Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Books vs Kindle et al

I'm not totally anti-Kindle, but I still love the touch and smell of books. I love holding them in my hand, and using bookmarks. Here's a new book -- Bound to Last -- in praise of the physical book with 30 writers talking about their favorite book.

The other day I was actually considering buying a Kindle. I get it. I really do. I understand how convenient it is, how portable, how easy, how much cheaper.

And yet, I feel sorry for all the kids and kids to come who will never know the sheer pleasure of browsing the shelves in a library and the almost-unbelievable great fortune that the library lets you take books home for free.

Along the lines of reading, I've written here about how my friend Barbara insists (and I finally agree) that I am an ex-smoker, not a non-smoker. At lunch last week, we were talking about the joy of reading and I said that if I had 24 hours to live, I would want to spend at least part of it on the sofa with a great page-turner book.

She added,laughing, "And a carton of cigarets!"

She meant it for herself as well as for me and it took me a moment to realize -- hey, if you're gonna die tomorrow, let's light up! That idea so appealed to me. I can say that I am in zero danger of ever lighting up a cigaret -- only because I know that two puffs would get me hooked, but I still long for the day of smoking.

Beyond health issues, at least here in NYC, I am way too cheap to spend $11 and $12 for a pack! Whenever I go into a magazine/newsstand type store, I am still incredulous at the cost of a single pack of cigarettes.


Melissa said...

$11 -$12 a pack.. gee, I must not be paying attention.. that is outrageous. The next time my brother comes groaning about how broke he is, I'm going to remind him how much he could by with the money he spends on cigs.
I'm a Kindle lover... but I agree on the library.

Lachlan said...

James has my Kindle and loooves it; it's perfect for his traveling so I'm not asking for it back. I personally prefer the actuality of a traditional book in my hand but don't mind ebook reading. Best of all are antique books with their leather covers, Italian paper insides and paper pages that crackle when they're turned :)

So enjoyed this post, thanks!