I’m a book addict. I can’t get enough. I buy them, I win them, I borrow them and never give them back. I write in them, dog-ear pages, and reread passages. I like the sound of a breaking spine, the smell of used book stores, and I have a favorite font. (Garamond, if you’re curious.) The way I learn about or acquire a book is almost as important to me as the story in it. I peek at people’s bookshelves the way others peek in their medicine cabinets.
So, I was very surprised when I opened my Kindle on Christmas morning. I didn’t ask for it, and I didn’t think I wanted it. At first, I thought someone was trying to send me a message. Let me show you why:
My books fill two whole cases, two rows deep, and are now getting stacked on top.
I’m running out of room on my desk…
…and on my nightstand…
…and IN my nightstand.
My kids are running out of space, too.
I thought my family was trying to send me a message about my books taking over their lives. My skepticism, however, soon turned to pleasure when I downloaded and read my first Kindle book. I love the accessibility of the stories (a downright dangerous feature for an addict, like myself), how user friendly it is, and its size. I can easily slip it in my purse, hold it up while I’m sleepy in bed, or lay it flat on the table while I eat. I’m also apt to try new authors and genres that I wouldn’t otherwise have invested in since the investment is smaller on a Kindle.
In spite of all these wonderful features, though, I’m a hard copy book lover at heart. I was annoyed that I couldn’t flip back through the Kindle easily to find bits of text to reread. I don’t like having a “percentage read bar” instead of page numbers. Finally, the Kindle lacked the intimacy of holding a book. Virtual reality is not the same as the real thing.
The bottom line is that I’ll take books any way I can get them. The Kindle and the hard copy books will live harmoniously in my house, each serving their own purpose and function. I will always be partial to my “real” books, but there’s room at the table for the Kindle.
What do you think about Kindles or other e-reading devices? Do you have a preference? Do you think books, as we know them, will become obsolete? I’d love to hear your thoughts.