Friday, April 1, 2011

Minimal reading required?
I have been taking classes for a degree in Technical Writing, and I am rather enjoying it.  It is all online with no face to face classes.  It has taken some getting used to, but I can see many benefits.  Firstly I did not have to move to take the courses I needed for the degree, which was a concern when I first started looking for schools.  Secondly it is better for the environment as none of us have to commute by car or bus to class.

There are other call backs to the minimalist lifestyle in this process as well.  All my primary and secondary research is being conducted online as well.  As a bibliophile I miss the feel and smell of moldy old tomes.  Still I have access to amazing articles and journals with just one click of the mouse.  If I had been told when I was 8 and hording chapter books from my local library that in 20 years I’d be able to read anything I wanted on a computer, I would have called the police on that person for being dangerous and mentally ill.  We are truly living in the future.

Other minimalist, I know, have invested in a Kindle or Nook.  These devices are amusing, but I just can’t see myself taking one to the beach in order to read a bit of mind rot and enjoy the sunshine.  The warmth of a book cannot be replaced by hard plastic, no matter how ergonomic.  Still I would have tons of space if I could get rid of all my books.  I have at least two book cases in every room of my house.  I recycle my books that I do not intend to keep forever by giving them to my friends, selling them, trading them for different books at the local used book store and giving them to charity.  I feel that as long as I am getting enough use out of my books (and I do reread many of them dozens of times) there is no need to do away with them in favor of the latest gadget.

What do you think?  Have you traded a traditional hobby for its modern counterpart?  Let me know your experience in the comments.


  1. ARGH. I just wrote a comment that got lost. Let's see if I can recreate:

    I don't think it's an either/or proposition. I bought a Kindle last year and I LOVE it. It's lightweight, easy to carry around, and I have hundreds of books on it already. Most of them are free classics that I've been wanting to read or re-read for a while. I take it with me everywhere and usually have 2 or 3 books going at one time.

    By the same token, I love real books. I love the history books I have in the bookshelf in my living room. I love my stash of chick-lit and romances in the bedroom. I love seeing a book tossed onto a side table or resting on the dining table. Sometimes sitting down with a glass of wine and a favorite book, turning the pages, smelling that book-smell ..that's what I need after a long day.

    So for me, both will always be a part of my life. Real books are part of the soul of my home. But my Kindle - well I'll get rid of it when you pry it from my cold dead fingers! :)

  2. Frugal,
    I'm sorry your first comment got lost. Thank you for having the patience to re-post. I'm glad to see you were able to strike a balance between paper books and e-books. That is most encouraging as I try to whittle down my over crowded home.