Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Books, The Kindle, and that nice little feeling.

It's 11:45pm on a Monday night, and I'm in bed thinking about books.

I've just realised how much I actively dislike the idea of owning an electronic book reader. A Kindle. A Sony E-reader. You know the types.

The whole thing about books is holding something, reading the back of it, feeling the weight of it in your hands. Devouring or struggling through the pages, then passing it onto a friend with a recommendation or at the very least, an opinion, and getting it back with a few more pages turned down at the edges, a few more creases on the spine.

You can put the words on a beautifully conceived screen that looks remarkably like paper, you can make it lightweight and easy to carry, stack it on a memory card next to 5,000 others - but then, what's the point?

You're no more reading a book than I am writing on a laptop. You're relieving yourself of a heavy bag at the expense of the actual experience. You're not going into a good, beautiful book shop, talking to someone who knows their stuff and curling up with a decent page turner. Sod it, you haven't got pages to turn. How's that button feeling under your thumb, anyway?

E-readers annoy me. Another nice way to pass the time, like looking through photographs, that is now consigned to a screen.

God. I hope no one buys me one for Christmas.


jman said...

Oops! Racing to check with Amazon to see if I can cancel that order. Books have their place and a very nice place it is at that, but so does something like a Kindle when convenience outweighs other considerations. And of course it all depends on what you are used to. People who grew up with proper stereos might think how horrid an audiophonic experience listening to something over an ipod with inferior headphones is as those who grew up with vinyl might think the warmth of the sound and the experience of reading the liner notes on the cover outweighs the convenience of not having to get up to turn over the LP is. By the time your children are old enough to be reading on their own, they might view books the way you view having a phone which operates only as a phone!

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I get why someone would want one -- especially if you commute a lot -- but I'll never go to the dark side. I'm a book man and will remain one right into my grave.

miss*H said...

I completely agree with you. It would be nice to have all of your books on hand when travelling but I’m a book fanatic through and through. I love seeing all my books lined up on my book shelves, the smell and feel of them and seeing the lined spines. You simply can’t get that with a reader.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

jman - No doubt they serve a purpose, I just don't like them. It's convinient, but charmless. Like a Tesco Local on your high street.

Unbearable - The dark side it truly is. I knew I'd have an ally in you.

Miss H - I just shudder to think of all the nice little independent book shops with their expert advice and lovely oak shelves closing down because the world's gone electronic.

Grump said...

I love reading books and get most of mine from the local library. I use their online catalogue and generally know what I am looking for. I can pick my book up at any time, to read I mean. No need for power or memory cards or someone else wanting to use my reader. I'm sticking with books, they full fill my reading experience.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I must admit completely neglecting my local library. I joined with good intentions, but kept forgetting about it.

I've only read two books in god knows how long, but tend to get mine from a local charity shop for 99p a pop, and in lieu of that, re-read everything I've already read.

Anonymous said...

You simply cannot beat the feel of a page beneath your fingertips. I love being able to flick backwards and reread paragraphs when I need to. I like to be able to gently fold the corner of my page back to mark where I am - you can't do that with a Kindle!

I love going back to a stack of books and plucking one at random to read. In my mind a Kindle (other readers are available) is just too impersonal for my tastes.

Plus I am not sure that you can drop a Kindle in the bath and then use it again after drying it out in the airing cupboard.

Anonymous said...

I've got to say I thought in exactly the same way (tend to resist technology in general despite being at an age where I should be embracing it), and unfortunately never voiced these opinions, so received one for my birthday. I am now a total convert - its so nice to have a 'book' in your handbag or even pocket without it being heavy/too bulky. I thought the lack of real pages would bother me, but it really doesn't...don't knock it till you've tried it ;)

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Perp - Hahaha, I actually meant to make that point in my post but completely forgot. So true!

Chapati - Yeah, like I said, they have their place...but I just hope they don't take business away from those who need it.

Rockabilly Hippie said...

You totally forgot about the smell. I love the smell of a book, especially an older book. And used book shops? You can't beat those. Books you can't get in print anymore, or on the electronic book reader thingy. My bff has one & whilst she makes no sound "turning pages", I see her squint too much for my taste, move too much to be in the right light, and complain they don't have the book she wants to read... so you have a paper book friend in me! lol!

Much love,
Rockabilly Hippie


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