The Dark Side



I never thought I’d see the day that I’d be writing this, but here goes:

I’ve bought a Kindle.

I’ve always sworn that I’d never go over to the dark side (!), but I have to eat my words, because a couple of weeks ago vI finally gave in and purchased a Kindle Paperwhite.

For the first few days, we just sat and looked at each other, somewhat malevolently, but I eventually downloaded a couple of books onto it (even writing the word ‘download’ in conjunction with the word ‘book’ makes me die a bit inside), and I am now halfway through actually reading a book on it.

So why did I buy it, I hear you cry?

Three reasons, really.  Firstly, because with weight restrictions when flying these days, it’s more and more difficult to take my normal pile of 7 or 8 books with me on holiday.  Secondly, many authors, including several of my favourites, seem to be releasing prequels or  short stories only available on e-readers, and my inability to read these was starting to irritate me.  Thirdly, a friend of mine who’s an avid reader and  has always, like me, sworn against e-readers, got a Kindle for Christmas and has been singing its praises to such an extent that I just had to see what it’s all about.

My Initial Thoughts

1.   I always carry a book with me wherever I go, and I have to say the Kindle is a lot lighter than a paperback to carry around.

2.   I imagined that reading a book on an electronic screen would feel ‘soulless’, somehow.  It does.

3.  All the free and very cheap books available for Kindles?  They’re free for a reason.  I’ll leave you to figure that one out for yourself.

4.   It’s easier than a real book to read in bed.

I didn’t expect to love it, and I don’t.  But I think it will have its place in my life, and I will read books on it.  I can say with utter certainty, however, that it will never replace my love of holding a ‘real’ book in my hands, and for me, will never replace proper books.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on e-readers – are you a convert to this new way of reading, or do you hate the idea?



18 thoughts on “The Dark Side

  1. I think they are handy, convenient and logical but I don’t lust over mine. They’re the ready meals of the literature world, taste alright and great to fall back on when you need them but nothing beats a proper homemade meal. The smell and feel of books…that will never be trumped by a gadget in my opinion!

  2. Well I never thought I would read that! I love my kindle passionately and sorry do prefer it to a paperback although that doesn´t stop me reading the odd one that comes my way. It is just so much more comfortable and easy to read. I can eat my lunch with one hand without trying to hold a page down, I can cook with one hand and as you say read in bed comfortably. If the words are a little small I can make them bigger and like you I can carry it around with me. The only downside is that on a plane they make you turn it off when taking off and landing even though it isn´t connected to wifi. If I am bored with a story I just swop over to another one instantly. I have had my kindle for 18 months now and wouldn´t swop it for the world except of course for a paperwhite! My next Christmas present. As I had to buy a light to attach to it to read at night which I find a blessed nuisance. Oh yes and the other thing you can get a book instantly not have to wait for the postman.

    I do however tend to hoard my books which is why I have 17 pages I still can´t bear to “delete” them.

  3. I definitely love the feeling of holding a ‘real’ book, but I can definitely say that my Kindle is very practical, and worth having. I agree, it will never replace the way I feel about real books, but I do still like it 🙂

  4. I’m very much with you on e-readers being from the darkside and do not own a kindle, largely for financial reasons though. I will be posting shortly on how I use my local library and as someone who reads a book a week for work I can’t afford to buy the titles I want to.

    That said I do find that I want to make use of my ipad and iphones book apps so that I can read on occasions there isn’t a book on me and certainly for travelling purposes.

    My mum loves her kindle and I’m sure she spends more time downloading books than reading them… she made me laugh one day when she text and said she was at an auction with my dad and whilst he was bidding she was sitting there reading on her kindle!

    Victoria x

  5. I love my kindle. Now that I have found the “send to kindle” plug-in for chrome, I like it even better. One bad thing: can’t read it on a plane during take offs and landings.

    • I cannot understand this “real book”. For me a book is the “words”, “the story” not whether it is made of paper or electronic.

      • For me a ‘real’ book isn’t just the words – it’s to do with the feel of the pages, the smell of the paper, the illustrations (if any) and the ability to be able to flick back quickly through the pages if I need to remind myself of anything.

