Kindle Vs. Book…??
Is this a viable war between two objects that contain the same thing or do you believe there is more to this discussion than that?
I always thought that the ritual of hearing about this great book title from a friend, racing to the bookstore after work to get it, boiling the kettle for a mug of tea or coffee and slipping on my pyjamas and fluffy socks was something nothing could ever surpass….not even Ian Somerhalder showing up at my door….naked.
I would open this book, its new pages never before creased, sliding through my fingers and the smell of the paper filling my nose. I would become lost in this new world of characters and conversations about 5 pages in. My life forever changed by what’s going on inside it, unconsciously giving a grunt to anyone trying to start a conversation with me, text messages ignored for hours. Especially housework.
The magic of books being, that you could stare at a piece of paper for hours on end and still not know what the hell is going on. Which is what happened to me when I studied Ulysses by James Joyce. (A book that should never be kindled in my opinion).
But say for arguments sake I was travelling a lot or going on summer holidays around Europe, maybe going on a gap year and I just couldn’t bring any of the lengthy list of novels I had compiled for myself, because I just didn’t have the luggage space to do so.
Enter the Kindle; dark, mysterious, sleek and slender. You eye her up like she’s competition, like she is going to steal something of value from you.
You switch her on, and there they all are….listed right there on her screen. Waiting for you to select your favourite novel and plunge back into your imagination. There is no magical smell, no comforting feeling of thick pages in your hands. Just a small, light companion who automatically knows which light is best to read in. You can read any which way you like, on your back, on your front, even on your side. And then it hits you; the guilt of the novel sitting at home on the bookshelf lonely and despondent, her pages never to be greased by your sun tan lotion, never to be smudged by your tears or marked by your outbursts of laughter.
Is it the same experience? Or are you like me? Do you read the physical book when you are just at home and use the kindle for travelling and holidays? Do you think our books will eventually succumb to the same fate as vinyl records, cassette tapes and now cd’s?
I hope not. I hope for nothing more than co-existence!!