Thursday, 9 January 2014

Kindles: Why you should have one, but you don't.

I have a Kindle. I've had one (different ones; I just got the Paperwhite for Christmas) for three years.
I love reading. I love books. I love curling up in the sun or lying in bed in various uncomfortable positions reading.
I love my Kindle.
And I am so sick of hearing stupid arguments against them.

Number one argument I always get:
"But I like the feel of books!"
Yeah? Me too. And the Kindle knows that (well, Amazon know that). It tried to emulate a book. Of course, it doesn't entirely succeed. I have a very book-like cover, which helps, but yeah, you don't turn the pages and you don't risk paper cuts and you only read on one side of the page and you don't have to struggle to hold really heavy books up above your head while you're lying in bed. I understanding that book reading is a sensory experience for many - it isn't like playing computer for an hour to fill time. It is enveloping and involves stimulation of all senses (except taste, unless you read books reeeeeally differently to me) and etc. but the Kindle doesn't detract from that experience; it offers an alternative. 

"I like the smell of books!"
This is dumb. I didn't get a Kindle and throw out all of my old books. I still have my books. I still buy books in physical form, not as an e-book. I still have many resources available to have a good long sniff if the need overwhelms me. And it frequently does. Whiff away, my friends. Maybe I should invent Eau de Old Book Smell and it can be sprayed periodically from the back of the Kindle so this can stop being an excuse. Copyright Adrienne May 2013. 

"The technology age is taking over! Man the battle stations! Fight for the paper book!"
I have shamelessly stolen a large number of ideas from Maureen Johnson, which I highly recommend reading (after this, so you think all of these ideas are MINE). She's a young adult fiction novelist; when not writing, she's generally being about 80% crazy. Give or take.

Anyway, objecting to a Kindle purely because it's new tech is like so silly. That's pretty much the defining thing of our current age: huge leaps in technology, changing the way we live. That and climate change.

"I just think ebooks suck and real books are the best, and if you read on an ebook, your experience of reading is inferior to mine." [paraphrasing]
Aside from this being a completely arbitrary and elitist argument, it's also so 100% not the point. Are people reading? Are they enjoying the reading? This is important. This matters. 'Are they reading in my preferred method?' is not a question I have any interest in addressing. Nor should you. Your experience does not have to be my experience, and how successful your experience is does not determine how successful mine will be.

I'm not trying to convince everyone to go an buy an ereader. Though I think they're great and I think people disregard them too easily, you wanna stick to paper, you still to that paper! I will, usually, be reading a paper book too! But it's like DVDs, right? It's a new thing, that built on an old thing and made some aspects easier/more interesting to use. That's not saying I think books will go the same way as VHS tapes, certainly not as fast, but man, don't diss Kindles if you don't know. Personally, I'm sick of having to defend my status as an Avid and Enthusiatic Reader to people who think the fact that I own a Kindle means I somehow don't like books as much.

Also  you get to name your Kindle. Mine is called Like a Kindle in the Wind. 

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