E-Readers have been the most controversial topic in literature for many years.
There seem to be three camps.
1. The Traditionalist’s
The blog by Sir Patrick of Ireland claims E-Readers should be considered an abomination, thrust upon mankind to remove the pleasures such as the smell of a new book, and the feeling of curling up with a “page turner” They have never owned a kindle and never will! Admittedly the blog is tongue in cheek, however it is the position many traditionalists will share.
2. The Techie’s
They embrace technology, they re-invent the wheel, if it can be electrified, then it should be! They would prefer Electronic newspaper’s, like to read on a screen, queue outside the apple store for a week for a new release and would run in fear if someone held a pencil near them (Unless it was a clicky one, with a digital screen illustrating the remaining lead)
3. The Rationalists
These are people who see the advantage of the technology, but also like tradition. They love the feel and smell of a leather bound first edition. But when it comes to day-to-day reading they like convenience. They want choice of books, they like being able to carry multiple books around without the need for a trolley. They like being able to get a book from shopping cart to kindle in 60 seconds and they see the appeal of sites such as Project Gutenberg where you can download classics for free.
I would put myself in the rational camp. I like technology, I like to be able to Google information, love the information which can be attained instantly only limited by my imagination, but love my leather bound edition of Lord of The Rings.
Most books I read are for entertainment, and while enjoyable, they are not Dickens, so I like kindle versions as my bookshelf is already full, and I don’t want standard fiction overflowing it. However if I read a kindle book which amazes me, then I will buy it and add it to my book collection with pride. This starts to make my bookshelf a place where only approval gains admittance.
I would never take a leather bound book for the day at the beach, or on holiday, so a kindle is ideal for this.
Also you can rest the kindle on a table while you slurp a bowl of soup for lunch without it closing over, which without ruining the spine a paper book would not compete.
You can set it down to answer the door and it remembers your page, or if you read more than one book at one time, it remembers all our pages! The battery length is amazing. I have charged mine 5/6 times since getting it at Christmas! (And it takes less than 3 hours to charge)
The screen is just as crisp as a book for me, I have no issues reading it for long periods as it is not backlit (you can’t read it in the dark, but you can’t read a book in the dark either)
Downsides for me would be that you cannot get kindle books from the library (Due to copyright issues, i.e. not supporting DRM – once it’s on the kindle it stays there until you delete it)
The costs of EBooks are higher than real books, which is a pain, however the recent court case against the big publishers will hopefully help that, however when I decide I want a book I can have it within a few minutes, where ordering it for Amazon would take days to arrive.
I do not think I could do without my Kindle, but I could not do without my books either.
I would much prefer my kids read books electronically than not read at all. Is reading James Joyce on a kindle any less impressive than reading the book? I don’t think so.
* Pic taken from Simon Gil’s Blog