Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Kindle or books?

I have been thinking of asking Mum to lend me the Kindle she's not using, but I don't know whether I agree with the ethos of the Kindle, or can compare it to a lovely smelling old book. Here are the pros of each:


1. The smell. There's nothing lovelier than the smell of an old book. I can't pin down why it's nice, but it just smells... authentic.

2. Having something physical. It's an easy way to see how far through the book you've read, and the physicality of turning the pages is rewarding and almost automatic.

3. Books aren't expensive. Although it may be cheaper to buy the books on a Kindle, it is far less catastrophic if you lose a book or get it stolen than if you lose your Kindle. 

4. The front cover. It is good to be able to see the front cover now and then, as this is all part of the reading experience and helps you to remember the plot of the book. I think you almost link the cover to the story through association.

5. Being able to keep books. This also helps you remember reading the books, as you may seem the book again on your bookshelf and this will remind you of the story. Plus, it's always nice to have books on a bookshelf and be able to look at them and feel proud of having read them all.

6. They always work. You don't need to charge a book, and it won't run out of power.


 1. Some books are heavy. Kindles are fairly light at it is much easier to carry a Kindle than a heavy book, particularly a textbook. I will be starting to study Psychology soon, and trust me, the textbooks for that are massive.

2. The search option. On a Kindle it is possible to search for words, or a quote in a book. This could help GCSE students to remember where a line of text came from, or people who have quoted a book in an essay and have forgotten to write down the references for this. It also helps you to find information you are looking for in textbooks.

3. The novelty. Kindles are new and gadgety (just invented that word), so they are obviously a bit more exciting. This could make you want to read more often.

4. Internet. Books can't go on the internet. This could however be a big distraction for readers!

5. Instant books. You can download a book in seconds without having to wait till you're near a bookstore to read one. I hear they're often cheaper too.


In conclusion, I think there has to be some compromise with a mixture of the two. There's no need to replace all your books with electronic versions, and I would always make sure I buy a book in the flesh if I am really enjoying it, but a Kindle may be a good way to read textbooks on the go, or to take on holiday. I think in general, books are more carefree, and not having to think about charging them is a big plus. I can't imagine anything worse than heading off on holiday with a Kindle and having it break on the first day and having to spend the rest of the time with nothing to read. I think I'll probably stick with books.

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