If you know anything about me, you probably know that I’m an avid reader. (Well, I was before James’ arrival.) I love books – their smell, their paper, their covers, their typography and, most importantly, their stories. I’ve had to figure out that prioritization over the last couple of days because, you see, Paul gave me a Kindle for Christmas.
I was very wary at first. I even considered having him return it. But I started to see the thoughtfulness of the gift pretty quickly and that it wasn’t just about trying to decrease my stockpiles of fiction. Although I’m well aware that that was one of Paul’s ulterior motives. Ahem.
Here’s why I’m liking my gift. I’m comfortable saying that now. It took a few days. At first it felt like sacrilege.
Portability. With my Kindle, Paul also got me Murakami’s latest: IQ84, a veritable tome. It’s only out in hardcover right now, which makes its weight the equivalent of a couple of bricks. Not so on my Kindle. Plus in my pre-baby life I travelled a lot. I won’t as much now but when I do, I can take a stack of books with me, with ease.
Accessibility. I assume I’ll get back to some regular reading pattern eventually, when James decides I shouldn’t be so sleep-deprived. I read quickly. I won’t be without reading material. (However, I have to say that I have savoured that time in the past, strategizing what should come next before my hungry eyes.) As well, I think getting the latest updates to a travel guide while on the road sounds extremely civilized. Many times I’ve been frustrated to find—at the most inappropriate time, of course—that my Rough Guide or Lonely Planet is out-of-date.
Eco-friendliness. Not surprisingly, much less carbon is emitted in the production of e-readers than that of books. I still wonder about this overall claim because if software advancements mean needing to purchase a new e-reader every couple of years, then it becomes pretty eco-unfriendly. Are the claims taking into account used bookstores, which I love? Or the fact that books are more readily recyclable than an e-reader? Of course, a lot less paper will be used. I hear some forest foliage whispering a sigh of relief.
I still can’t imagine a world or my home without books. Glancing at a colourful spine on a bookshelf can be visceral. I often am reminded of some bright image from the story contained within, or of how or where I acquired the book. So to further help me grapple with owning a Kindle, I’ve decided on a buy policy. Yes, yes, I geekily have. The books I “e-read” (groan) that I really like or love will be keepers. Their analog copies will get bought for my shelves.
Hmmm, maybe another bonus of the Kindle is that I won’t have to cart any duds to the used bookstore.