I've been thinking about e-books & e-readers lately. The pros & cons. I'm not even a little bit tempted by an e-reader in my everyday life but I do think it would be useful in some circumstances. I can see myself using one if I travelled a lot. There might be room in the suitcase for a few more essentials like shoes if the first consideration of packing wasn't which books to take & how many? Travel guides would be much more practical on an e-reader if it was of a size to pop in a bag & carry with you all the time. I know the ability to increase the font size is a great benefit to many people.
But, the greatest loss to me would be losing the physical book. The author of an article I read somewhere recently was almost lyrical in his praise of the physical book. I love to fully examine new books. If they're non-fiction, I look at the pictures, read the Introduction & the Bibliography, check the Index to see how much I'll find about authors or subjects I'm especially interested in. All this before the book is either read immediately or shelved for another day.
rearranging my tbr shelves the other day, I found myself looking at the different covers of classics from OUP & Penguin from different eras of cover design. You can see four different styles of Penguin Classics above. This is something else I'd miss if I no longer had the physical book, if it was just loaded onto an e-reader. The books on our shelves also say a lot about who we are. Sometimes it's a way to show off, sometimes it's a way to give an impression of the person you wish you were. I've been told that the walls of bookshelves & hundreds of books in my house will make it very difficult to sell. Too many books put off prospective buyers. To me, too few books would make a house unliveable.
I had a lovely time trawling the shelves for all these books, admiring the covers & remembering how much I enjoyed reading the contents. I haven't even mentioned other publishers whose books are prized for the beauty of the object as well as the contents - Virago, Persephone, Hesperus. While publishers continue to produce such gorgeous objects, I'll continue to resist the convenience of the e-reader.