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.”