Amazon’s Kindle 2

So…Amazon has released the Kindle 2, which is super slim, lightweight, turns pages 20% faster, and lets you access over 1,500 books in just 60 seconds! Wow! But the cost is just a notch over $350.

While it would be neat to have a Kindle and have access to that many books in one small device, I honestly don’t see the need. I’m not likely to read 1500 books in one sitting or even on one trip. Are you?

I can see the convenience of this device. You don’t have to carry paperback or hardback books around with you anymore. I get that, really. Especially if you do travel a lot and love to read on the go. If that’s you and you’re willing to pay over three hundred dollars when you could just pack two or three books at 6 bucks each…you go for it! More power to you.

There’s something very satisfying about holding a book, an actual book, not a digitized version of a book. You don’t get that “book” smell with a device. You don’t get that added edge of suspense that you get when you’ve got the corner of the page between your fingers and you’re racing through the text until SWOOSH ! you finally get to the next page.

Think of how you feel when you’ve made it one hundred pages into the book in just an hour and you can see the bulk of those remaining pages and feel the thrill and challenge of finishing that much reading off in a short period of time. You can’t turn the Kindle on it’s side and see the hundreds of pages you’ve conquered.

The Kindle doesn’t show the love and devotion that you have for an author or their story the way an old, ragged, well-used, totally worn-out book does. It’s just not the same holding an electronic gadget as it is holding a book that’s been in your hands before, that’s been shaped by the time spent there. Sure, I may be sounding like a bibliophile right now but that’s fine. I’ve just discovered myself, by writing this post, just how much I love the feel of a solid book in my hands. I’d never really given it that much thought before.

But there really is an experience that goes along with reading a book that’s tied simply to the book – a sensory experience, you could call it. The sound of the pages turning, the texture of the paper between your fingers, the feel of a worn cover aided by layers and layers of tape or protective plastics, the smell of the book itself – especially if it’s an older book. These are things that go along with the story – they enhance the reading experience.

You can’t trade in something like that for a composite of plastics and metal just because it can store up to 1,500 books. Paper back books don’t require batteries or charging or back-lit screens…they don’t “go out” on you.

You really should pick up a book. Technology is not always as great as it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes it takes away from the small but wonderful things in life.

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Comments (1)

Alice PittsMarch 4th, 2009 at 10:21 PM

Hi, Heather,

I thought your post very interesting. I have a blind friend who basically expressed the same things as you. Braille is very inefficient, braille books are bulky, very expensive, and few and far between. Still, there is something about holding a book in your hands which technology cannot replace, even for a blind man.


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