Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To Kindle or not to Kindle?

Are you following the book world buzz? The Kindle, Amazon’s wireless reading device, is on fire. Analysts are predicting that 380,000 units will sell this year and sales of $1 billion by 2010. As one said, “Turns out the Kindle is becoming the iPod of the book world.” Picture it. Only two years from now. Commuters, beachgoers, you, me, staring at our little white boxes, reading our wireless words. No page-turning necessary.

Well, I’m not going to be one of them.

Yes, it's more convenient. Order a book and it’s immediately downloaded to your Kindle. Yes, it's cheaper (once you amortize the $395 cost of the gadget). Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga: Book 1, for example, has a current print price of $10.99, but the Kindle price is only $6.03, almost half off. When you buy as many kids’ books as I do, the savings can add up.

What bugs me is Amazon’s claim that you’ll “experience a display that looks and reads like paper, even in sunlight.”

Oh puhlease. If it doesn’t smell like a book or feel like a book or have pages that you can turn or dog-ear or write on, is it really a book? Not to me. I love the tactile part of reading; feeling the paper, the cover, cracking the spine. I love the sound of pages turning, seeing the thickness of pages I’ve read versus what’s left to read. I love using bookmarks. I love my library. More importantly, I read printed words differently than wireless words. They affect me more. I retain them better. Printed books have soul.

So, no Kindle for me. How about you? Are you a future Kindler or not?


  1. I'd rather read off papyrus than the Kindle!!!

  2. Acually we have a Kindle...and I use it mostly to read the morning papers...I prefer a real book when reading "books"....however, it's amazing that you can download a full novel almost anywhere in the can have, I believe, 200 novels on the Kindle..take this small receiver on vacation instead of heavy books....but I am still not giving up traditional books.

  3. I can see the Kindle as a boon to people living far from a library or people who travel constantly.

    Neither of the above apply to me, so I'll stick to traditional page turning and be very happy, thank you.

  4. I can't imagine my home without bookcases filled with books.

    But I also thought I'd never give up on newspapers and now, like Eileen, I mainly read newspapers online. I only get Sunday editions delivered.

    So who knows what the future holds? We may all Kindle at some point.

  5. Unless they come out with a candle called "Crisp Pages" I think I'll stick to those old fashioned paper thingamajigs with turnable pages. I also get satisfaction seeing how far I'm into a story and how far I've yet to go. Love the feeling of being immersed in the story - literally.

  6. I'm a paper person too! (I wonder if most writers are?)

    Carl and I debated this topic long before there was such a thing as the Kindle. Computer person that he is, he predicted there would eventually be no need for paper books. I, of course, argued that I could never imagine cuddling up with a computer to read a good story.