Since the Kindle was introduced in 2007, I have seen many articles / blogs which pitch the kindle against he traditional printed book. Now, 10 years later, the novelty of the kindle having worn off, I want to compare the two. Please bear in mind, these are my own views and I will credit any stats or views of others that I use.
* I’m sure you will have been expecting this one but it is hard to overlook: the sheer portability of the Kindle. You can take hundreds of books with you wherever you go.
* I have found that I actually read more since I have owned a Kindle. I tend to have a least one book waiting ready for me when I have finished what I am currently reading.
* The amount of literature readily available. Of course you can get the titles elsewhere, but with the Kindle you get instant gratification. (Yes, I’m impatient!)
* I know this is going to sound ridiculous and I am prepared to be judged…but I like the fact I can read one-handed! Picture this; a cold winters evening, a cuppa beside you and a blanket over you. I have the blanket pulled up to my chin, my left hand warmly encased in said blanket whilst I can ‘turn the page’ with my right hand – which is bloody freezing because it isn’t under the blanket. Whilst reading a paperback recently, I actually forgot the need of a second hand to turn the page…
* Sharing a great book with family and friends. When I have finished a book it’s nice to share with others. Likewise, I enjoy reading books recommended by others too. Saying that, I’m always hesitant to lend my own books in case they lose / damage it. I’m one of those people that like to keep my books in pristine condition – even struggling to read so I don’t crack the spine. God forbid if a book was returned with dog-earred pages… why?! Why do people do it?!
* The smell. Is that just me? Old books. New books. I’m not picky. I used to work in a library and we would have a weekly delivery slot of new books. I was literally in heaven.
* They don’t run out of battery at a crucial part of the story.
* They look nice. Is that a bit superficial? I don’t care.
Ok, so these were opinions I have formed over the last 10 years from my own experiences. When I decided to write this blog page a took a look and some opinions of other readers.
One I found claimed that the Kindle was due for the scrap heap as sales of e books are down 17% as of April 2017, whereas book sales are up by 8%. (Cocozza, P 2017 ‘How e books lost their shine: Kindles now look chunky and unhip’ Guardian link
My response to this? Well durrrr! Of course sales of the Kindle would dwindle. (See what I did there?) Once you finish a paperback, you have to then acquire another paperback if you would like to read one, whether you buy or borrow. A Kindle isn’t a throwaway piece of technology. In 10 years I have had 2 Kindles, and that is only because I upgraded to the paper white rather than the original needing to be replaced – it still worked perfectly. Surely this point is actually a positive?
I also came across a Metro article; ‘Ebooks or paperbacks? A Kindle reader and a book lover fight it out.’ Metro article, and found a few interesting quotes:
Holly Royce: “Kindles are for true lovers of literature.” “Kindles are for people who don’t need to brag about what books they own”
Ellen Scott: “Kindles are for people who think they like books, but in fact only like ticking reading off their to-do list.”
I think you have probably already gathered that I am advocate of both the Kindle and the traditional paperback. Strike that. I am an advocate of reading…in any format. The quotes included from the metro article infuriate me. Why do these people think it’s ok to make such sweeping judgemental statements based on how people choose to read their books? As someone who teaches primary aged children, I think that surely what we should be concentrating on the fact that people are reading. If one of my pupils reads at home, should I berate them for the format they read the book in? Of course not. The idea is ridiculous.
Don’t get me wrong- I like to debate, which is why I wrote this blog. Having an opinion is great. Belittling others for their difference of opinion isn’t, especially when we live in a world where children are losing their love of reading.
In conclusion, I love both formats and acknowledge the pros and cons of both. Others are likely to prefer one or the other. My view? If people are reading, who cares how they are reading?