in-store support. So far, so good for him. He’s embracing the e-revolution! That said, my first love will always be print books. Book shelves make me happy. 😀

  11. Great blog Ms. Struth! You convinced me that maybe I should download a book or two (someday). However, when I read a book, you know it’s been read. Previewed, underlined, highlighted, loved. Somehow I can’t see that love on an electronic device . . .

    I guess I don’t consider myself immutable but I’m still reluctant. Someone gave me an iPad last year and I’ve only used it about 5 times. I, too, love the feel of a book and libraries filled with magnificent books. (A note on the iPad reluctance: Even though I am a diehard Mac user, I love the feel of a keyboard and a laptop seems to make so much sense. I know they make keyboards for iPads but then there goes the portability.)

    But then again, I hung onto those damnable 8-tracks for years . . . and albums (sharing the love of album cover art with the love of book cover art). However, I now love youtube and mp3’s so maybe there is a chance. It’s an amazing thing to have an entire music collection packed into one little device that’s smaller than an 8-track tape and doesn’t need a pack of matches to line up the heads. I got rid of the 8-tracks long ago but I still keep my album collection and every once in a while get out an album like, Cheap Thrills, Demons and Wizards, or It’s a Beautiful Day just to check out the artwork. Such beauty!

    Smiles and Happiness . . .

    Thanks for the excellent blog. Rock ‘n’ Roll!!!

    • Hey, Larry,
      Ah, yes we all date ourselves when we remember 8-tracks. Those were the days. In truth, I adapted to my Nano much easier than the concept of the nook. I love having all my music portable. Oh well, change is inevitable. Good thing Rock n’ Roll always stays a constant 🙂
      Thanks for reading and posting, Larry!

  12. annecrowderwder

    Great thoughts from a Thinker. And no you will never be immutable!
    I must be a tiny bit immutable. Like your Dad I eat the same breakfast every morning. And how’s this for a giggle. I am writing a book I hope to publish as an ebook and as yet (hint-hint Mr. Claus) I don’t own a Kindle or a Nook. Keep writing! Anne CRowder

    • Hey Anne,
      In a way, I felt quite adverse to the idea of my work in e-book format until I got the Nook. So, it was eye-opening as a reader and a writer to get the unplanned gift. Talk to Mr. Claus about your birthday…next christmas is too far away!
      Thanks for posting!

  13. Sharon, we must be twins! I’d been ranting about e- readers from the day they first appeared. “Not me. No way! I’m old school. Nothing like holding a book in my hands. I hate technology!” Yeah, well that went by the wayside and big time. I bought my Nook and loved it. My daughter became entranced and bought one herself. Then, the anti-technology ranter, convinced my son he HAD to have one. I bought it for him Christmas. Another book lover converted – but we all agree we love our books still. There are some books I HAVE to buy hardcover or paperback (all time favorite authors). But for those newer authors I’m just ‘trying out’ I find it a great way to save money while checking them out. And it is nice to be able to take 100 books with you when you’re going to be sitting around at the train station, a parking lot waiting to pick up one of your kids. I surrender – I love my Nook!

    • Hi Chris,
      Lol…surrendering is a great way to put it! You have a valid point about trying out new authors with the Nook. Saves some clutter on the bookshelves and reserves the space for the most special authors. I am going into NYC on Thursday and am thrilled I can tuck it in my bag to read when I’m traveling. You are the Nook family!
      Thanks for reading and posting!

  14. Such a good post, Sharon. I, too, received a Nook from my husband for Xmas and I actually started reading a book the other day, then went back to reading my print book after a very short while. I am “assuming” I’ll get used to it, but as of this moment, not so much. I really HAVE to because there are books I want to read that are only in e-book form, so I have no choice.

    • Hi Patti,
      One feature I like is the ability to highlight text. It saves the highlights in an easy reference list. As a writer, when I see an inspiring line, I usually write it down in a journal (for those moments when my creative juices need a boost). The Nook allows me to easily make a note and doesn’t disrupt my reading flow.
      Thanks for reading and posting!

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