I have a Kindle and I’m meh about it. It’s like a fine hand job; one enjoys it. I guess. It serves its purpose, but unless offered to you, you forget it’s an option.
Which is fine with me, because I, for one, have a heated love affair with the printed word. Like actually in print, black and white, Times New Roman font (give me Comic Sans and die), smelling like a dirty thrift store, greasy paperback word book.
There’s something about the weight of the word in your hands. The heft. The smugness of flashing what you’re reading to others. Nyah, nyah, I read about SMART THINGZ.
Despite owning a Kindle, a device able to carry tons of books in one compact piece of technology, I still take three books along when I travel. Maybe I’m silly. Maybe I haven’t adjusted to the electronic age, but damn it I can’t. I like my books meaty.
The only reason I use a Kindle is to get a book ASAP. Say one night I’m on Amazon all sweaty-palmed and breathing heavily and see a book I absolutely must have. Then this is where I unearth the Kindle. One click and BAM! I have it.
And still. Sometimes I hold out for the actual book.
Why you ask? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY, JULES?
Well, let me elaborate in handy-dandy list form.
1. The Satisfaction of Finishing
Reading and finishing a 450-page book on a Kindle isn’t as satisfying as finishing the real live thing. You’re done. You close the book with a hearty thump. The sense of accomplishment is a tangible thing. I’m a visual person. I need to see this.
The Kindle Progress Bar is worthless.
It doesn’t make me feel secure in the knowledge that I’m making progress. I don’t even know what I’m looking at. Do the tick marks serve a purpose? Will they grant wishes? I guess I’m 41% done but how many pages left?
2. The Smell
C’mon. Books just smell good. Especially the old ones.
3. My Collection
(cue evil laugh)
I like to look at all the books and know I own them. Just like that hobo in my basement but that’s a story for another time.
I’ll probably never reread the books on my Kindle. I own Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas electronically but I’ll still buy the book one of these days. Building up my book collection is a good thing. I love my office library and if I had my choice my entire house would be covered in books.
4. The Memories
I travel a lot. I read a lot. The two go together like Sid and Nancy. Minus the whole murder thing.
I remember many, many books I’ve read while traveling, and on vacation, and the cities I’ve read them: Ayiti – New Orleans, This Book is Full of Spiders – San Francisco, Hell’s Angels – Dublin, etc, etc.
On the Kindle I forget. I don’t have that physical piece to call up my memories.
Actual books are like roadmaps to where I’ve been and who I was when I read them.
5. Zombie Apocalypse
Granted, you may have more important things to do like running for your life and pitchforking Zombies than consider the old book during a Zombie Apocalypse, however, when the crazy slows down and you settle into your new lifestyle of fear and paranoia, ol’ mr. electric ain’t gonna be around.
Where does that Kindle come into play now? Huh sucker? You’re probably chucking it at a Zombie’s head or using it to dig some type of mass grave maybe. I don’t know. Don’t ask me to imagine things further because they’ll get out of control.
Books are reliable. In any disaster scenario, they’re always there. When you have no electric, you have a book. You can still read in the daytime and by candlelight at night.
They still exist.
But so do Zombies.
So you’re probably gonna die.