Does The Kindle Spell The End For Books In Print?

June 10, 2013 6:00 pm

Whether you want to read 50 Shades of Grey on the train without being watched by the eagle eyes of your fellow commuters or, simply ditch the Reading Kindle on a trainbooks and make more space for clothes in your suitcase this holiday without limiting your summer reads, the Kindle could be just what you need. With a growing number of book worms saying goodbye to traditional reading methods, could the comfort of flicking through a good book become a thing of the past?

Gone are the days when reading would mean frantically scouring the bookshop or library for that gripping new book from our favourite series. Often, its unavailability meant yet another week of waiting. Yes, we have all experienced the anticipation of delving into a new book becoming stale as the wait for it lengthens and our excitement slowly but surely starts to dwindle. Not anymore! The immediacy of obtaining fresh reading material at the click of a button is just one of the advantages of having a Kindle.

Flashing back to September 2012 when I was just starting out as an undergraduate Literature student, little did I know that the lengthy reading list we had received only included the texts we would be studying in one semester and not the entire year. I could never have imagined the huge chunks that would be taken from my bank account every week to buy novels that would be covered within the space of one lecture. Some would never be read again. What a waste! I was spending an average of £60 every fortnight and with the books piling up in my cell-like student room, investing in a Kindle seemed like the reasonable thing to do.

The Kindle Paperwhitpile of books studente turned out to be one of the best purchases I have ever made and the monstrously big anthologies that I had been lugging around campus simply could not compare! Sleek, shiny, able to hold up to 1,400 books and each for a fraction of the price in print, it certainly seemed like the Kindle was the purse-friendly, modern alternative to traditional books. It felt like a big weight had been taken off my shoulders -quite literally-  as I now travelled more freely and with a lot less to carry.

Putting practicality aside, there are some feelings that the Kindle will not be able to recreate for me. However realistic it feels to read from the ‘paperwhite’ screen of the device (almost as if you are reading from the pages of a printed book) there is something not quite right about curling up with a Kindle, not to mention the confusion of not knowing how far you are into the book due to the absence of page numbers. There is just something about holding a book in your hands that adds to the enjoyment of reading and there can be so much sentimental value attached to a book that an electronic device could never have; your favourite book from your childhood, a book loved and shared, passed down from one generation to the next and a tear-stained, dog-eared copy of the Half-Blood Prince.

Even so, this week’s ‘pick of the week’ at Starbucks is The Man Who Turned Into Himself by David Ambrose and I for one will not pass up the opportunity to download a free ebook at the iBookstore. Would you?

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