I've had my kindle for a little while now, so I thought you might be interested to see how I'm going with it.
In short, I love it.
Let's look at why:
- Easy to read whilst eating. I can place the kindle on the table whilst I eat my breakfast, and still have both hands free to eat. That's always been tricky to do with a book!
- I can plop the kindle down without having to fumble for a bookmark so I don't lose my place (great for when I suddenly have to rescue the kids from a scrape).
- As long as I turn my kindle off, the kids can't remove my bookmark (because for someone reason, when kids see a bookmark sticking out of a book, they have to yank it out!)
- Travelling is a dream - so easy to cart several books around with me, without taking up the space or being so heavy!
- When I like a passage in a book, I can highlight the section or make notes, all without having to dig around for pen and paper.
- So easy to download the next book in a series or from my favourite author ... even in the middle of the night
There's so much to love about the kindle. But will it replace my love of 'real' books? No, I don't think so.
This week on my train trip, I've been reading a real, hold-in-your-hands, non-digital book. There's something more natural about holding a volume of pages. When I take a break, or pause to ponder the story, I like to turn the book in my hands, re-study the cover and check where my bookmark now divides the pages. There's something satisfying in seeing how far I've come, and how far I have to go. There's a deeper, more intimate relationship between me and the book.
Okay, non-book lovers out there are probably closing their laptops right now, dismissing me for a nutter. But if you're still with me, you totally get what I mean.
I opened an old book the other day and was quite affected when I was hit by that familiar musky smell. My first thought was, "Wow! A real book!" It stirred all sort of emotions inside me. I can't ever imagine an electronic device doing the same.
So, where does this all leave me?
I think I will love digital books for their convenience, and I will love physical books for their tangibility. I believe that the ebook revolution is great for the publishing industry. Book sales are increasing, and going to increase even more - good news for authors! I know already, that from here on end, there are going to be some books that I buy twice - one digital, one physical.
Will the next generation who grow up on kindles do the same? Maybe not. For my part, I will still be putting good old paper and binding books in to the hands of my daughters and fostering their love of stories that way. But for those kids who have grown up with nothing but digital devices, perhaps ebooks will give them a new chance to develop a love of reading that they might not otherwise had had.
Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element. She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA. She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.
Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.