Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kindle-ambivalence

I am admittedly not a very trendy person.

I take very slowly to fads- generally assuming that they'll go out of style soon, and it was better the way that it was anyway, and so I hold out until, at the exact moment that the trend does go out of style (and therefore on sale), I cave.  Fashion I can resist, bargains I cannot.

It's the Amish in me.

And so I find myself in turmoil over the Kindle.

But this isn't just a in-style or out-of style point of tension.  No, this is a deep-rooted ethical resistance.

The Kindle is going to change reading as we know it forever.

I love this description of G.K.Chesterton's approach to books:
Reading a book was for Chesterton rather a physical than an intellectual act.  Father John O'Conner . . . said that when Chesterton read a book "he turned it inside out, dog-eared it, pencilled it, sat on it, took it to bed and rolled on it, and got up again and spilled tea on it- if he were sufficiently interested. (Alberto Manguel)
This is how I read.  I need to hold a book in my hands, bend the pages, underline, write notes in the margins.  And most importantly, I want to pass books on to my friends.  I love sharing my favorite books, it is a good enough reason to purchase them.

My dad loves to read, and he and I have always traded books.  Until this year.  This year, he got a Kindle.

Most recently he read Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and Cutting for Stone but can I borrow them?  Nope they're on his Kindle.

This is where I become jealous and irritated and begin to mutter something about books in the hands of the people . ..

This week I began to pack our books to get ready to move them.
Again.
For the fifth time.
Most of these books I haven't looked at, other than to pack them into and then out of a box five times.
We'll need to find a place to store all of these books.

Do I wish I had a Kindle?

Thus, my ambivalence.

6 comments:

Happy Mom said...

Ahh the conundrum!

My husband and I just bought a kindle. I'm loving it, but, although you can make notes (supposedly the equivanent of writing in the margins), I don't and, in that sense, it's just not the same.

However, there are things about the Kindle that I adore!

It's a trade-off, to be sure!

Bridget said...

K, so I know this isn't really your point, but you actually can lend some Kindle books. :)

Forest said...

happy mom: what are some things you love abt the Kindle? bc I've been pondering getting one also. I'm like Jess though I love the feel of a book in my hand. I also stare at a computer all day long so I'm not sure I want to stare at the same sort of screen in my off hours.... I'm not sold on them just yet.

Jess: did you dad like the "girl who kicked the hornet's nest"? I just started reading that series (I'm on the first one "The Girl with the dragon tattoo") Just wondered what he thought.

Fijufic said...

I read books that are in paper form and while I have read some e-books, I do not find the experience as engaging.

I do not have a kindle and don't see myself getting one. Plenty of paper books to cover the earth!!!

Cheers,
Bobby

at the end of the alphabet said...

I love your blog! I feel the same way...I like to turn pages, give em ears so I can look back and see how many pages I read and feel accomplished when there are a lot of pages between ears. I love underlining, highlighting, and putting exclamation points on pages. I downloaded a free kindle app on my phone and deleted it...then spent $30 on 2 books I can't wait to 'destroy'. Have Mentioned I love your blog?

Jessica said...

Forest- he did like it, he said it was as good as the other two. I've only read the first two and loved them!