Full disclosure. I drew you in with the promise of a balanced review of Kindles versus print books. This is not that review. I can’t be balanced about it and I’ll tell you why.
Print books are the best
I love print books. Until my recent bouts with Flylady and Marie Kondo, I had multiple six foot high bookshelves. They were crammed with books. Old. New. Some falling apart.
They were my treasure. I loved every one, read and unread. Devoured the new Terry Pratchett books as they came out.
But I was unfaithful. I bought a Kindle. And it was okay. It was lightweight. It could be read on the dullest day. Without glasses at that! But it didn’t feel like a book. It didn’t smell of old paper or new covers. So that poor little e-reader didn’t stand a chance. Until one day I wandered into a shop and saw a secondhand Kindle Fire. It was (relatively) cheap and it did a lot more than the basic model.
So – could a Kindle be the best?
Hmm. It had ebooks. And emails. And I could watch YouTube on it. This was a possibility. I swapped my old one for the slightly more recent one and a love affair was born.
The Fire had my heart. I could download books instantly and take them anywhere. And when I wanted a change of pace, I could play backgammon on it. And listen to music. And check the emails. This was really, truly love at first sight!
And it still is true love. But that said, I’m fickle. Shortly after I upgraded to the 10″ screen so I could watch Amazon Prime on it. Another benefit to the Fire is that you can download films from Amazon to watch later. An absolute godsend on long journeys.
So it’s the Kindle then?
Well, yes and no. Sometimes, on cold, wet Sunday mornings I throw that Kindle aside. And out comes a dusty old paperback that’s so out of print even Kindle can’t find it.
And that’s the thing you see …
My suggestion would be to get a Kindle. Or put the app on whatever tablet you might have if you don’t want to spend more money. You can’t play solitaire or watch a film on a paperback. You can’t check Facebook at the flick of a wrist. If you read a lot then you’d have way more space in your luggage. I’d say go for it …
But then, just when you think you’re totally converted, read a book. An actual book. And rediscover the tactile joy of reading all over again. Feel the weight in your hand. Hear the lovely rustle of the pages turning. Take it in the bath with you (definitely superior to a Kindle there!)
Because the thing is – you can have both. You might have the oldest Kindle there is or the latest hardback, shiny and unopened. And that’s ok because you’re a grownup and you can change your mind whenever you want to …