Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's not so great about the Kindle.

I've written at least two blog posts so far about why I love my Kindle and why I think that ebooks are probably the future for all of us. Everyone I know who has a Kindle loves it. Many have found their love of reading rekindled (pun intended) and have read more since getting their Kindle than for several years beforehand. I include myself in this.

But there has to be another side and so I thought I might stand up for the printed page and explain why, as much as I love my Kindle, there will always be room for books in my life and my home.

I have just finished a great book. It's called The Year of Living Biblically and it's by A.J. Jacobs. It was funny and thought-provoking, and I recommend it to everyone, but it's not available on Kindle. Not all books are. That's one of the drawback of the Kindle.

I got this book from the library, on a whim. My daughter was being interviewed by the librarian to see if she'd completed her Summer Reading Challenge, and so I browsed along a nearby shelf I don't usually visit. You can browse with a Kindle, and Amazon will even make recommendations, but you're unlikely to come across a completely random book like that. And even if you do, you can't borrow it for a month for free.

I also love the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith and I now have  the entire series. I bought them second hand in charity shops for between 50p and £2 each. You can't do that with the Kindle either.

My daughter doesn't have any scriptures at the moment, and always borrowed mine for church. The first week after I got the scriptures for my Kindle she asked to borrow that instead, and I agreed, just glad to  have scriptures for a change rather than sharing with my husband. But the following week she wanted my printed scriptures again. It's really difficult navigating with the Kindle, especially if you want to compare two passages. You can't just put a bookmark or your fingers in each section. To get to anywhere from anywhere else you have to click Menu - Go to - Beginning and then you get the list of Old Testament, New Testament, etc. So you scroll to the book of scripture, and then to the book, and then to the chapter... Meanwhile the rest of the class have looked it up, read it and moved on. The Kindle is great for reading a book through from beginning to end, but not so good for reference books.

Most print books with pictures, diagrams, etc, don't have these in the Kindle version.

If you're a  reviewer, the Kindle can be annoying in that, because the font size can be changed by the user, it doesn't have page numbers. Somehow it doesn't seem quite the same to say "At 27% the author introduces the lame sub-plot which has fizzled out by 53%."

Books smell better. New, they smell of paper and ink. Old, they smell of must and nostalgia.

I still love my Kindle, but printed books are far from obsolete.


Theresa Small Sneed said...

Great post! ;)

Jennie said...

I'm getting faster at looking up scriptures and I'm even getting the hang of bookmarking passages in books I plan to review, but I have to agree, printed books are so much easier. If they just weren't so heavy and would fit in my purse!