When to kindle

To kindle or not to kindle?

I know, I know, — holding a paperback is lovely. It’s full of nostalgia for your lost childhood, it seems more authentic, somehow, than reading from a screen, there’s the weight of it in your hand that tells you how bloody big the book is and you know when you’re nearing the end. You can flick back to the name of the bloke you’ve forgotten which was on the top left a few pages back and balance it on it’s spine to see if it falls open at the saucy bits (everyone does that, right?)

A kindle doesn’t offer the same joy. I agree. I have a veritable chimney of books stacked up to read and am damn happy about it. Stacked on the kindle they give none of that thrill.

BUT. I’m home for Christmas. I don’t have to heft them anywhere. I’m not going camping for a week where it might rain and I’ll be stuck under the awning facing the terror that my book will end and I won’t have another to hand. Arrgh! And I’m not tramping (I’m the sort of tramper who cuts my toothbrush in half) or going somewhere with a large family in a small car or with hand-luggage only. I couldn’t fit books for a week in my hand luggage even if I did cut my toothbrush.

So sure, I confess, I kindle. I download classics that are out of copyright and go for pennies, or older books that are out of print so the author still gets an income. If I want a big chunky book for travelling I’ll buy the kindle edition. If I need a book and there is no decent bookshop handy, I’ll kindle. You can stack a hundred books on your kindle damn cheaply, and never be more than a hand’s reach from a great read, whenever a hammock presents itself.

The author gets paid when you buy on a kindle (as does that great robber baron Bezos — sigh—) but your local bookshop misses out. So if you do read a book that you love on kindle when you’re on holiday, buy the paperback when you get home and give it to a friend. Everyone’s a winner.

Author: Cristina Sanders Blog

Novelist, trail runner, book reviewer and blogger.

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