In defense of books/in defense of the Kindle

Story by Eric Christenson

In the crazed industrial-competitive society we live in today, the word “obsolete” gets tossed around and stuck to something new all the time. Sure, it makes it hard to keep a computer for more than two years, and who honestly cares that we don’t use VHS tapes anymore? They suck, and we’re over it.

But it’s still hard to see a beloved mode of technology go. That’s why I think a lot of people are afraid to see something like the Kindle rise in popularity because it’s shoving books out the 100th-floor window of cultural relevance.

Obviously, some people really like books and have really specific reasons to like books. Likewise, some people really like the Kindle for their own specific reasons, but arguing about it is endlessly useless.

I think that whatever you like is such a personal preference that it’s not even worth the fight.

Here’s the thing: mostly, the reasons to like books are your own. Maybe you like the feel of the pages, maybe you like to physically hold something that has weight or maybe you like to know how much is left in your book by looking at the remaining pages. You might even like the smell, but content-wise, you can’t argue either side because it’s exactly
the same content.

So whatever your opinion, no one’s going to change your mind about liking one or the other by arguing with you about it. Something like this has to come from your own volition, and that’s extremely hard to come by in today’s society.

Personally, I’m extremely moderate on the issue, so I’m really receptive to the Kindle and I see it as pretty useful. While I would never ever criticize someone for reading an actual book, I’m still supportive of where the Kindle is going with its technology, and no matter the format, if a kid is reading, I can get behind that.

I think the bottom-line is that book-lovers are scared that the Kindle is taking away something that they trust and care about deeply, but that’s just not the case. It’s precisely BECAUSE of these folks that books are going to stay around forever.

The nostalgia and satisfaction that book-lovers find in their novels is invincibly irreplaceable, and for two parties that are primarily concerned with reading, book-lovers and Kindle-ites shouldn’t be even snipping at each other about which is better because both provide a way to enjoy a story.

Whichever is more comfortable for the person should be the one they choose, and that’s that, but I urge both sides to be open about the idea of the other. Maybe it’s not the best fit for you, personally. However, for someone else, maybe it’s the only way to get them to read, and I think that’s pretty valuable in its own right.