Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Disadvantages to the Kindle

For almost a year I have been using the Kindle. I own the model that is now called the Kindle Keyboard. Let me be as brief as I can in analyzing my overall opinion of the Kindle: I love it. I like reading on it. I like the convenience, the flexibility and the size of the Kindle. I love that books are less expensive and take up less space. For example, I have six Bibles that I paid a total of 99cents for and I take them everywhere I go. I love that I can read many books (that means more than I will ever read) for FREE. I am sure that I will be reading electronically for the rest of my life.

However, I am also sure that I will never completely forsake the traditional form of the book. I love everything about books as well. I am sure that a large part of my reluctance to fully embrace the Kindle has to do with my deep affection for everything bookish. That is why I do see several disadvantages to the Kindle. Here are a few of them.

  • I miss book sales. Overstock and remaindered books never pop up on the Kindle. They don't take up inventory space. With the Kindle I will not find that Garrison Keillor book that I have been holding out for on the $3.99 table.
  • I miss used books. There is something exciting and romantic about books that have been in other hands and in other places. I can't buy Kindle books in my local second hand book store.
  • You cannot trade, share or exchange books on a Kindle. I would never pass along my machine to a friend. How can I share the books I love with someone else? Conversely, what great books will I miss because a friend can't loan them to me?
  • I miss the feel and smell of books. Oh sure, sometimes after reading a library book, or someone else's book I feel like I need to wash my hands, but there is nothing like the way that a book involves the senses.
  • I like the way books look. There is something about that shape that looks good. It feels good in your hands. My little screen is cool, but it doesn't feel the same.
  • I still want to turn the page. Let me see the progress that I am making in my book. I want to know how far it is to the end of the chapter. Those anticipatory moments are largely gone with the Kindle.

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