As a dedicated bookworm, I recently faced a very difficult question, the choice between downloading a new book on my Kindle or purchasing the print edition instead.
Whilst pondering this serious matter I took to Twitter to see what my fellow bibliophiles thought I should do, and also their preference when it came to such decisions.I was pleasantly surprised by the response and the reassurance that whilst the Kindle does has a role to play, it will never take the place of printed books.
Here are a few of the points raised that will hopefully convince you too…
1. BOOK SIGNINGS… I have, on some occasions enjoyed a book so much that I have wanted to get my copy signed by the author themselves, in person. This involves attending a book signing which is an event that every serious bookworm should take part in, at least once in their lifetime. Aside from the obvious pleasure of meeting said author, I have found many a kindred spirit in the rainy queue outside a book shop and, after sharing hours of bookish banter we have then become firm friends.Obviously the Kindle fails on this one, the first and last time I asked an author to sign my digital copy ended badly, with a situation involving an angry crowd and me crawling on the floor hunting for the end off my stylus.
2. SPINE APPEAL… Books look great. The vast array of covers, size and style of printed books are an absolute feast for the eyes and my bookshelf takes pride of place at home.This doesn’t mean that all my books live on the designated shelves, they are scattered all over the place – from the coffee table to the kitchen side, each seeking to draw me in at any opportunity. The Kindle however is not quite as alluring, even with a smart case and matching cleaning cloth.Granted, it currently has over 100 books ready to be read and a shiny colour screen but it just does not tempt me in the same way a book does.Books, particularly new books smell good too…I have been asked to leave many a bookshop for sniffing my way around the fiction aisle whilst sighing contentedly.
3. WEIGHT ISSUES… This is a recurring problem amongst those of us that like to travel and read more than one book at a time.It was the only reason I recently bought a Kindle in fact, shortly after the overweight baggage debacle I created last time we went abroad.The same one that saw me sobbing in the airport as I debated whether to leave my clothes rather than any of the eight books I needed to read on our three day mini break…..
4. STORAGE… I am ashamed to admit that I have boxes in the garage crammed full of books, hundreds of books.Unable to fit any more in the house but unable to part with any of them, I have amassed a collection that would rival my local library and that has caused more than one domestic dispute, my hubby just does not understand why I need to keep a box full of Enid Blyton classics.This is not a problem for the Kindle.With storage capacity far beyond any garage, it wins hands down for space management and would make any minimalist happy.Print book lovers not so much…
In answer to my question, does the Kindle spell the end of books in print, I would have to conclude a resounding no.
Both can live in harmony, indeed my kindle is very happy on the bookshelf amongst my print classics and has always been a willing holiday companion when called upon.There will always be a demand for printed books and an audience ready to build a bigger garage if necessary.
Are you print loyal, Kindle crazy or enjoying the best of both worlds like me?
Thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/ and also http://www.flickr.com/photos/robie06/ via creative commons for pictures used:)