When I was 15 (that would have been four years ago now) my mum was so insistent that I was going to get a kindle for my Christmas. I didn’t mean to sound ungrateful but I really, really didn’t want one. She wanted to get me a Kindle Paperwhite, an earlier edition to the ones you would buy today and it was going to cost about £89.99 and I really didn’t want it. It didn’t come with books on it already, I had to charge it, what if I dropped it and I’m so clumsy so it was a possibility. I was set in my ways. Nothing was better than a book in my hands, a real book with that book smell and a whole fictional world encompassed in the ink on the pages. I would rather have a library, a physical library, lining the walls of my room with so many books I couldn’t remember all the names of but loved them all regardless. I wanted that experience of having the books in my presence. I didn’t want this tiny electronic thing that could break and that held no emotional value to me at all. I argued my case persistently.
I woke up on christmas morning and opened my presents. I got a kindle from my mum. I wasn’t mad about it, wasn’t mad that she wasted money on this thing I didn’t need not want but it was a wasted effort. I did my best, I acted grateful and got it charged and set up and even went so far as to get a few books downloaded on it. I mean don’t get me wrong, I was amazed at how small a file ebooks came in. I downloaded What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare (oh, it’s brilliant. It’s one of the short stories about the high warlock of Brooklyn from the Shadowhunters series and it is so funny. Magnus Bane is amazing). I read the book and I forgot about it. I ended up buying a pretty hardback edition of the Bane Chronicles anyway (if you haven’t read any of the Shadowhunter series I recommend it or at least watch Shadowhunters on Netflix), so my kindle got tossed into a drawer and forgotten about.
It made a reappearance a few times and it came in handy a few times – my dad gave me a load of ebooks so I used the kindle as an opportunity to read Fifty Shades of Grey and its series without being judged. That is one reason that I do like the kindle, people can’t see the cover of the book you’re reading and it gives you a little bit of privacy. Not that I’m always reading particularly raunchy things like Fifty Shades of Grey but people are less inclined to ask what you are reading which is good. It’s good for holidays or long travels. If you’re anything like me and you can read a book cover to cover in a few hours then going on holiday with 15 paperback books isn’t really an option. But even then it takes something away from your holiday because you lose that feel of having a book there in your hands. I’ll probably stock pile my kindle for my journey to Boston in May of next year but that is simply to conserve precious space in my suitcase.
And with the rise of Kindle Unlimited from Amazon the power and influence could grow exponentially. The package looks like a good deal to me, although I’m sure that anything you read or listen to through it doesn’t become yours. It is merely loaned to you, but hey unlimited access to kindle books and audio narration? Seems like a pretty sweet deal. Ebooks are gaining power, with new E-readers and most book titles being released in electronic format, they are becoming more accessible and appealing to the masses. You can download apps on your phone and read anywhere so long as you just have your phone. No more paper bookmarks! The revolution! No longer do we have to worry about losing our page or folding corners of pages to mark our place (the horror!). And these apps and E-readers are pretty user friendly, with the ability to change font size and background colour. It’s a nifty little advancement on the technical front.
However, despite the apparent advantages to the kindle and its brethern, I am biased and loyal to my cause. Paper books will always have a place in my heart and spending a day in a bookshop among the shelves of books comforts me a great deal. The kindle only makes a short appearance out of necessity, not out of the desire to actually want to use it. But I’d like to know: What do you think? Do you have opinions on the ebook revolution?