My sixteen year old self is shaking her head and narrowing her eyes at me. Her gaze is one part accusatory other part disappointed How could you?
I just stick my tongue out at her.
I caved in. Yes I did something I said I would never do. Don’t you just hate when that happens? The only thing I regret is saying I’d never do it. Whatever sixteen year old me needs to stop being so damn judgmental anyway.
I am bought a kindle. Kindle Paperwhite to be exact. For years I ranted and raved about e-readers. How yes I understood their benefits, but they weren’t for me. Naturally I feel like a fool now, but I don’t feel so bad about getting an e-reader. In fact, I think I’m pretty late to the party. Nobody cares anymore, and if they do well you can join sixteen year old me and I’ll stick my tongue out at you too.
I’ve been debating for the past year whether I wanted an e-reader or not. I couldn’t justify needing one because I obviously prefer physical books. So I eased into it by getting the Kindle app on my laptop. I downloaded a free book by an author I follow on Goodreads and decided to give it a go.
At first, I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get used to the e-book format. Everything was too bright and prolonged reading caused my head to ache, and my eyes to blur. Where were my smells?( Yes I am a sniffer) I wanted to feel the cover, and run my down the spine.I enjoy flipping pages. These things are a part of my reading experience, and I love them. They are almost as precious to me as the stories themselves. Needless to say, I was not impressed. I left the app on my computer, and occasionally I would try to get back to the story. No luck. I was happy to dismiss the app and therefore, everything e-book related.
I found myself face to face with the app again by circumstances. I had my laptop, no book, and no wifi. I started reading the story again, and I got hooked into the story. I forgot about my other issues and just read. I tweaked the settings lowering the brightness which made the whole headache situation better. Still to bright for my liking but it worked. My reading experience became about the story, and I missed all those other commodities, but in the end reading is about the story, and I realized that by refusing to read this great story only because it was on the Kindle app was stupid. It’s like being thirsty and not drinking water from any other bottle but your own.
After that first book, I read a few more and even discovered free classics. Which as an English major come in handy. I discovered my public library loans out e-books, and I read a few more. I was quickly getting over my misconceptions. However, reading on the computer still hurts my eyes, which is where I decided to simply bite the bullet and get the Paperwhite. I liked it because it was simple and was backlit. I considered getting the Kindle Fire which allows you to do many more things, but between my laptop, ipod, and phone. I really don’t need another smart device. Most importantly the Paperwhite is supposed to be good for your eyes, or at least limit the harm. I finished Neil Gaiman’s short story,How to talk to Girls at Parities in about twenty minutes -great story by the way-with no spotty vision problems or headaches. I can read PDF files on here, which is great for researching material. Another reason that I decided to buy one, was that if all goes as planned after I graduate, I’ll be either moving out of state, or out of the country, and obviously I won’t be able to lug books around with me.
I’m a book-lover from way back, and I won’t ever stop. I will always prefer the physical copy. People say print is dead, but I don’t believe it is. As long as people like me exist we won’t allow it.
So I’ve made peace with the e-reader. They are here to stay, and I accept that. Besides, whatever gets people reading books is the most important thing to remember.
Verdict I have a Kindle and I don’t hate it.
In fact I kinda of like it.