I should clarify that statement - when I say I picked up a book, I mean a physical book (a paperback to be precise) and yes it was the first time I've done this in a long long time. I felt as if I'd fallen down the rabbit hole, as I turned the pages on what felt like an ancient artefact. As I say it was weird.
That's not to say I've not read a book in years. Far from it, I've always got a book on the go, but I think that the only fiction I've read for at the very least four years, likely even longer, has been on my Kindle. It is now my preferred method for reading - fiction, that is. I still prefer physical books for research, non-fiction and all that, but fiction is so much more convenient when done electronically. With the latest eReaders having built in screen lights you don't need a lamp, you don't need to fold a page to create a bookmark, or stuff an old envelope
Strange when initially I scoffed at the idea of eBooks - I'm a lifelong book lover, I have thousands of books taking up space in my home, but I suppose that like most bookish people I initially took the plunge into eReaders out of curiosity. My first eReader was an elonex from Borders (remember them) - that was around 2010, I think. And although I quite liked it I didn't fall in love with it, and maybe after a year I upgraded to one of the Sony eReaders. I resisted the Kindle at the time because back then the Kindle wouldn't allow ePub files and only used Amazon's own coding system - was this
Now the Sony was an improvement on the Elonex - the page turns were faster, eBook availability was far superior and for a good few years I was happy with the device. I would estimate that by this point I was reading digitally quite regularly, but I think physical books still came out top in the reading stakes.
I only moved to the Kindle when Amazon launched the Paperwhite - and to be honest since then I've not looked back. I read around 50 novels last year, and all these were on my Paperwhite. And as I say it's now got to the point where a physical book feels awkward in my hands. I also like the easy availability of books on the Amazon Kindle Store, and how I can press a button and have the book on my device in seconds. And these days a lot of books, the kind I like anyway, are only available in digital editions. And of course I can get eBooks elsewhere and simply slide load them onto my device via the USB cable and the free Calibre software.
Of course Amazon's flagship eReader is now the Oasis - and I am thinking of getting one, but at the moment I'm happy with my Paperwhite. I see no reason to upgrade. Perhaps another Monster Assault somewhere down the road, will prompt me to do so but for the moment I think I'll stick with the Paperwhite. Those Oasis devices are bloody expensive, you know.
Of course my home is still full of books and whenever an author I follow launches a new book, I get the hard-cover which sits unread in my collection - I then buy the eBook where available and read that. Are other book lovers like this, I wonder! Has digital reading taken over your reading life?