I was wrong.

The text, which you can see clearly if you open the thumbnail in a new tab, is from Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem.I did not want an eReader for a long time. A single-use device bothers me on a lot of levels, but as the local library started getting more and more books available for electronic loan—with shorter waiting lists than those for the paper versions—my anti-eReader bias withered a bit more. Last year, amid the handwringing (and handwashing) that came with the H1N1 pandemic, the notion of skipping library visits became so compellling that I did my research and chose one. 

At the time, Amazon still refused to sell Kindles in Canada, which offended me mightily. Also, their readers were so ugly. My sleek navy Sony reader is gorgeous, imo. Also, it works like a dream with the library’s rental system. Three weeks after I check the books out and download them to the device, they expire and can’t be re-accessed unless I renew them. Kindles don’t work with the library’s Overdrive system, so they’re useless to me.

So far, I haven’t paid for an ebook. If I want to buy a book, I still buy a paper copy. Part of this is because of antiquated geographical restrictions—I was mightily tempted to pick up Gail Carriger’s Blameless in .epub, but her publisher won’t sell the electronic file outside of the US. They say you can put the eReader in a zippered plastic bag and bring it into the bath, but, ahem, hell no. For some books, too, the cover art and their presence in my physical shelves are important. But other than these issues, I really enjoy reading on it. Some books—Dan Simmons’ Drood and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians come to mind—are huge, so the eReader makes them extremely portable and comfortable to hold. Even Myron read The Magicians on the reader and liked the experience.The type is very clear and has no glare whatsoever. It’s comfortable to read on it for hours.

This is an older model of the Sony. It doesn’t have wireless, which is fine for me. If you can handle plugging your iPod into your computer and syncing, you can handle plugging a reader in and doing the same. The newer ones all have touchscreens, and I haven’t seen one in person, but I’ve been assured this new touchscreen is much clearer than Sony’s older versions.

I think most avid readers have a negative feeling about eReaders in general when they first consider them. But I’m a Luddite, and I still love mine. The odd feeling of reading on a screen goes away a few pages in, and before you know it, if the writer’s done his job, you’re deep into your book. The content delivery system disappears. This little gadget is really one of my favorite things. I’d never have thought it.

So much for that week of sun. It’s chilly and rainy, and perfect for this song.