To Kindle or not Kindle, what shall it be?

Margaret Wente, an esteemed and valued institution in Canadian Journalism writes the following in The Globe and Mail.


It took 38 years for 150 million people to get a TV. For the cellphone, it took 14 years. For the iPod, it took seven years, and for Facebook, five. “

She is writing about the Kindle and how it has a merry place in the future. In her opinion those with an attachment to ink on paper will be soon be considered as archaic as those who still prefer vinyl to the iPod. Having written and pondered the question of my book collection I was fascinated to read her opinion. Imagine having access to 1500 books with the touch of a finger? Imagine replacing shelves and shelves of dusty books with one slim white device? Imagine carrying tons of books, newspapers and magazines on a plane and they all have a combined weight of 10.2 oz? Imagine in 45 seconds having any book on your wish list downloaded straight from Amazon for $9.99?  The Kindle can connect to 250,000 books and blogs! That means no getting up from your desk and walking to a book store, and no waiting for the Amazon post man to arrive.


Ahhh. Sounds so good. Right? And they have even made it ergonomic and easy on the eye. Is this the future? Will my 40 boxes of books, crossing the Atlantic numerous times make me look like a dinosaur?  Can I really part with my lovely books, their smell, their smooth covers, the memories, the shelves filled with words? And what of the bookstores I so love to roam? I can lose myself in a London bookstore for hours, fingering the covers, leafing through the pages, picking up a paperback and flicking it over to read the back.


I am inclined to say NO to the Kindle. But I may be wrong. I am not a technophobe; I love my computer as much as the next addict person, but this might be my last holdout, the last great standoff.
What do you think? Could you exchange walls of books, face clean empty space, lose the soft gentle books filled with ink on paper and move towards the Kindle? Could you let it light your fire?


Filed under Lying in bed with books

3 responses to “To Kindle or not Kindle, what shall it be?

  1. judith

    first they took our typewriters and said computers were better. now they type (text) on tiny little buttons and give themselves thumb troubles. they are not prying my beloved books out of my cold, old hands. i takes me the better part of a week to completely absorb a book (no speedreader, i). why on earth would i ‘NEED” access to so many? call me a luddite if you will (they will). i have so many books i only go to the library now. it is enough for little old me…..

  2. robert

    i have not seen one yet, have you?

    im sure in no time they will be as ubiquitous as all the other gadgets we surround ourselves with, if we can afford them that is

  3. I broke down and bought a new generation Kindle about a month ago and I LOVE it!

    I have shelves and shelves of books and storage is becoming a problem, but more than that, of all the books on my shelves, about half are ones that aren’t worth taking up shelf space.

    I still buy books, but I also stock my Kindle and I’m finding a nice mix between the two.

    My mom and I exchange books all the time and now, I will leave my Kindle with her for a week or so until she’s caught up on what I have stored there.

    I’ll be traveling in May and am very excited to be taking my thin little Kindle instead a pile of books.

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