I love BOOKS. It’s not just the stories they tell or the worlds they create, its the feel and smell of a book. It’s a book’s character, how every folded page or coffee stain shows use and love. It’s a worn out spine. It’s a scratched up cover.
It’s a book.
I got on this topic after/during a debate with a friend on Facebook who just purchased a Kindle. (Sorry Dave! You never know what might turn into a blog post!) If you don’t know what a Kindle is, its an electronic book reader. It does more than just let you read books, but in its most basic description, its a book reader.
I happen to be one of those people who staunchly wants to keep books in book form. Before I go into my laundry list of reasons, I will in all fairness give the Kindle these kudos:
1 – You can carry a LOT of books in one small electronic device. In less space than one paper back book, you can have multiple books available right at your fingertips.
2 – Saves paper and trees. (However, my father-in-law was a logger and that is how many people make their living. Plus, no one ever seems to notice that they do replant trees after they take grown trees out.)
3 – You can do more than just read books on a Kindle. Although, my phone can also surf the web, play music, etc.
4 – I have to admit, being able to search for a phrase or section of a book with a few clicks is really, really cool.
Okay, I’m done playing nice. Now why I won’t use a Kindle. At least not any time soon. (I have to leave myself an out, you know, in case a moment of weakness comes and I go over to the dark side.)
1 – Like I said before. I love the feel and smell of a book. I happen to be one of those people who really loves going to the library and being surrounded by book after book after book. Its sensory overload for someone like me!
2 – When on a plane, I don’t have to wait to open my book, nor do I have to close it for landing. I regularly, when I fly, hop in my seat and open my book immediately. I read until the wheels touch down. I only pay attention to the “electronic devices” guidelines in regards to the iPod or maybe my camera if I am in a “take pictures from the plane” mood.
3 – I never have to worry about the battery dying. Granted, from what I have read about Kindles, they have stupid long battery life. But, hey, books don’t need batteries…
5 – If I am on a desert island (because you never know when THAT might happen), I can read my book and then use it to start a fire and keep me warm.
6 – I never have to worry about losing my books to a dramatic hard drive crash or something of that nature. I just have to worry about a lighted match.
7 – If I drop my book, I don’t have to gasp in horror if I broke it. I can throw in my purse and not worry about scratching it up (even though I AM a stickler for keeping my books nice) or it breaking. Heck, a broken spine on a book shows use to me, and it is like a badge of honor.
As we go more to a digital world, more and more things that have been staples of the past are fading away. There’s a good chance that books will be next. Newspapers are already having to change their mode of operation.
Through our history, we’ve advanced as a people through technological innovations. Kindle, and other such book readers, are another step in our advancement. I acknowledge that. I’m just also a sucker for the ways and times of the past, and books represent that to me. Perhaps a big part of that is the fact that growing up, I always had a book in my hand. It went everywhere with me. Books to me not only represent where am going with my future, but they also represent where I came from.
And forgive me, but I am not ready to let that go yet.