How I went from hating to loving the Kindle
18 May 2016
Commuting in London led me to buy a Kindle, and despite my reservations it was the best purchase I could have made.
My dad gave me my first book when I was young; ‘Restaurant at the end of the Universe’ by Douglas Adams and I immediately fell in love. Reading became my escape from school and personal life and the feeling of holding a book in my hands was part of the experience.
The simple act of turning a page and coming close to the end was exhilarating and made me feel like I had accomplished something. Placing books on my bookshelf not only became a ritual but also became my personal trophies and a way to show off, “look how many books I have read”.
When the Kindle first came out my initial thoughts turned to reminiscing about my worn out books and how much I loved the smell and feeling of pages. I hated the idea of my kids growing up in a world that replaced my fond memories of childhood with technology and light up screens.
The evolution of the digital world happened over night and somehow managed to replace playing in the snow with the new iPad or building dolls houses with the Sims. I was afraid of loosing my past instead of embracing the future, so I insisted I would never buy or use a Kindle.
My hatred for the Kindle slowly changed when I moved to London a few months ago and started commuting to work. Initially I was excited at the prospect of spending 40 minutes every morning and evening catching up on some of my favourite books, however this was much harder than I had expected. The tube is not a place for books.
I had spent months trying to figure out the best way to read one handed on a packed train filled with angry commuters wanting to get home as quickly as possible. I tried maneuvering myself so that I could turn the page without needing my other hand (which was in use clutching onto the rail so I wouldn’t trip and fall when the train came to a halt).
The days where I was able to find a seat were the best days, however they were short lived as I realised I would always offer the seat to someone else who needed it. Some days I would just hold the book and not read as the stress of loosing my page or dropping the book would be too much to bother.
One day after I had accidently ripped a page out of one of my favourite books on the tube, I had had enough. The only solution I had was to purchase a Kindle – not because I thought it was ‘cool’ or something that would help me digitally in life, but simply because I wouldn’t lose my page on the train and my reading would not be distracted. It was the easiest option.
My Kindle arrived in the post and I unraveled it consciously, almost feeling like I had betrayed my morals and my childhood. However, three months in and it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made.
It takes up to 5 seconds to download a new book – recommendations of what to read next await you in the shopping section. It was like my own personal Goodreads and best of all it took half the time to read one book on a packed tube than it did when I was reading tangible books. No more hand cramps and invading other people’s personal space, I had a Kindle now. All I needed was one hand and a light tap on the screen to change pages.
I still read ‘real’ books at home, but now my Kindle goes everywhere with me. Whether I am on the train or waiting in a lift I can pull it out and read even if it’s only a few sentences.
My views on books with pages haven’t changed – my kids will read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy and fold and unfold pages. However for the time being, my Kindle is my new best friend (even if it’s hard for me to say).