So, I just got a Kindle (geddit? Kindle - kindling - firestarter? Myeah, wha'ever). Was given to me by one of the most important peeps in my life, aided by other awesome peeps (making it even more special). It's quite possibly my most awesome material possession to date. Within a few hours of having it, I had almost 800 books in (on?) it (haply they are not all kosher). I was grinning like a bloody fool/Charlie in that Chocolate Factory of his at the thought of having Clive Barker by my side when I am feeling twitchy and a wee bit cuckoo, Lewis Carroll when I am a lost child, Neil Gaiman when that child begins to grow or Christopher Moore when I feel like a laugh with an as yet un-met friend. The first thing people ask me when they hear me squee at them about this new bundle of joy is "so, will you still buy, y'know, real books?" While I take umbrage at the purist judgement of ebooks as unreal, I do understand where this question is coming from. Before I got my Kindle I felt that it was a sign of the end; that this evil contraption (okay, maybe I was a little green jello) was a big ol' "fuck you" to centuries of printing achievements and the resultant intellectual advances.
What I have discovered, however, is that my will to buy hard copy books is far greater now. I don't feel that reticence I used to feel when walking into a book store. I don't feel like I am about to spend too much money on something I may not even read through. In recent years I fell into the boring drill of only buying what was recommended to me/ was on my varsity reading list/ constituted some antiquated cannon. Now I can download a book that catches my eye in a store/article/movie and read until I either don't want to any more (worst case scenario) or want to finish and adore and smell and hold in person - thus driving me to buy it. This will mean that my "real" book collection will continue to grow at the same -if not faster- rate that it did pre-Kindle but will be more treasured for its considered acquisition.
I do realise that I am in the minority here, and that does sadden me. But not as much as the sales on Danielle Steele novels and the prevalence of her kind sitting dog-eared on sad saps' bed-side tables after clogging up the aisles of once reputable book stores. And not as much as the price of a hard cover book, the proceeds of which the average author will only ever see a fraction of. I'm all viva la revolucion or whatever, but in the end, there needs to be a change in attitude and practice in the printing world for me to truly get on their "ebooks baaad" bandwagon. Until that seriously unlikely day: Heil Kindle!
[Also, I might as well get this over with now, I "suffer" from something called Fibromyalgia. Long story short: pain for no real reason, especially in my hands. My Kindle will seriously change my life in that I can actually hold it for faaar longer than a "real" book (especially since I am of the "be kind to the spine" school of reading).]
So, um... yeah. Haters gonna hate, but I still have a Kindle ^_^
Peace, skulls and chocolate cake,