The Big Switch

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By Regina May Cajucom

Serendipity Couch

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


IN BETWEEN classes one evening I was having this conversation with a former professor of mine, now a fellow teacher in the College of Law, and he seemed surprised when I told him I have shifted to the e-book format since late 2011. His pleasant surprise at this confession caught me off-guard, not in a terrible way but in an equally astounding way.

But yes, I have made that big switch from hardbound books and paperbacks to e-books. I have to admit that my acquisition of a Kindle e-reader makes it to my five best material acquisitions of all time (not that it has a lot of competition in the acquisition department...) and to date there are times I still catch myself delightfully amazed by this digital thing as though I just had it last week. The first time I saw the product’s teaser online I was not at all impressed. As one who has read a good number of books all through high school, college and law school, I did not see myself captivated by this “cold” mechanical thing that was seeking to substitute the pretty covers, the feel of books and most especially the scent of both new and old books (minus the dust, or sometimes with a good “pinch” of that). I initially viewed it with a mix of amusement, apprehension and a teeny-weeny bit of disgust (at how everything is going digital).

Well shame, shame, I spoke too soon. Since I got hold of my first Kindle (a Kindle 3) which I named Kendra, my life has never been the same. I met an e-book angel online who sent me loads and loads of e-books, and the rest – I should say – is glorious book-love story. I later switched to a lighter, more compact Kindle 4 – Kianne – sans the keyboard and although I am very much smitten with the newest edition Kindle paperwhite I have not gone overboard (not just yet). Kianne still makes me happy.

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Why the big switch? Admittedly, I do miss the musty, moldy, mildewed scent of actual books; I still long for the feels of crisp pages, and the sight of creative book covers. But now I also revel in the pleasure of having 500+ books with me anywhere I go, my current read available any time, my law references at my fingertips whenever I need them, anthologies and collections of poems and essays ready to be browsed and scanned and gobbled when I feel like it. Neither giddiness nor pain is diminished by the change in format and preference, although I do miss that feeling of being able to hug the pages when a character breaks the heart of another (or mine) with his words or deeds, or of having the power to toss the book when a twist in the plot is just ridiculous. Word of warning though, you need to place pillows by your bedside in case you doze off while reading.

Bookporn in whatever form is amazing.

(serendipity.couch@gmail.com/ www.serendipitycouch.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 28, 2014.

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