Free iBooks easy on wallet, hard on guilty conscious

Nothing beats the smell of a new book, or the rustle of crisp, white pages as you turn them while you read.

Except for the hands-free convenience of reading a book on the iBooks app on an iPad.

This is something I never thought I would say, because I am a completely and utterly obsessive compulsive freak when it comes to my books.

I refuse to let people borrow them, besides my mom – and that’s only if she agrees to keep them within the confines of the house and to swear on her life that she won’t dog ear a page or drink or eat anywhere in a 10-foot radius of my precious tomes.

But since I’ve started to cross the line of my iBooks/Kindle strike and have allowed myself to start reading more regularly on my iPad, I’ve devoured books like I haven’t done since I had nothing but free time over the summer.

I read so much because I can literally take the thing anywhere – besides the shower. I can prop it up and read over my bowl of cereal in the morning or set it down on the treadmill while I run at the CAP.

I don’t have unruly pages flapping out of control, and I simply have to tap the screen when I want to turn the page.

But the more addictive I’ve started to become to this newfound way of getting my literary fix, the more I’ve noticed that it’s not always sunshine and butterflies.

First of all, and this will segue into my biggest issue with iBooks/Kindle alike, I’m going to be broke if I keep buying all these books with my credit card. I don’t have to trek to the closest Barnes & Noble to pick up new reading material – I can simply tap the “BUY NOW” button and pretend to remain blissfully unaware of how much I’m actually spending.

I should probably mention I’m deathly afraid of pirating, mostly because I have no idea how to do it.

But what really irks me is the fact that you can download classics – you know, the ones everyone pretended to read in high school – for free.

Ironically, this most irritating fact about e-books also grudgingly happens to be one of my favorite parts.

But I can’t shake the feeling that these great works of literature have literally lost so much of their value among today’s readership.

Not only are so many of these prolific authors’ books available for free, from Dickens to Fitzgerald to Tolstoy, most of them don’t even make the Top 100 Free list. How can this be possible?

Just to give you an idea of what types of books DO make the Top 100 Free list, No. 1 right now just happens to be “Medicine Men: Extreme Appalachian Doctoring,” while “A SEAL’s Seduction” holds fast to the second spot. I must say they both sound gripping.

I know this free books thing is largely due to the fact that some of these have been so widely reproduced for so many years and, from what I’ve been told, are in the public domain at this point, but still.

I can’t help but feel a little guilty for downloading the likes of “A Tale of Two Cities” for free.

 

CHRISTINE PEFFER

[email protected]