      • I have read a couple of books lately which have chocked me up . But its the.story not the smell of the book. If the story is rubbish does it make it.good because it paperback? Its the story that counts nothing else.And that is what I am passionate about

      • I agree that the story is the most important thing, just like it’s the taste of a meal that’s the most important thing. But do you enjoy the eating experience more it if the meal is nicely presented on an attractive porcelain plate, than if it were piled higgledy piggledy into a plastic bowl? I think there are very few people who would say no. Similarly, my favourite drink of the day is my mid-morning cup of Earl Grey when I sit down to read a chapter or two. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy the experience of drinking it so much if I had it in a paper cup, as I do drinking it from my favourite china cup and saucer! For me, the Kindle is, and always will be, the plastic bowl/paper cup of my reading experience.

      • Elaine, you took the words right out of my mouth – couldn’t have put it better myself! Also, the flicking back thing is one thing I’m struggling with with the Kindle. Really hate not being able to do this – also to easily flick forward and see how far to the end of the chapter, as I always like to read to the end of the chapter.

  6. I haven’t succumbed to a Kindle although I think it may happen one day, maybe as a present bought for me. I have a friend who loves her books and thought she would never enjoy using a Kindle, but she was really surprised by her reaction and loves it. Like you she has found it such a huge plus when going on holiday.
    Lisa x

  7. I love reading and always have a book on the go. I have to say the idea of a Kindle has always been anathema to me. Though as I find balancing a heavy hardback in bed annoying and trying to peer at some of the teeny typeface they have in paperbacks these days very tiring on the eyes, it does make me wonder if I won’t succumb to a Kindle eventually – just because it may be easier to handle and read from.

  8. I know how you feel. I don’t have a kindle but I have a tab that I sometimes use to read e-books. I’m not the e-book type of person but I admit it does have its advantages, namely in travelling, and in bed, as you say.

    E-readers have their uses, but they won’t replace real books for me. I use it because it’s convenient sometimes.

  9. I was an early adopter and I love mine. Those free books have not been a problem for me; just one I deleted because the formatting was so bad. One of the things I love about it is that you can adjust the font size; useful for someone like me with poor eyesight. I also like being able to read a chapter or two of different books as I fancy.

    I still have too many books, thousands, probably, and I love them. So for me, the Kindle v. real books question doesn’t exist: they’re complementary.

    • Ahh but Caroline the taste of the meal is the book itself in my eyes! It may be beautifully presented but if it is badly cooked then I would rather go without! However I would agree about the cup of tea I hate those cardboard cups!! I used to think like you until my friend lent me her Sony e-reader yonks ago and that was that I was addicted. I love “big books” like an Edward Rutherford and now it is so much easier to lie in the sun and read then to hold that. But I do like to keep books which I have really enjoyed and yes the paper version is so much better. I have a very very old copy of Sutton Place by Dinah Lampitt which is brown and really quite horrible. I did offer to lend it to someone as the story is so good but they turned their nose up, I can´t think why!!

  10. for travel there is nothing like a kindle. I love mine. When we went away in feb for 5 weeks, my luggage was 9.5 kilos. and my hand luggage only 3. My luggage used to have to hold 14+ books to keep me going. Now before I go away I load the kindle and off I go.

    I still love books, the feel of the paper. I will never give up hard copies of recipe books. Or my favourite authors. I will continue to buy those in paper.

    Its a tricky one. Just think your paper backs in years to come may be collectors items. And kids wont know what they are.

    Houses are getting smaller and smaller. There is no storage, for people who have new build houses, a kindle must be worth its weight in gold. it doesn’t discolour or take up huge amounts of space.

    its the printing press of the new techno age.

  11. I’ve had my Kindle for quite awhile; I actually have two now. I love them both for different reasons…Kindle to read, and Kindle Fire to watch movies and browse Pinterest etc in bed…I’ve actually never read a book on the Fire…I know I CAN, but it’s heavier, and so I just like my original for reading.

    Kindle good points: Slips easily in purse. Mine reads to me (text to speech) which is kind of robotic sounding, but usually doesn’t bother me…I finished a book while driving to work this morning! Easy to check out e-books from library right from my computer at home. Amazon’s Kindle Deal of the Day…I don’t buy often, but sometimes they have something I really want for cheap. Slips easily into a Ziplock bag for reading in the bathtub. Can enlarge the font so I can read without my glasses when I’m getting my hair colored :). Don’t need bookmarks.

    Kindle not-so-good points: I haven’t learned how to flip back and forth easily…so I never buy self-help or diy or ‘study’ type books for it…don’t foresee it in the future either. I’m not keen on the highlighting feature…much rather use a pencil on my paper books. Not enough e-books are ‘lendable.’ Don’t need bookmarks 😦

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