Got a Kindle two weeks ago, and every time I pick it up, I’m amazed all over that such a thing exists! Yes, the screen is small, the page-turn flicker is odd, and I keep wanting to touch the screen, but, wow, it’s so small and light. The text is crisp and clear, better than some paperbacks I own. And how cool is it to get books you want instantly?
Funny thing though, the Kindle version of a book isn’t always cheaper. I expected it would be, since there’s no physical book to be made, but often, the paperback costs less. So there’s the dilemma . . . buy it on the Kindle, get it faster, save trees (though who knows what the Kindle kills) and shelf space, but spend more? Or, save money? And then, there are books that just aren’t available for the Kindle, though interestingly, Amazon has an option to send requests to the publishers to make them available. Wonder if that will work out?
So far, I’ve sampled lots of first chapters, but purchased just one book. Which I still haven’t read, because I’ve got a stack of paper books on my nightstand to finish, and I’ve found myself lingering over them.
I’m noticing the way the spines bend, the texture of the paper under my fingers, the progress of my bookmark through bound pages. The way I can flip back and forth between chapters, visually take in two pages at once, study the cover and read the flaps and smell the paper. The sound the pages make when thumbed, when turned, when I run my finger down them, the way the book covers fit just so.
I’m imagining the Kindle in their place, thinking how empty things might look, wondering what I’ll do if the power goes out and the battery’s dead, feeling nostalgic about the whole thing. (Though I’m sure my husband’s cheering – no more stacks, yay!)
I know it’s the end of an era, and once I read my way through my stacks of paper books, my Kindle and I will be getting closer. And I know good stories will always pull me in, no matter where I’m reading them.
Still I’m hesitating, torn between paper and pixels, seeing the irony of writing this post on a laptop, to be launched onto the web and never touch paper at all, acknowledging how cool the Kindle is, all the while wishing paper books could live on forever.