To go Electronic, or Not to go Electronic?

You have to admit that the world we live in today everything has turned into some kind of gadget or has some form of internet connection so that one is able to be connected where ever they are. This now includes the books we are reading and has engulfed the literary world. What was once something that was a solitary activity and was done at home has now been revamped and can be taken with us anywhere, by the bulk? The new age of reading has begun with help of electronic reading devices such as the Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Bookeen, iRiver, Kobo, Pocketbook, Samsung Papyrus, Sony Reader, and the ability to read on your iPhone or iPad, one would get lost in technology of it all. Questions that arise would be which one should I get, or even, do I need one? True book worms may be overjoyed with the possibility of caring around 20-100 books at one moment in time, or feel compelled to stay traditional with the faithful paperback/hardback copy.  Would it be wrong to switch over to the “dark side” of literature and leave the purity of reading in the dust?

               I have to admit that I have switched over to the dark side and last Christmas my Dad gave me an Amazon Kindle; so I could, in his words, “downsize the amount of books that I had and lugged around with me.” Since getting the Kindle I have neither downsized the amount of books in my possession nor given up lugging around tons of books with me whenever I travel. I do like the Kindle for what it is and when it is appropriate to use it. I like the Kindle a lot when I am traveling; being a citizen of the world you tend to be on very long flights and that require lots of things to do and lots of books to read. It also helps on trains when you want something to read but lack the room in your handbag for that 800 page novel you have been dying to get into. It is a small, flat, light weight, device that helps when the book-a-holic in me needs her word fix where ever I am. But it lacks the characteristics and the warm fuzzy feeling I get when I pick up a new book, unable to contain my excitement to dive into the words.

               I have to confess that I do not read my Kindle when I am at home; it doesn’t feel right to be reading a machine when I am in the comforts of home. The Kindle is a transportation library that comes with me when I am on the go, going here and there, but that is all it is good for. I don’t have warm or fuzzy feelings when I pick up my Kindle to begin reading from where I left off. Of course this leads to the problem if there is an extended amount of time since I have last picked up my Kindle; I tend to be lost as to where I was in the story or what the story was even about. This leads us to the next step: the unfortunate task of needing to backtrack. It is done in attempt to jog my memory of the narrative in front of my eyes. Finally about 10-20 minutes later I remember and allow myself to seep into the words, but this still does not put aside the fact I wasted 20 minutes re-reading something I have already read.  I may consider this a waste of time only because there are too many good books to read and only so many hours I will be on this earth to read them all.

               In conclusion, I do like the Kindle for travel purposes and the lightening of the load of my bags/hand bag when I am out and about but I am old-fashioned. I love nothing more than at the end of the day when my world is crazy from work and I am tired, to curl up in all my pillows on my bed and dive into the latest adventure awaiting me on my night stand. I love the feel, the process of picking up a good book and shutting out the world around me. Isn’t that what reading is about? The ability to escape from our everyday lives into something we enjoy. With the kindle we take out the middle man of allowing a time to relax and enjoy and have managed to twist it into that somehow fits into our lives. Maybe that is something some people need, but I like the quite, solitary time that I spend with a book.

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