I have recently been able to commandeer a kindle (no worries all you moral-minded folk, it will be returned). So, after a few months of trying it out alongside physical books, I thought I would write out my thoughts on both.
Since the kindle first came out, I have never been in favour of it. To me, it betrayed the book and I could never understand how it could possible to compare. Books hit all the senses, kindles were a block of plastic.
Over time, however, and after using one for a while, I began to realise the practicalities of a kindle. It is light and it stores lots of books. Going away as often as I have done this some has made it a godsend for my back and arms. Usually, I end up taking masses of books away with me, now I only carried a light machine.
However, despite the practicalities, I could not find myself loving the kindle like I would end up loving a book. With it being a touch screen, I had to be careful with how I held it, in case I ended up skipping ahead or back. Hold your finger in one place for that little bit longer and it gave you a dictionary definition – useful on occasion, but it really interfered with the story.
Not to mention, I really had to alter the way I read. With a book, I flick backwards and forwards as I need to. If there are maps, I can find them easily. I can submerge myself in the smell and I can be completely lost in the story. With the kindle, I have always been somewhat aware of my surroundings – it has never had the magic that makes a story special.
So, while I can understand the kindle and why people like it, I cannot bring myself to love it. It is useful and stores lots of books (many of which are cheaper than the real thing). However, I would only end up buying the physical copy later on – making the investment a waste of money. The kindle does connect to the internet though, which is not something I can say for books.
In future, I think I shall stick to books. Let me know what your thoughts are on the kindle/book debate in the comments below.