I have a Sony e-Reader. Have had it for nearly a year now since I bought it before a trip south. During that trip I’m pretty sure I read 6 books, so from a space perspective, great. Just being able to have something to read at any given time is quite nice and it makes the bus rides into and out of work fly by.
As for types of books, don’t let Chapters or Coles fool you. There are in fact very few quality books that come out each year and if you have a penchant for a given field (fiction, self-help, etc..) odds are you can read all the books worth reading if you only read a book every other month. What this does not help with is the backlog of quality books already written. I have a penchant for fiction, particularly sci-fi, though I can read just about any fiction book, if the quality is there.
I read the Harry Potter books and they were really “meh” but I could understand their importance. They were easily accessible to a generation that had essentially given up on reading. Dan Brown is another type of these authors. Actually, he’s quite a bit worse than Rowling, probably one of the worst writers I have ever seen but his books are essentially tabloids, misconstruing facts and putting hooks everywhere. Great page turners, great groan inducers. I’m supposed to believe that the CIA computers can’t crack a 16 digit magic square cypher? That a character that spends page after page talking spoilers all of a sudden shuts up for a chapter when a single sentence could sum up the entire book up to that point? Wowza.
There is a reason there are classical authors and books that last for many many years. They are not fads, they are poignant, well-constructed stories that you can re-read multiple times and get deeper meaning. Fahrenheit 451, Foundation, VALIS, Divine Comedy, Iliad, Mice and Men, Sherlock Holmes.
The experience of reading, of taking the time to digest the words and transfer them into your head also makes you think about other things than what you see in the book. If you read books and only see a movie in your head, then you are reading a script and not a book. Books are more than the sum of their words, they are ideas that permeate the pages and make you want to keep reading once your done. They make you want to re-read a chapter for that little item you think you missed that can open up a new story. Books and reading and stories are humanity’s soul and will be the basis for the next human revolution – social interconnectedness.
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples, we still each only have one apple. If I have an idea and you have an idea and we exchange ideas, we now have two ideas.