Gift of Kindle Brings Personal Dilemma
December 28, 2010
I love books. My childhood home was full of them. My father’s home office housed 1,000-page biographies on U.S. presidents and generals, as well as volume after volume about the Civil War. The bookcases in my bedroom were filled with the The Chronicles of Narnia and every book Judy Blume wrote. Today, I treasure the moments when I can sit down, uninterrupted, and crack open a good book. In fact, it’s the cracking of the spine on a new book, or turning through the dog-eared pages of a beloved classic, that make books so magical.
Yet for the past year, I’ve had Kindle envy. Every time I get on a plane, a fellow passenger is pulling out one of the sleek, flat devices while I lug my latest read. Or worse yet, I’ve left my book at home because I can’t cram it in my briefcase. Knowing of my longing for an e-reader, my husband gave me an Amazon gift card for Christmas along with the promise that I would soon join the ranks of Kindle owners.
Not even a week later, I am wrestling with the issue of print versus digital. If I give in to the lure of an e-reader, will I contribute to the demise of so-called “dead tree” books? Or do I accept the fact that society is already way ahead of me on this and pay $140 for a Kindle with built-in Wi-Fi and unlimited access to 775,000 titles at the click of a button? Earlier this week, Amazon announced that Kindle 3 is the best-selling product in company history, surpassing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
I’m apparently not alone in my angst. In a recent online Mashable poll of 2,143 people, 41.9 percent said they prefer paper books to e-books; 34.8 percent said both formats have their advantages. Will I give in to the Kindle? Probably. But I’m not taking my great aunt’s copy of Gone with the Wind to McKay Books anytime soon.
Do you prefer paper or e-books? You can share your thoughts in the comments section.