I admit, I’m a gadget freak. I’ve got a laptop, digital phones, atomic alarm clock, and a 4G touch screen android cell phone. But I won’t be getting a Kindle.It’s a fine gadget for people who read a lot. I read a lot, too, but my love affair with books will keep me faithful to my hardbacks and paperbacks for years. I have books in my library that date to my childhood. I have books from high school, books from college and books checked out of libraries in several states, some of which I haven’t returned for years. I could no sooner part with one of them than I could our beloved family dog.
The Kindle has some shortcomings that make it a worthless gadget for me. For instance, I keep my favorite picture of my grandmother and my son tucked away in my Bible. Every time I read the pages where I’ve tucked it, I’m reminded of those wonderful years Grandma Sawyer was still alive. Sometimes I’ll use this precious picture as a bookmark. I have other precious family pictures tucked away among the pages of my books. You can’t do that with a Kindle. Nor can you dog-ear pages or write notes in the margins or mark special passages or sections with Sticky Notes, then flip back to them with ease.
Another thing Kindle won’t let me do is browse through bookshelves. You can store up to 800,000 books on the wireless reader, but you can’t pick a book off a shelf and hold in your hand and fan the chapter headings and read the jacket and feel the cover and smell the pages, all things I like to do and can do in my neighborhood Barnes and Noble. I love taking field trips to my bookstore and lounging among the tomes, leisurely browsing through the Classics, wishing I’d read more of them, then stepping across the aisle to the Mystery section to look for a John Grisham or a James Patterson novel I haven’t read.
Then there’s the borrowing feature of real books. I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve loaned books to. Some of them return them, some don’t. If they don’t it’s no big deal. I’ve done the same with other friends’ books.
But will folks be loaning out their Kindles to share their books? I don’t think so.
Another big disadvantage of a Kindle to me is its fragility. I once tossed a text-book our a second story window to a classmate. It plunged the ground with a thud. He picked it up, dusted it off, and headed to class. Try dropping a Kindle out a window and see if it survives. I carry paperbacks in my back pocket at times. I’ve even sat on a book I was carrying in my pocket. I’ll bet you’d ruin a Kindle if you sat on it or dropped it off a table, let alone out a second story window.
And speaking of damage — I can’t count the books on my library shelves I’ve patched with duct tape and super glue. I’ve patched my college World Lit book so much some of its pages finally fell out. It even has a fake cardboard cover now, but to me, it’s just now getting broken in. I’m holding some of my other books together with Scotch tape and strapping tape. Some of my books have rubber bands around them to keep the pages in order.
What would you do if your Kindle broke?
But the biggest reason I prefer having real books over a Kindle is: none of my real books has ever had its battery run down.
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