I read an article recently in ‘The Guardian’ discussing the fact that ebooks are now outselling printed books. According to the article, on Amazon, since the start of 2012, ‘for every 100 hardback and paperback books it sells on its UK site, 114 ebooks are downloaded’ (The Guardian, 2012).
I personally do not own a kindle, but know a lot of people that do. I’m not against them at all, I think anything that encourages people to read can only be a good thing, and I certainly would be happy if I received one as a present. However, there’s something about getting a new book- that new book smell and feel- that I think the Kindle, or other ereaders, will never be able to replace. The last book I read, ‘The Hobbit’, and the book I am currently reading, ‘Dominion’ by C J Sansom, both happen to have gorgeous maps on the first and last pages of them. I was thinking, while I was admiring these maps, that I would never get this feeling with an ebook and this is an aspect that can’t be replaced.
For me, I think a kindle would be great to have when travelling and commuting. As well as being bulky and sometimes heavy, carrying paperbacks/ hardbacks in your bag may also ruin the covers by bending them etc, so the kindle would eliminate this issue. On the other hand, I love curling up on the sofa or in bed with a good book.
At the moment, when I finish a book but am not in love with it, I generally give it to charity or to a friend. It is books like this which would be good to read on an ereader so that they don’t take up any space (I have a full bookcase of unread books in my flat at the moment as well as a full one of read books!). Yet, if I love a book, I keep it. I love admiring my favourite books all together on my bookcase and am constantly taking pleasure in rearranging them when I have new books to fit in. I think if I read a book that was brilliant on an ereader I would probably buy the paperback or hardback version afterwards anyway!
So, what are your thoughts on kindles/ ereaders? I think my opinion is quite indifferent towards them, but I would welcome comments and discussions from others on this issue.