Books vs Electronics.

Jeff won a Kindle Fire a year or so ago, which he never used. So this past winter I stole it so I could watch episodes of The Magicians on Amazon Video while I was on my bike.

It’s been sitting in my attic, next to the (mostly) unused trainer now for a few months.

On Monday, I saw an ad for a book series called “The Secret of Spellshadow Manor” with a note that said, Harry Potter fans, you will love this series! I went to check it out on Amazon, and saw ANOTHER ad for a free 30 day trial of Kindle unlimited.

As many books as I want to read in 30 days? Yes please!

So I dusted off the Fire, signed up for the trial, and downloaded the series.

And after reading one book on the Kindle, I have to admit: I’m completely torn.

I LOVE paper books. They make me happy. It doesn’t matter if it has that new book smell or I’ve found a handwritten grocery list used as a bookmark in a library book – I love them equally, without reservation, with all my heart. I love the feel of a book, turning the pages, the smell, everything.

Books – real, actual books – make me so happy.

But here’s the thing: I read books too fast. (I once read Stephen King’s It in a day. Albeit a long day where I did nothing but read and my parents made me stop reading to eat lunch AND dinner… but I finished it that day!) So books don’t LAST. They are over too soon.

And whenever we travel, I have to bring a number of books with me, which I end up finishing early in the week. Not only do they end up being dead weight in my bag on the way back, but I’m also bored on the way home.

So I love the idea that I can have as many books as I want in one small device. I don’t have to schlep to the library to take out books I want. And with the 30-day-unlimited books thing, I can get the book I want to read right away – I don’t have to put it on a hold and wait a couple of days until it’s available, then schlep to the library to pick it up- instant gratification, baby!

I can read from my library if I really want to; they have electronic books I can download to a Kindle.

But I have to say, I HATE the actual act of reading on the Kindle.

First of all, it doesn’t even LOOK like a book. I’m basically reading a computer screen. And I worry that reading at night is going to affect my sleep with its Blue Electronic Insomnia Light.

It doesn’t smell like a new book, and I can’t find handwritten grocery lists in it.

And it definitely doesn’t give me that feeling when I first open a book – that shivery wonder of what’s ahead whenever I slowly turn that first page.

It’s totally not the same as a real book.

I’m going to finish out my 30 days and enjoy the sheer number of books I’ll be able to get through, but then I’m going to go back to the library and get real books.

Do you have a Kindle? Do you like it?

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3 Responses to Books vs Electronics.

  1. jjiraffe says:

    I prefer reading “real” books too, so we go to the library a lot. I also find it more difficult to fall asleep if I read on a screen before bed. There is some research that shows reading on a Kindle, or iPad or phone before bed makes it harder to sleep. Something about how the light of the screen wakes your brain up…

  2. The Kindle Fire (which is what I assume you have) does have a nighttime mode that takes all the blue out. Or you can go with a Kindle Paper white which really does look like a book. They have come way down in price and they keep a charge for a REALLY go time. Plus you can store THOUSANDS of books on there, and Amazon has tons of free stuff as well. My dad read all day every day and he LOVED his Kindle.

  3. charliesbird says:

    I suspect after a month, you’ll be loving the Kindle. I was unconvinced, but have never looked back – no need to have an extra bag for books when I travel!

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