It’s true that a lot less people read now than in times gone by. And many of those that still do are reading hollow tomes such as Fifty Shades of Grey or one of the legion of vampire romance books that have spawned due to the success of Twilight. But still, there are many out there who will no longer pick up a book because they’d rather use their spanking new Kindle, the stylist e-reader that puts all your books in one place, thus negating the use of bookshelves, libraries and WHSmiths across the world. Which is better, the good old book or the kindle?
If you ask me that question, I’ll say that the book is better everytime. There’s just something about holding one in your hands; if you’ve only just plucked from the shelves of your nearest Waterstones you’ll lose yourself in that ‘new book smell.’ You can run your hands down the glossy finish of that great cover art, and when you’re done reading it, tuck it away on your own shelf until the next time you feel like reading it. Something that an e-book could never have is a history. Think about it, maybe your great-great grandfather bought a book to help him through WW2 and it’s been passed along the generations ever since. In addition to a story, a real and tangible book can hold its own secrets – a story within a story. Plus, there’s nothing like completing a series of books and staring aimlessly at the seamless continuity as it rests on your shelf, all worn and well-read. This is why I prefer books.
I’ll admit, having a Kindle would have its advantages. As far as I know, e-books are cheaper (but the fun of lending and borrowing books is destroyed). They’re easy to read, easy to buy, and I won’t lie, look pretty good in terms of appearing on the page, as does the Kindle itself. Those of you without much space for book storage (myself included) will love the ease of all their books being available on one handy tablet. The only issue is that one day you might lose your Kindle in some way, and we all know there’s always one fool who doesn’t back his files up! If this happens, face it, you lose all your books (although I think some stores allow you to re-download.) The Kindle is pretty easy to break, by the way. My dad sat on his the other week and the screen is now well and truly messed up.
As nice as the Kindle is, I don’t think I could ever replace a real book in my hands. Maybe I just need to move on with the times… or maybe I don’t, and books aren’t dying out, but simply co-existing. What do you think? Prefer the e-book to the book?
Either way, the two mediums will be competing for a long time. But which is the most successful? There’s only one way to find out: