Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Kindle: There and Back Again

When e-readers first gained popularity I was skeptical. How could an electronic book possibly create the same experience as traditional reading? 

Over the years, as video games, smart-phones, and other forms of electronic entertainment have expanded, I have grown fearful for my future children. Will the culture they grow up in allow them to enjoy reading as I do? Will they, like me, eat up books like the Hungry-Hungry Caterpillar, always wanting more? Or are they destined to live in a world where reading is seen only as a task, a skill to be mastered and forgotten like high-school algebra?

Hopefully the advent of e-readers will help prevent this horror from coming to fruition. I waited a few years before getting an e-reader of my own (I ended up with a Kindle) to ensure they were not just a passing trend. I am also reassured of their ability to enhance the reading experience because the plain e-reader still exists. I initially feared that the sleek devices would morph into a version of the iPad - and while it's true Amazon and other tablet manufacturers have creating reading apps for the higher-tech device, the plain reader is still thriving. 

My mother and I both use e-readers and traditional books. My reading habits have not changed - if anything I read more books. As I mentioned here, classic books have always been cheaper than contemporary works - with the Kindle most are free. Which is kind of great! I still read some paper books from the library and have used gift cards for book purchases. And I can't forget to mention my love of gorgeously glossy cookbooks (the Pioneer Woman has some of the prettiest cookbooks around). 

The only true drawback to e-readers, and even this could be considered a stretch, is the lack of borrowing. Sure, many local libraries are expanding their e-book collections, but you can't exactly lend your friend a book if you bought the e-version. My Mom and I sync our devices to the same Amazon account, so we share books freely, but I believe there is a limit to the number of devices. 

Shortly after I got my Kindle (as a Christmas gift) J and I were sitting on the couch, scrolling through our Netflix queue. Needless to say, I was not paying much attention - I was far to absorbed in reading - and J grumpily hurumphed, saying he "couldn't get me away from that thing." I guess I was submitting to my aforementioned fear - that electronics would take over . . . sort of. 


  1. I also love my kindle. I would rather read then do anything else. With my e-reader I'm NEVER without a book. On my kindle the daily deals often turn out to be really good books I may not have chosen if they weren't so low in price.

  2. Agreed! And if you sign up as an Amazon Prime member you can often borrow books from their e-collection for three weeks.

  3. I agree 100%. I've found I read faster with the Kindle because I can make the text so big. And with the ability to sync across devices, I can do a quick bit of reading at work, either on my phone or my computer.