Kindlephobia: Throwing the book at e-haters

Kindlephobia. It would be endearing, in a dad-like sort of way, if it wasn’t so BORING.

Seriously? People still mind the fact their books come in a slightly different format?

Let’s be clear. Reading a Kindle is a remarkably similar experience to reading a book. If you haven’t already, then try it. The screen is specifically engineered not to shine, or hurt your eyes. In fact, it’s so close to the original experience that you’ll need a light to read in the dark – they refuse to backlight the screen.

Then there’s the way you can change pages easily, with the flick of a well-placed button. If you like reading while eating (check), walking (ditto) or trying to watch the news, fill in Sudoku and pour cereal (guilty) then this is for you. I mean, that page turning was fun and all, but it was difficult. I can’t be the only one who has consistently failed to read a book while lying down. The number of times I’ve dropped, fumbled, or simply grown too weary of hefting the thing is appalling. And that’s with light tomes. One slip from a poorly grasped G.R.R. Martin and you’re pâté – or at the least, mildly concussed.

They’re streamlined, hard to destroy, and rarely need charging. They make books easily navigable. You can read 50 Shades on the bus and Twilight in your lunch canteen and nobody need know. You can check the definitions of words. You can slip them in your coat pocket. And this is without mentioning the staggering fact that you can buy almost any book, whenever you want, at greatly reduced prices. For a person who loves to read, this is a dream become digital.

But then, I can see Kindlephobes’ point. After all, what fun is your clever book on Foucault when nobody can see it? There is no easy answer to this. Perhaps you can compensate by quoting, loudly and at length, on public transport. Or laughing and shaking your head sagely, as if to indicate you are having a Damn Good Time.

Or perhaps it’s the disturbing lightness of the Kindle that bothers you so much? In which case, I suggest stuffing your holiday luggage with bricks, to make up for the fact your entire library now weighs as much as your sunglasses.

Short of that, dear troglodytes, I’m out of ideas. At the very least, a Kindle acts as a great bookmark. And you can’t say that for books.


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