Embrace the change

These past few days on Social Media I've seen a lot of posts of paperback books that have been recently purchased, and then debates on the way that we enjoy books.

Once upon a time, I would have scoffed at anyone who didn't read a physical book. How could they enjoy the experience properly on a screen, surely the smell and feel of a book are what made it so special?

Then I discovered the Kindle app on my iPhone. I'd toyed with iBooks and felt it was okay at a push, but wasn't the same. For some reason I fell in love with Kindle, so much so I went out and bought my first Kindle device. I have never looked back.

Now I admit that a small part of my love for Kindle over paperback could be due to the ageing process. My eyesight has deteriorated drastically over the past three years, so much so that I do need to increase the font size from standard on my Kindle. That said I wear my glasses so I don't have to increase it to a point where I'm forever turning the page every few words. Again, an age thing, when I fall asleep reading I haven't lost my page. You'd be surprised how often this happens on a late night reading binge.

Kindle freed me. I have over 3000 unread books on my Kindle, so I am never lost for something to read. I'm not someone who reads the same book over and over. If I leave my Kindle reader at home I can open the app on my phone or iPad and be on exactly the same page I left it at earlier.

Going on holiday the suitcase was not only considerably lighter, but I was able to read the books I wanted to read, rather than the books that I didn't mind possibly getting damaged by sun or sea.

The biggest thing for me though was the wealth of new indie authors I found and embraced on Kindle. Authors who haven't got their books on the shelf in the local bookstore for whatever reason. I now can choose from thousands of authors and millions of titles. It's opened up a whole new world of reading for me.

Yesterday I was involved in another debate. audiobooks. I think these are definitely the marmite equivalent of the book world. You either love them or hate them with no middle ground. It's not something I've been able to embrace and yet the majority of my friends love them. A lot of it for me is down to focus, I am better able to focus on the written word than audio. One friend commented that she can't listen to the audio if she has already read the book as she has already conjured up the voices of the characters when she was reading. It's the same way we all have such strong opinions on the actors in a movie based on one of our favourite books. We take the words on the page and conjure up our own images of how they look in our mind.

I do have paperbacks in my house, but it's an incredibly small collection of signed paperbacks that are not to be read. They are treasured keepsakes. The rate I read books I'd run out of space to store them in a week, so this is my personal preference. I treasure the books that I do have as they are personal to me and in the majority of cases have been signed by the author in front of me. They are as much a memento of that moment as anything.

For me, it's not about how you read, it's just that you enjoy it and you do that in whatever way best suits you be it print, digital or audio. A book is a special type of escape, it plays with your emotions, it draws you in and for those few hours you are in a different world altogether.

It can be inspirational, educational or just downright pleasurable. It's all about the experience.

What's your preference?

Comments

Griselda Heppel said…
I agree with you about how liberating it is to read books on your phone. Suddenly you are never stuck for something to read! My kindle died after a year or two so now I just use iBooks. There is a theory that you don’t remember a book so well if you read it in a digital version. I’m not sure about that. And leafing back for a reminder as to who all the characters are, or a half forgotten but important episode, is trickier with ebooks. Brilliant for holiday reading though!

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