Kindle, Amazon’s best-selling e-reader that makes transporting your entire library wherever you may go possible. Having bought an early Sony e-reader when electronic books were a revolutionising concept, and then upgraded to a Kindle a couple of years ago. You would understandably assume then that I am a pro-ebook, but the truth is, I’m still on the fence.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore e-books. I love that you can taken literally hundreds of books with you on your travels. Gone are the days when you have to decide on one good holiday read. Now you can take everything and choose whatever picks your fancy that day. At University, I downloaded a lot of my textbooks so I didn’t have to carry thick, heavy law books around with me whenever I wanted to do work. Not only that, I find it a lot easier to read on a Kindle on public transport, be that a plane, train or bus, than a physical book. You don’t need much space to hold an e-reader, but I need to be super comfy to read a book, and that does involve space. Stepping away from portability, I love that e-books have made reading a lot more accessible. Anyone can write an e-book. There’s courses and tutorials a plenty showing you how to get started. It’s helped open to door to publication and give budding writers experience that they otherwise might never have gained. E-books are generally cheaper, than physical books (if not free), making it more economic, once you have the actual Kindle. It’s also easier to click download than it is for some people to get to a book shop. If I had to physically go to a book shop, I probably wouldn’t have as many books as I do now. It’s also that instant gratification you get when you can download a book, and in less than a minute start reading it. It’s just quick, simple and easy.
Despite all this, I’m still undecided. Although I’ve upgraded to a Kindle, I still haven’t stopped buying physical books. If a book is by one of my favorite authors or I’m pre-ordering it, I’ll usually opt for the physical rather than the digital. But why? No matter how many pro’s a Kindle might have, it still can’t replicate physically holding a book. As I said previously, whilst I downloaded my textbooks, I also bought the physical copies for home too. No fancy features beat being able to physically highlight, underline and write notes on the pages. Sometimes you need to step away from technology. I spend all day at work on a computer, I spend quite a lot of time at home on a computer, even my phone is basically a computer. Reading on an e-reader is essentially reading from a computer. I like reading because it gives me time to relax and switch off. Whilst it’s great to be able to relax anywhere with a Kindle, the physical book allows you to take a step back and escape from all things electronic without getting distracted.
Kindle books have made reading more effiecent than ever before, but maybe that’s not good thing. Many people enjoy reading because they can do it in their own time, without feeling the need to rush. Being able to access so many books so quickly can make you feel like you should be speed reading rather than relaxing. Personally, I think there’s a time and place for both formats and don’t think we’ll see the end of hardbacks just yet.
What’s your opinion on Ink vs IT? Love or lothe e-books?