I don’t buy physical books

The wonderful author Susan Orlean, whose The Library Book I reviewed positively last year, has posted provocatively (at least in some circles) on “Confessions of a Kindle Convert.” It’s a post on Medium, so you might find it behind a paywall. Here is her concluding paragraph:

I’m not a traitor to the cause of books. I would hate to have this be interpreted as 1) I don’t love real, live, three-pounds-of-paper-and-ink books. I do love them or 2) I don’t love bookstores, because I do. But I also love convenience, and backlighting, and simplicity, and I love not clogging up my life with stuff I don’t want but can’t throw away. So if I see you at a reading sometime and you want to tell me you read my book on a Kindle, please don’t apologize: I understand.

I echo her sentiments. What reader doesn’t love a real book to hold or a bookshop to browse? But I never buy physical books any more. An ebook’s carbon footprint is far lower than that of a paperback. Usually the author gets a larger payment from an Amazon purchase than from Readings, my local shop. And the ebook is the future.

So … I purchase tons and tons of ebooks. I don’t do away with flicking real pages, either, for I support my local library, magically within walking distance and a community treasure. Am I on the side of the angels? Some will argue not. But the decision is made and I live with it.

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