I have an e-book reader, a Sony p650. It is a gift from DH a few xmases ago, and I wish I read from it more. It’s quite different, reading from a reader. When I read books, I like to read them in bed, lying on my side, my hand cradling the book in as comfortable a way as I can manage without killing the book. Books are flexible so I can bend the spine, although I don’t like to, and I can reposition it so one corner rests on the bed and the book is set at almost 60-degree angle, aligned with my resting head. I can switch sides. Books are non-handedness-biased.
Reading from the reader is… less comfortable. It’s not the e-ink. In terms of actual reading, it’s great. I love e-ink. It’s much more comfortable on my eyes than reading from my ipad or any backlit device. And the Sony e-book reader is great because it has a built-in dictionary. Sony was one of the first to include that, and I do love Sony.
It’s just that when I read from the reader, I’m almost afraid I’ll drop it. Books I can drop. Books are paper. They won’t break. I have butter-fingers and my hand is small so grappling with the reader or even my iPad mini for that matter requires a fair bit of awareness on my part. When I read books on my bed, sometimes, I’ll fall asleep reading. The book slips off my hand and crashes to the floor. Sometimes I wake. With the reader, I can’t let myself doze off because I don’t want to drop it. The reader has an curved indent on the left so I can hold it with my left hand. If I don’t want to swipe the pages from the screen, there are handy buttons on the left of the reader for me to press to turn the page. I can’t switch sides with the reader. And though I’m right-handed, my left hand appears more adept in handling gadgets, although the hold is still… buttery.
So I don’t use the reader as often because I’m afraid I might drop it, kill it. Then it’ll be a waste.
When I was younger, I used to have pretty stickers and post-it’s that I won’t use because I don’t want to use it up. It was a way of breaking it, I think, if I used it all up. And some of those stickers and post-it’s I couldn’t afford more than one set, so it wasn’t like I could buy more to replace them. So I didn’t use them. They grew old with me, and like me, they looked old. And by then, I could not use them even if I wanted to. The adhesive had worn out through un-use, and the stickers curled in desperation. the And guess what? By not using them, I’ve wasted them too. I’ve wasted them more. Because they didn’t even get to be used. They never got a chance.
I suppose, although I got off writing this about my e-book reader, which I’ve recently made better use of, I could say the same for anything precious. Talent, skill, passion. The fear if losing it should not allow me to waste it. Nothing is wasted if it is at least used, and using it is better than collecting missed opportunities – we can’t afford too many of these in life.