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Kindle vs Books

A few months ago, I sat with my BFFs (I think now might be the time to stop reading Cosmo) and we spoke late into the night about life, love and careers. What was going right and where we'd gone wrong. What needed major surgery and the bits that needed a little bit of tinkering. In the contentment of being all together after what felt like a long time. It didn't matter that it was 4 AM. It didn't matter that I had to be at work bright and early the next morning. I didn't even feel the ache in my bones or my eyes struggling to stay open.

But that's not what this is about. A conversation came up in which I participated very little. It was about Kindles vs eBooks. 'Books are books', they said, 'Kindles are nothing'. While I sat back chuckling to myself, wondering, what exactly were we arguing about here? I'd be the last person to tell you that Kindles are all good. I love old books and I love new ones. I love sinking my nose into the spine of a book and reveling in that smell only books have of parchment and ink.I spend way too much time and regularly shake out my purse to find the last few coins lurking at the bottom to buy another book I absolutely must have.

Seriously though, lately this is an argument I find myself involved in a regularity that never fails to astound me and since I'm far quieter and shyer in person than I am in writing, I just generally just clam up and let them ramble on.

So what I often want to tell everyone is, surely the important thing is that we're reading? It may not be exactly the same experience, but are they so radically different? Why are we arguing form over content?

I love my Kindle for many reasons. Mostly for the number of books I can stuff there which is especially a blessing when I'm travelling. For letting me read late at night. I spent a recent 16 hour flight to New York, reading, reading, reading. Plus the e-books are far cheaper and I can buy many more of them

Do I miss my hard copies, the feel of a page? Yes, of course, I do. I miss the crack of a book's spine, the wrinkles on the pages from bathtub steam, the margins I've written in, the things that spoke to me that I've highlighted. I like that they don't have a standardized font, that there is no homogenized cover

In an ideal world, where trees were plentiful enough to afford us the luxury of printed books and I lived in a huge spacious castle, and not in Bombay, I'd have only books, books, books everywhere, Stuffed into every nook and cranny, piled atop each other until they threatened to topple over and bury me under then.

Until then however, I'll use my Kindle happily and gladly. Because you know what? I'm READING and that's all that really matters.

"If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape"
– Ray Bradbury


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