Years ago kindle meant to light or set on fire; now it’s become synonymous with the e-book reader – if it were a certain brand of Danish lager it would class itself as the best variant on sale (Probably !).
I must admit unlike I am with most gadgets that hit consumer shelves, I wasn’t what most marketeers would class as an early adopter, but as I read so much, eventually I succumbed to the notion that surely having an e-reader must be easier than having stacks of paperbacks cluttering up the bedside table and overflowing from the bookcases.
I already had an iPad but found it clumsy to read from – just a little too heavy. Heavy to the point in fact that you are in danger of requiring rhinoplasty if you happen to doze off in a reading position with it suspended above your face.
I know from experience there is something sensorially tactile, aural and olfactory about a ‘real’ book – the way it feels in your hands, the very aspect of turning the pages eliciting that wonderful sound. I find that books also have a smell to them and the smell changes through the ages maturing like fine wine. None of these do you really get from e-readers although I guess if I want my fix of touch, sound and smell then there’s always the local library or bookshop – I hope that’s taken in the right context and doesn’t have me placed in some fetish bracket !
So why did I change…well firstly it was actually a present, secondly it seemed nonsensical for my wife (who already possessed one) to buy an electronic version of a book and me to buy the same hard/paperback edition. We don’t have exactly the same taste in reading matter but we do share many so can swap – legally I must add – between the two having only purchased once – whoever said I wasn’t thrifty. (Clever Bloggers will note that this same one-off purchase idea can also be achieved by buying the ‘hardback/paperback’ version but only if you can both agree on the same reading format and one of you doesn’t usurp the other). In addition e-readers are quite cheap, more portable, make it easier to buy the book (30 second download)..the list goes on.
That said there are some other downsides however to books contained purely in electronic format on a small lightweight device…no more do I have the impromptu door wedge , no more do I have the ability to raise up or steady the camera by stacking up a pile of books (who ever remembers the mini tripod ?) and as for swatting flies…
…if slightly wayward in stroke I believe rather than a book causing a small removable mark across the wall, using an e-reader may cause more permanent damage as well as creating an electronic jigsaw puzzle from the parts that have cascaded from the case on impact. I’ve yet to find this out but with global warming ensuring that summer is already fast approaching I’m guessing the pesky bluebottles will be back in earnest and so this theory may well be put to test.
So which do I believe is better…a real book or a kindle ? I don’t actually know…ask me an easier question please.
One last thought for the book geeks and literary pyromaniacs out there…if I were ever to kindle my Kindle then Ray Bradbury would need to write a sequel…Farenheiht 414