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Kindle versus Book

I have started this post just because I want to confess.

After years of standing up for the physical book I have to confess that there is a damn good place in my life for its sort of nemesis the Kindle, and all its derivatives.

It hurt to say that.

Don’t worry. I know it’s a slippery slope, but I also have 100% confidence that books will always have a strong hold on my life.

So many of the items of beauty that grace my shelves are huge tomes that could not possibly work on screen.

Yes I do believe all that rot that some folk go on about. Things like the sheer heft of a volume having a vital part of the experience it imparts. Yes I believe that the joy of a glossy volume is increased immeasurably by the simple surface tension that creates a slight resistance to turning its pages when first opened.

And the smell. I love the smell of paper.

Even old paper. Like the olfactory affront you experience when walking into a second hand book shop. That’s history you’re smelling.

So what has caused this slight wobble in my conviction?

It’s that old devil called convenience. And in particular at my favourite reading time – when I’m in bed. A back lit kindle lets my other half sleep while I read on into that night with just a dim lamp, and the glow of the new devil.

Big books are hard. I have’t got over the need for the gratification of gradually working your way through. But 100 pages on the train – joy!

For the love of books

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