ebooks will never get ‘old’

On January 28, 2011 by Aimee

I was looking at my collection of books. Those that are stacked on my shelves, on each other, even on the floor. Covers are wrinkling. Dust is collecting. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs actually. I realize, I very rarely (though sometimes) will pick up a book and re-read it. I even have full series’ from certain authors and read once, skimmed twice, they sit in a pile.

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I ought to give them away.

I should re-read them.

Unfortunately, I probably never will.


Um … well … because of something I’ll should never admit. I can’t stand yellow pages. Yep. There. It’s out.

Many years ago, I got a stack of books from someone. Only two of three, but I took one look at the covers and said ‘no’. Why? The covers just looked ‘old’.

I got more books from another person, again, an ‘older’ set and while the covers were well maintained, the pages had yellowed as if they sat in the sun for a wee-bit too long.

Even when the edges turn, they no longer have the appeal they once did … for me.

Yes, I admit, it’s sad. I’ve given up on my paper books because they’ve ‘aged’.

However, it got me to thinking. Am I giving up on ‘old’ stories because of their physical appearance? Am I discounting a book writing in say … 2000 or 1990 or 1950 or even farther back because I can’t bear to hold the pages in my hands?

I love the smell of new books.

I can’t stand the smell of musty books — that combination of humidity and dust that covers the ‘new’ and coats it with age.

None of that affects the books on my Kindle.

Yep, there. I said it. I am a convert.

I have now downloaded books I would never borrow from the library or buy ‘old’/used copies of myself. These include:
o Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
o The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
o The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (though I have to be honest and say I have NO idea how old this one is)
o The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
o Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I used to consider myself a book snob … only wanting the newest, latest, greatest and best smelling books. 😉 No that wasn’t a typo.

Now I don’t care.

I can have them all and they ‘smell’ the same. One vs. the other.

Whether I can read them, though … well … only time will tell. Writing ‘of old’ doesn’t suit me either, but that’s another post altogether. 🙂

Someone please tell me I’m not the only weirdo out there. 😉

14 Responses to “ebooks will never get ‘old’”

  • You’re not crazy, Aimee. It’s not so much the yellowing pages for me, but if a book smells musty, I just can’t enjoy reading it. Yuck!

  • Yeah! I’m not crazy! Phew! (Though I probably am). 🙂

  • Very interesting… now tell me about your mother. 🙂

    I’ve never really thought about it, but I do dislike nasty books. I’m also not a re-reader but love owning print books. Once in a blue moon, I’ll scour a book on the shelf to refresh my memory, but the only book I recall reading twice is Ender’s Game, and it took me a decade to do that. 🙂

    Digital? Haven’t quite crossed over. I still see print as a commodity, and the price difference between most print books versus eBooks just isn’t enough to make me make the switch. However, I do purchase quite a few indie works which are priced $2.99 and below.

    • Ha! Is this my sit on the couch and explain all my problems day? 😉 LOL See I love OWNING my books, too. But I don’t love owning books that look old. 🙂 Except if they have pretty bindings. 🙂

  • Um ….. <<that's all I'm saying.

    • Julie’s “Um”s speak volumes no? What a strange bunch we are at times.

      I don’t mind musty books; it makes them somewhat exotic. I used to love to paw through my grandmother’s old books. I like the yellowed pages (so long as they stay bound), the names and random comments people have added over the years. Like Aimee though, I do PREFER white and new.

      Digital price points decide whether I go e-book or paperback. I buy about 50/50 new vs. digital. Occasionally, I’ll buy used if a book’s not available on Kindle and the new copy is priced too high or is out of print.

      • But Claire, you are a number cruncher by nature, so if you go the $$ way, I go the “looks” way. 😉

    • 😛 <-- that's all I'm sayin'

  • Okay, because I’m me and I rarely have nothing to truly say, I’ve returned.
    Yes, I LOVE new books, because I LOVE to stroke their covers and get blinded by the whiteness of the pages, and sniff at the still-freshly-printed smells that are hidden like treasure within.
    However, if I LOVE the story enough, I will reopen to reread whatever its condition. I get attached to stories and characters–if I can’t, you’ve lost me as a writer–and sometimes the urge to pay them a visit is stronger than my dislike of bad smells.
    Add to that the fact I haven’t got a kindle (boo-hoo 🙁 ), and so I have no other way to read because settling down with the kindle app on my laptop just isn’t the same.
    There, is that a better answer? Hehehehe 😛

  • I love reading in the bathroom, too, though, and my laptop is just too heavy for that 😛