Monday, July 30, 2012

To Kindle or Not To Kindle

Recently, I was out and about reading my Kindle when someone asked me how I liked it. I enthusiastically replied that I liked it quite a bit, much more than I thought I would. The person shook their head and said, “But there’s something about the feel of a book.”

 I don’t disagree, but here’s the thing; the revolution will happen whether we want it to or not. How many of us out there said we’d never buy a Blackberry, iPod or DVD player? Can you imagine still sitting in your house with a beeper, Sony Discman and a VCR?

I certainly never thought I’d buy a Kindle. I was a book person dammit! I worked in a bookstore for over five years and my bookshelves are crammed with more books than I’ll read in this lifetime or the next. I believed in the purity and sanctity of the paper page and there’d be no prying books out of my cold, dead fingers.

Well, when I decided I would be uploading my books to Kindle, I pretty much had to get with the program and buy one. And I’m glad I did. I can check out books from the public library, download audio books, magazines and newspapers. When I signed up for Joy Fielding’s class, we were all instructed to read three of her books beforehand, as they would be discussed. I already owned two of them, but couldn’t find the third at any of the four bookstores I went to (not even at the library). Rather than put it on special order, I bought the eBook version from the comfort of my couch.


Easy breezy.

The fact is, I still buy physical books. Quite a few of them. In the past three months alone, I’ve purchased Andy Cohen’s “Most Talkative,” “Skinnydipping” by Bethenny Frankel, Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl,” and over the weekend, I happened upon a rare books dealer where I purchased a perfectly trashy-sounding book from 1966 called “Doctors’ Wives” that I look forward to toting to the beach.

I’ll still ask my family for books as gifts for Christmas and Birthdays. I’ll still reread my paperback copies of “Catcher in the Rye” and “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” as I’ve done several times over the years. But the truth is, technology is inevitable, as we’ve seen in virtually every other aspect of entertainment. The train is speeding down the track and we can either get on or let it pass us by. Books are the last frontier to be conquered by technology.

Just think—in the next 20 years, people might be saying, “But there’s something about the feel of a Kindle.”



 


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