Not Sold on the Kindle

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Today I finished reading my first novel on the Kindle, purchased as an attempt to embrace technology (ok, so I’m not early-adopter) and simplify my life. Easy, lightweight, I could carry 1,000 books around the world and never see the strain in my shoulder from a bag pressing mightily against my skin.

It was a great book. I finished it and clicked off the power button on the bottom and…something was missing.

I must say, I found it eminently unsatisfying. No closure, in the way that I have with a book with which I’ve grown intimate (hold the snarky laughs, please). Seriously. All the way through, I kept forgetting what book I was reading, even as I became engrossed with the characters and plot.

It was too much work to flick back the buttons to remember the author or title. With a printed book, I become close with the cover, it is familiar terrain, the hues and designs, the fonts and word-play. I KNOW it.

And when I finish a book whose spine has cracked from attentive reading, whose pages I’ve dog-eared to remember my place in the story, whose pages have aged under the invisible oils from my hands, only then can I emit a satisfied sigh and hold the closed book between my palms, a breath of completion like a long yoga inhale.

I may never pick it up off the shelf again, but we’ve had a moment, a month, a period in time that was, well, significant.

I mentioned this lack of satisfaction to my 10-year-old son Asher, who has been adept with his own Kindle for more than a year.

“Everything has advantages and disadvantages, Mommy,” he said rather practically. “Don’t have all your books on the Kindle. Everything’s good in moderation.”

  3 comments for “Not Sold on the Kindle

  1. Beverly Chayet
    April 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Asher’s comment was very wise. I too finished my first book on the nook. My daughter Nikki ( who is very familiar with and fond of her electronic toys) lent me hers so I could decide if I wanted an E reader of my own. I appreciated the convenience and light weight for reading in bed,but I was very happy that I had the paperback copy nearby to refer to. I will get an E reader for travel and bedtime reading but I will never abandon my bulkier friends.

    Aunt Bev

  2. Heather
    April 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I haven’t had an interest in trying Kindle or any e-reader yet for the same reasons you mentioned – something about holding a book, flipping pages, even the smell of the paper! I read so much (the librarians know me by now!) and have had several people insist I try the Kindle but I am still holding out. :)

    • Lynne Meredith Golodner (formerly Schreiber)
      April 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Thanks for reading and for chiming in, Heather! I guess we’re old-fashioned in some ways – and that’s a good thing :)

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