Kindling the Fire: A Debate


As Christmas gets closer, I am being repeatedly asked what I would like for gifts. I’m quite good at making wish lists, but as I’ve gotten older, they’ve gotten simpler, shorter, and maybe a bit more hefty in price. But that’s not the point here. I’ve recently started to wonder about the pros and cons of asking for a Kindle (I’m an Amazon girl, through and through, so I haven’t really considered the Nook…).

As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved reading. My grandparents would give me money, or I’d save up my allowance, and end up at Waldenbooks instead of the clothing or toy departments that most of my family expected me to be in. There have been plenty of times throughout my life that reading fell by the wayside, but I’ve recently really gotten into it again. And I plan on keeping that way. I always make sure to have a book readily available after I’m done with whatever I’m currently reading. Needless to say, I have a lot of books lying around. And since I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, there will be lots more to come.

I am all about technology. I’m writing this on my laptop, listening to music, with my iPhone by my side in case I need it (for something important, of course, like phone calls, texting, or playing Words with Friends, whatever…). My life kind of revolves around technology. I embrace it. I use it as a way to express myself (as you can see here). I love that it keeps me in touch with people I would otherwise never see. I love that I can read blogs and get inspired. I love that I can shop or pay bills at the push of a button. Life is easy.
And with a Kindle, reading would presumably get a little easier as well.

Where I live, we are slightly lacking in book stores. All the little mom and pop shops and Borders’ closed. We have a
Barnes & Noble, but I happen to think that the books there are extremely overpriced. I occasionally will buy one at Target, but they don’t have as big of a selection as a bookstore would offer. So I started to turn to the used books section on Amazon. I picked up a number of books for just a penny a piece (ok, there’s shipping and handling too, but it’s a huge savings still…plus, recycling!). I have yet to be disappointed by the condition of a book. There were a few with water damage, and I did find a few notes in one…but that was actually fun. It adds to the allure of buying a used book, in my opinion. We are all just sharin’ here.

There are pros, for sure, in owning a Kindle. The instant gratification would probably be number 1 in my mind. When buying used books off the site, you can be waiting anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to receive a book in the mail. With the Kindle, if I see something I want to read, I can have it downloaded in the time it takes me to blink an eye (if I blinked a little slower than usual…). It’s light, I can adjust the size of the font if I need to, and I can cart around as many books as I damn well please without breaking my back. When I move, I wouldn’t need to worry about carrying tons and tons of heavy books. I wouldn’t have to worry about losing them, lending them and never getting them back, or, God forbid, have them go up in flames.

HOWEVER, I feel as though the Kindle isn’t for me for so many other reasons. I like to hold a book, to flip through the pages, to see how much I’ve accomplished or how much I have left to go. I, like many others, love the smell.  They are always acceptable (I read at work, and I don’t know if I’d be allowed to use the Kindle). Books are always available. Brad brought up a great point, that books don’t need to be recharged. Books don’t crash on you or need updates. Books have pretty covers, can serve as decoration on a shelf or coffee table, and they can be passed down with friends and families.

As I write this post, I realize that I’m still quite torn. But when it comes down to it, I am all about a literal book. I guess if I happened to somehow receive a Kindle in my life, I wouldn’t be disappointed. But there is just something about owning the book, flipping the pages, placing your bookmark, dog-earing favorite spots…it doesn’t compare.

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