Since E-Books first came out, I was against them. I’ve always preferred to actually hold a book, to be able to enjoy the smell of a new or very old book. So, when everyone was telling me to get a Kindle and my Dad was offering to buy me one, I kept refusing it. That was until this year, when two people I knew got a Kindle and a Kobo and I found myself starting to waiver in my opinion of E-Books. Two months later, I had a Kindle and I can’t deny the fact that it has been pretty useful.
However, owning a Kindle takes out some of the fun having buying and owning books. I like the fact that when people come around to mine, they will see all the books I own. They will see three bookcases full of every genre of books you could possibly think of. And, I’m sure I’m not the only one who does that. Whenever I’m in someone else’s house/bedroom I’m looking at the books they owned and seeing if they have any that I’ve read. This is a great conversation starter, especially with people you don’t know that well. You see you have something in common and you can start a conversation. But with a Kindle you can’t do that. No one knows what books you have on your Kindle, your friends might not have a Kindle, so it’s not really a social thing to do.
What I mean by this is that it’s harder to engage in conversations about books when a person won’t know what books you own. I like the fact that when people see my books, they will see that I have every Jane Austen book, that I have bookcase dedicated to History books, I like them to see my collection of Churchill Books. It’s taken me years to get the collection of books that I have today. I’m only twenty years old and I know my collection will keep growing.
Saying that, I am starting to appreciate having a Kindle. Mainly because Some Classics have quite small font in written form, so having it on a Kindle where you can change the size of the font which valuable for a person with poor eyesight and who struggles to read small print books for a long time. I did this when I was reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. If I hadn’t got the book on Kindle, it would have definitely taken me more than a week to read it.
What worries me about the Kindle is that people will buy books electronically rather than from a bookshop. For me, half the fun of getting it book is going to the shop and browsing through the shelves, looking at the books that have just come in, trying to decide if I should buy the book that I’ve been wanting to read for months or wait a little longer and get it as a present.
As Kindles become more and more popular, we won’t be able to do this anymore, which makes me sad. When I think that future generations are going to pick up an electronic device first and miss out on going to libraries and bookshops and spending hours looking for the perfect book. Whereas younger people will just go straight to the internet and download what they want. It’s not the same and that’s a shame.
As much as I support the Kindle and E-Books – At the end of the day, reading is reading and if Kindles are getting more people reading, that’s a good thing. But if you tell your friend about an amazing book you read, you can’t lend it them because it’s on a Kindle and not in paper form. Which is kind of sad, I think.
For me, being able to tell people that a book is amazing and being able to lend it to them and then talk to them about it, is half the fun of reading it and not being able to lend someone a book that I thought they love, is disappointing. Books are meant to be shared and enjoyed by everyone.
As long as I can afford to, I will always buy paperbacks over E-Books. I like seeing the books on my bookcase and being able to show people that I have that book, makes me quite happy.