An Ode to Ebooks
When times are tough, you have to make do with what you have. Books give me life — print books, audiobooks, bookish art, book readings, bookstores, libraries, etc. Many of those experiences aren’t available to us now, or, as in my case, we’ve already read all the print books in our houses. In a way, I feel like I’ve been preparing for this pandemic for some time, as I love ebooks and am 100 percent ready for Reading in the Time of Corona.
How can I read you, ebook? Let me count the ways:
Immersively. On my waterproof ereader in the bathtub — bubbles, wine, and a not-damp bodice-ripper to help me relax.
Culinarily. On my phone while stirring the risotto or whatever I am making for dinner.
Relaxingly. Sitting up in my easy chair, drinking tea, reading on my iPad.
Horizontally. Lying in bed, holding up a very light ereader that has no right side/left side to wrestle with.
Portably. On the go! Ebooks are my favourite commuting companion.*
Immediately. Like on the day the book from my favourite author is released.
Impulsively. I read a review, I buy the ebook and start reading minutes later.
Notedly. I can highlight, bookmark, and annotate to my heart’s content so that I can share quotes with my book club, leave notes for myself for later, and make it easier to see and remember useful bits.
Accessibly. Need large print? Ebooks have your back. Need to change the font? Same, same. Prefer to use a screen reader? Anansi ebooks will never get in the way of that.
Other wonderful ebook affordances include:
Not killing your partner by dropping a 500-page hardcover on their head while they are sleeping because you drifted off reading. Ebooks have been helping you avoid homicide charges since forever. (This has definitely never happened to me; don’t even bother googling it.)
Or tricking your kids into thinking they are playing with technology. Some ebooks will even read to you and highlight the words while they are being read. Can ebooks even trick your kids into learning to read? Quite possibly.
Or bringing you closer to your social circle in trying times — like by letting you maintain physical distancing while you all read the same book at the same time for the price of one ebook. No need for reading distancing here, no, no, no. Ebooks to the rescue! (Also, please invite me to your Zoom book club.)
Are ebooks flexible and elastic and always there for you? Why yes, yes, they are!
*N.B. Save your commuting reading for the post–Covid-19 era.