Saturday, May 21, 2011

ReKindled. Forgive the Pun.

When the Kindle first came out, I knew that eventually, we'd all have one. I love paper books, and I will never give them up completely, but I'm not so naive as to think they will always be the preferred medium for books. When the Kindle was first developed, I was resistant, swearing that I'd never have one, but it didn't really matter, anyway; they were expensive and constantly out of stock, and there weren't many e-books available. Now that you can get a Kindle or a reasonable knock-off for under $200 and nearly any book, newspaper, or magazine in an electronic format, I can foresee the end of the paper book era, and I find that I'm not so resistant to move along with the tide of the rest of the world.

My acceptance of the evolving world of print comes as a bit of a surprise for me. I have been resistant in so many other aspects of change in our literature and language. I am emphatic about proper spelling and grammar, even in text messages, even on Facebook. Just thinking about replacing entire words with their singular vowel sound horrifies me; I can't even joke about it without having minute tics (lol, u so crzy!!!1!) I don't read vampire novels (although I did read the first two books of the Twilight series, sue me) and I tend to shy away from anything that becomes too popular (see my post about Oprah Book Club books.) I suppose the difference between e-books and text speak (omg!) is the presence of logic. I love books, but even more than that, I love reading. A Kindle might not have the same feel or smell as a hardcover copy of my favorite book, but the content of that book is there, and that's what matters. The Kindle and other such e-readers take my favorite thing and make it more compact, more portable, more accessible. How can I be completely opposed to that?

I had an extra bit of money this weekend and almost bought myself a Kindle, but I decided to wait a while longer and put that money into my savings account. I couldn't justify the cost, even though they have become considerably more affordable. Right now, I read in one of two places: at home, or in my car (not while driving, of course.) It is not a problem for me to just grab a book and toss it in my bag before I head out the door. I also get most of my books from the library, and though I know that some e-books are available to be borrowed in the same way, I know myself well. I would take that Kindle and work fast to fill it up, spending money on books that I plan to read "someday." Right now, I buy books that matter to me, or books I absolutely have to read, but cannot get from my library. It's the only way I can keep my already massive book collection under control. Perhaps the biggest factor in my current lack of an e-reader is my propensity for dropping expensive electronics into water. I recently lost my BlackBerry this way, and I don't think I would be able to survive the heartbreak of such an accident with a Kindle.

So, no Kindle for me, not yet, anyway. Maybe I can talk myself into it in a year or two. My sister and blog co-author, Jen, just got one for Mother's Day, and I know she loves hers. I have to wonder if she'll continue to buy hardcovers or paperbacks, or if she'll just download them from now on. I wonder if it makes any difference at all, if I'm just being sickly sentimental. Is there enough love for paper books to keep them around much longer, or will they go the way of typewriters and become a whimsical collectible with no real relevance? Mp3s did not destroy music, and I know that e-readers will not destroy literature, but I can't help but worry about losing books. Maybe that's why I'm still reluctant to buy a Kindle: I'm hoping to keep books alive for just a little while longer.

1 comment:

  1. I have one and I adore it. However, I also still buy books. I do not think an book will ever completely replace the look, feel and smell of a real one. Although, for traveling, a Kindle is a must!