Books are supposed to be on paper — and a printed book will never have its battery die on you. That was my rallying cry against ebooks — until I actually started reading them. Now I’m hooked.

After several months with the iPad Mini, I’m reading more than before. It’s not just the convenience of downloading the books, but the device itself improves the reading experience. For example, now when I fall asleep while reading, I don’t lose my place. How great is that?

There is one down side: if you’re like me, you like to pass along a book you enjoy to another reader — but there’s no doing that with ebooks. Now I find myself buying books twice, once digitally and once on paper.

That said, allow me to recommend a few books you might like to buy twice.

I’ve read two great books, one after the other,  by Mitchell Zuckoff: Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time. Both are true stories from World War II about plane crashes, survival, and daring rescues. Each book is filled with larger than life characters — and Zuckoff’s storytelling is terrific.

The third book is That’s That, a coming of age memoir by Colin Broderick about growing up in Northern Ireland. This is not the bleak stuff of Angela’s Ashes; Broderick’s book has its dark moments but it’s also very funny — and captures teenage angst better than anything I’ve ever read. It’s also really opened my eyes to The Troubles, something many Americans of Irish descent love to talk about, but really don’t understand.

So read on, and don’t be afraid to go paperless. Just be aware that you may find yourself buying more books, some of them twice.

5 thoughts on “Paperless

  1. Having favorite books nearby is always a comfort, and a requirement for Amtrak and USAir patrons. Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, The Ice Storm by Rick Moody, just about everything from Richard Russo, PJ O’Rourke and Tobias Wolff. Around the house, each book on an iPad, and hardcovers and paperbacks getting dusty somewhere. The old guy giggling to himself in coach? That’s me, re-reading Parliament of Whores.

    1. Dread is the feeling you get when nearing the end of a great book.

      I like the immediacy of the ebooks ; I heard Colin Broderick interviewed on the radio and minutes later was reading his Memoir. Sorry, independent book stores…

  2. Try any and all of the Harry Hole books by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. Harry is a great main character – an alcoholic detective tracking down serial killers. Really good stuff, five books in all. I cannot put him down and am burning through the fourth now.

  3. I too miss the sharing of a book with others. In order to not be purchasing so many, I’ve hooked up with a few sites that send me a daily list of free or low cost books – keeps me away from the A% site. The one exception with traveling, if you are using a paper book, you can keep reading during taxiing and take offs.

    1. I guess I’ll have to switch to the Skymall magazine during taxi and takeoff!

      I’ve bought a lot of used books on Amazon; great prices — and I’ve had good luck with condition.

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