The death of the paperback


One of my Christmas presents from my other half was a Kindle Paperwhite. We’d discussed the benefits and downfalls of e-readers at great length, we’re both huge book lovers (people affectionately refer to our office as ‘the library’) and wondered whether either (or both) of us owning an e-reader would deter us from actually buying books. As well as being big readers, we both enjoy a book as a physical object, they look nice on the shelf, they have a certain feel and smell… and so not buying them, aside from being a big space saver, would be a sad loss for both of us. The thing is, if we felt like this then obviously nothing was going to stop us buying more books, was it?

Christmas came and there was the Kindle, waiting eagerly to be filled with ebooks. I filled it with fiction and started on my first book. I was really surprised at how ‘page-like’ the screen was, it genuinely is like reading a book, no glare etc. I also found it’s easier to lie in odd (but comfortable!) positions and still be able to read easily. I read 7 books in about 5-6 weeks… and that’s a lot even for me! What I’ve found is that a lot of the fiction I buy, I read and then give to a charity shop (unless it’s really touched me in some way), but the point is, I wouldn’t actually keep the majority of paperback fiction books I’d have purchased anyway. Plus, in all honesty, I don’t find the Kindle that suitable for most non-fiction, the kind of stuff I read is usually accompanied by pictures for a real sense of atmosphere and then afterwards I like to use them as a reference; not something easily done on an ereader as you can’t flip about as efficiently.

So in a nutshell, my Kindle has replaced all of that ‘disposable’ fiction I would usually read and then give away (sorry charity shops but you’ll still get all my clothes!) and the non-fiction stuff I’d usually buy (particularly WWII/Holocaust stuff as that is my current interest) is still being purchased but now there’s more room on the shelves as I’m not storing as much ‘I’ll read it soon I promise’ fiction. Win-win!

I have to say that as a book lover, I did worry about the advent of e-readers but having now owned and thoroughly used one, I heartily recommend them.  Book snobs fear not, there is a place for these e-readers that doesn’t replace the physical item of a book. I’ve not looked back and look forward to taking mine abroad soon without weighing down my suitcase with a handful of books!


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