I read a lot and almost entirely on a Kindle. I feel about my Kindle the way I feel about computers: it’s a better way.
Especially as I’ve gotten older and my eyes tire quickly, being able to adjust size and style of the fonts has become increasingly important. Kindle is lighter than a paperback and has its own light. My Kindle isn’t a book — it’s a portable library that I can take with me wherever I go.
A while back, I had to read a “real book” because it wasn’t available on Kindle. I found it heavy and worse, I had to turn a light by which to read. I’m not used to that! When we travel, I no longer need to haul a trunk full of paperbacks. My Kindle fits neatly in my shoulder bag, camera bag or laptop case. My wrists don’t get tired from holding it. I can read one-handed. The Kindle keeps my place for me, even if I’m reading more than one book at a time. And the bookmarks never fall out.
I grab my Kindle on the way out when I’m off to the doctor. Having stuff to read takes some of the sting out of waiting. At home, I don’t have to figure out where to put books. For the first time in 30 years, there’s a bit of wiggle room on my book shelves.
I get annoyed by people who tell me electronic books aren’t “real books.” I’m sure when books replaced papyrus scrolls, a lot of people complained. And when the printing press replaced scribes, whew! That was major change. For me, it’s contents that makes a book, not format.
A couple of years ago, we gave away hundreds of books. They went to our local library, two high schools, the senior center and to any friends who wanted them. And there are plenty more where they came from if anyone wants them.
Yet I still love old-fashioned paper books. There’s nothing like the smell of paper and ink when you open a new book. Nothing sounds sweeter than the soft crack of a book’s binding as it loosens for the first time. The rustle of paper when you turn pages is music to my ears.
If I had unlimited room, I’d have a library with every book I love filling the shelves. But I’d do my reading on the Kindle anyway. Because it weighs almost nothing and it’s lit from within. I’ve gotten spoiled by the lightness and the light.
There’s room in the world for all kinds of things. Paper books will never be obsolete. Buy them as long as you have room in your bookcases.
For everything else, there’s a Kindle. Or a Nook or a tablet or whatever device you prefer.
Reading is important. The rest is semantics.