A very kind and generous person (whom I shall not mention by name purely because I refuse to share her) gave me a Kindle Fire as a gift recently.
We are by no means a technologically challenged household, but there is not a tablet in sight at Casa Roux, purely because we have some other pressing financial commitments (bond, food, clothes, childcare) and we just haven’t been able to pinch off the money. So you can only imagine how completely beside myself I was when I received this gift!
What I didn’t realize was how it would change my life.
For starters I no longer have to hold a book on cold nights. I simply stand the kindle on its side against Etienne’s arm (he lies reading on his stomach) and only a finger has venture out from under the cover to flip the page.
It’s small and light and I can take it with me wherever I go, so I’m never bored. Fair enough, it is vying for space in my large bag with my phone and crochet bag, but hey.
I feel a lot better about killing trees. Yes, I know that I’m reading on an electronic device and someone somewhere will be able to prove that it’s actually worse for the environment, but still.
consumed shlurped up read more in the last few months than I have in years. I have read cookbooks and sci-fi and vampire books and those dreaded 50 shades of whatever and Nora Roberts and Michael Robotham’s Suspect and most recently John Greene’s The Fault in our Stars. (Spoiler alert: it should come with a box of tissues or a roll of toilet paper, what an awesome book!)
It’s generally speaking a lot cheaper than buying hardcover books.
I do however find some things harder now that I’m reading on a kindle.
I find it harder to memorise book and author names if it’s not someone I’ve read before.
I miss being able to quickly refer to something on the back of the book about the promised storyline. The outside of a book is a little like getting to know a new person. You flirt with and remember the cover and the picture and if you come across the book at a later stage your memory is easily jogged.
I miss giving someone a book to read that doesn’t have a kindle (such as my Dad). I can’t just be sitting at a dinner party chatting about a book and walk to the bookshelf and pull it off and hand it over. (this might actually be a good thing, it might force people to buy the book online for less?)
I worry about the future of writers and how being a writer will be redefined in many ways. How will you be noticed in the throng of on-line voices?
I worry about our neighborhood bookshops. Not too much, remember the trees, but people that love books work there. Where would those people go?
I wonder about how it will change bookclubs. There’s something ritualistic about dragging a box of books with you to book club once a month and scratching around, looking for something that catches your eye. How will it work in future? Will women huddle around their kindles/iPads in their own lounges in future? Isn’t that a bit lonely?
Will we still have book clubs, or will it all be an online affair? I despair for all the wine that won’t be drunk. (not that I’ve belonged to a book club in a while as things are just too hectic, but plenty of my friends do)
How do you read books? If you read on a device, how did it change your relationship with books? Should we still be calling them books?