Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To Kindle or Not To Kindle

The people that know me best, often make fun of me and my lack of knowledge of pop culture. I turn my head when the conversation gets to celebrities and popular TV shows. I often don’t pay attention to the news outside of the Food and Travel sections of my newspaper. And I’ve been accused of reading only food-related books. Ok, so there’s some truth to that. Or at least lately.

Well, I’m also a little slow with technology. And I’ve got to hear about something a few times before I really investigate it. I looked down on the idea of Facebook at first. I was never into Myspace or Friendster, so I thought, why start now? (My views on it have DRASTICALLY changed, and it’s the best way I stay in touch with friends and share information with them. I can’t live without it now.) Bing? I think the first time I heard it, I ignored the conversation. I finally looked into it after I heard about it a few more times. (And don’t get me started on Google Wave--what is that???)

Well, same goes for the kindle. What’s a kindle? It’s a new piece of technology. Essentially, it’s an electronic book. It allows you to download books and to read them electronically on this small (and thin) piece of equipment. You can turn pages, scroll down, and carry around a light weight piece of equipment rather than a thousand page book. And when you’re done? You reload the next book onto it. Handy and practical in theory I suppose.

But me? I hate it. To me, it takes away everything that is so special about books and about reading. About seeing the cover art. Looking at the back to see the excerpt and what others have said about it. The part where you flip through it and take in that new book smell. About actually holding something. Something that a writer has poured his or her soul into. An actual book is personal. A kindle? Not so much.

I understand the need for it. It sure is practical for travelers, or people who read a lot, and don’t have the luxury of doing it in the comforts of their own home. And I suppose the more people reading, the better. And I guess this is what all those music lovers probably thought when they saw the demise of the CD and the influx of the iPod into every community and into every single person’s hands. The music industry changed forever. Royalties, album art, the end of records stores. I’m not sure I’m ready to see the Kindle take over the world. I still want to get lost in a bookstore on a rainy Saturday. And still look over in my living room and see my collection of beloved books. Call me old fashioned, but I’m just not ready to have another machine in my life.

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