So I’ve kinda been cheating on books, with my friend’s brand spanking new Kindle. I feel guilty. And a little excited. The Kindle vs Real Books debate has been wageing for a while now, everyone seems to have an opinion on it and like Marmite people seem to either love it, or hate it.
I was firmly in camp hate, until recently. It wasn’t the device itself that I had the problem with, more what the implications were for publishing and reading in general.
My fiance is convinced that books are dead and electronic reading is the way forward. A strong view and one I totally disagree with, Kindle or no Kindle. But I’ll admit that he is right in his views that Kindle has opened up a whole new realm of literacy to a wider audience, like himself. My M would be the first to confess that the closest he got to reading a book was flicking through Men’s Health Magazine, yet once he got a Kindle he’s been reading at least one a week. Anything that gets people reading gets a big fat tick from me.
There are some obvious benefits to the device. The ease of buying books for one. A few clicks and bam, there it is ready and waiting on your digital bookshelf. And much like the original reasons for the popularity of the Ipod, I like the thought that I could have my whole library on one tablet.
Most people I know are singing Kindle’s praises. My (almost) mum-in-law loves that you can loan books out to other Kindle users. The book disappears from your library for two weeks and reappears in the borrower’s. I quite like this as I hate lending books to people, as I’ve lost a few great titles from doing this, also it’s great if your after a few reads for a holiday.
Holidays in themselves are the number 1 reason I’m thinking of succumbing. I get through at least a dozen books in a two-week period and it’s always a struggle to fit them all in a suitcase. And then I worry about loosing said suitcase. (It’s happened twice so far.) Making travelling that much lighter also means I can squeeze in a few extra pairs of shoes or some other accessory, always a bonus.
A Kindle may be the key to marital bliss. As every night M and I play out the same old routine where he likes to be tucked up in bed asleep early, (he’s one of those early to bed, early to rise types,) whereas I quite like to have a good old read before my head hits the pillow. The light from a Kindle would be sufficient enough for me to enjoy my book without straining the eyes, whilst my love can get his much-needed beauty sleep. Happiness all around.
It’s all about the feeling…
The main reason I’m deliberating a purchase (and this may sound silly,) is I like the way books make me feel. It’s all about the nostalgia. With Kindle you can’t recreate the smell and weight of a book. You can’t run your hands over the covers and feel the texture of the pages. For me, there’s something special about reading and it’s something I enjoy more than anything else, it’s that warm fuzzy feeling.
I enjoy visiting bookshops and picking up different titles, having a flick through and chatting to staff about what they recommend. I love looking through vintage and charity shops hoping to spot a rare first edition of some sort. It’s not happened yet but I’ve collected some beautiful books along the way.
Lately I’ve taken to collecting special editions with pretty illustrations, such as the Penguin cloth bound classics.
I take a strange pleasure in watching my book collection grow. Much to my fiance’s annoyance as we live in a shoebox and space is at a premium. But I can’t seem to give any away, you never know when you may want to read it again. I recently picked up an old book and flicked through it re-reading the scribbled notes I’d penciled in during my university days, memories I’d all but forgotten came flooding back to life again, so no I can’t part ways with them.
It seems I’m still undecided on what to do. To Kindle or not to Kindle?
At £89 for the basic Amazon model, it’s not exactly going to break the bank. But I wonder out of those who own one, and were previously book lovers like myself, how many get their monies worth? Is it just fished out for holidays?
I suspect part of my reasons for wanting one, is that I then have an opportunity to purchase some über cute covers like this one below, available to buy here
So please tell me your thoughts, do you love your Kindle, or are they a waste of cash? I’d really like to hear your opinions xx