As I settled down on the sofa, steaming cup of tea in my hand, blanket wrapped round my shoulders and pillows propped ready; I pondered a question that all too many people are facing in recent times: the traditional, age-old comfort of a familiar wholesome book, or the high definition, back lit power of a kindle.
The clear winner in times of modernity is the kindle, with the latest model, the Kindle Fire featuring widely on Christmas lists of children and grownups alike, the popularity fire of the kindle is clearly catching. Boasting the greatest in high definition technology, the Kindle Fire is becoming a standpoint in entertainment history by not only producing a broad selection of novels, old and new, but additionally the latest in film and television. Not only that, but the device also includes apps for social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter.
Despite these new functions, I can’t help but think of the distractions the kindle could bring; since however we choose to read our novels, the majority of the time there is a period of ‘getting in’ to the plot, and the thought of updating your twitter feed or watching a missed episode of your favourite TV show could prove fatally tempting when a book hasn’t quite grasped your attention. This also threatens to take away the original purpose of the kindle – to promote reading and bring it into the twenty first century; this can hardly be achieved whilst marketing it alongside other media forms.
However, with the recent surge in adult romantic fiction such as 50 Shades of Grey or Bared To You, the kindle does prove useful as a mask of disguise should you be in a public place. It also helps to privatise what you are reading, even if it the latest Steven King or Miranda’s new autobiography, it is nice to have the added secrecy of not having to worry that others may be judging you based upon your choice of reading material.
Boiled down to the basics, the kindle is surely better for avid readers, people who read regularly, speedily and lead lifestyles suited to a high tech world. The comforts of a book will never be entirely lost though, as the intimacy of the reading experience in this format cannot be compared to the cold indifference of the kindle.