Fight of the Decade: Book vs. Kindle.
The long-time champion, known as “The Book”, emerges from behind the curtain to loud literary cheers. People around the world are hooting and hollering at his emergence into the ring. His hardcover, bound tight, is covered by the jacket he removes just prior to the fight. He’s been around for a while so this new guy has no chance, or does he?
The arena gets quiet and the crowd becomes still. The unknown fighter finally tears through the velvet curtains to a smattering of boos drowned out by the screaming mass populous awaiting his arrival. He emerges dressed in a glitzy designer jacket – he is known as “The Kindle”.
How could this match-up be fair? The Book weighing in at just under 300 pages is slated to take on the Kindle, who appears to register in at only 50 pages light. The Book, having deep-seeded familiarity, the flexibility to open and close and the ability to utilize his pages as he sees fit, scoffs at the rigidity of the lightweight new-age device. The crowd gasps at the inequality inside the ring – who will ultimately win?
I don’t know the answer to that, but I will tell you that I LOVE books! I want an old-school library with a sliding ladder and a cozy fireplace to read in front of at night. It pains me to see independent bookstores close their doors across the country. Not only is it just independent bookstores, but it’s the mega-giants like Borders who have said ‘goodbye’ to us all, too. On a rainy Saturday, when I lived in New York City, you could most often find me perusing the isles of Strand for countless hours. If you do not know what Strand Bookstore is, I suggest you click the link immediately! I’d start in the cookbook section and venture around the store, head up to the art section and down to the basement for philosophy and other good reads. I never left empty handed. It was glorious.
Back to the fight. I know many people who love their Kindle. I, however, love my books. I love the smell, the feel, the physical act of turning a page, creating little folds in the corners to mark a spot where I would like to return, I enjoy putting placeholders between the pages and I prefer to mark out a section of the book I plan on tackling in that specific sitting only to keep moving my “stoppage” point deeper and deeper into the novel. Most of all, I love looking at the books I’ve read and remembering the story, the characters, the emotions I felt as I became transfixed by an alternate reality and immersed in the lives the author has crafted for his or her readers.
I do not want an electronic collection of books. I know many people in this world do and a vast majority of my immediate friends and family own a Kindle. That being said, a book will always win the fight in my home. I enjoy escaping from the technology-driven world we live in and being taken into a carefully crafted story that I can physically flip through ending with the final close of the back cover as you hug the book to your chest and reflect on the entirety of the story.
I hope physical books, and bookstores for that matter, stay around for a while longer.
I just finished This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. Read it, seriously. I finished it in couple of days and the last chapter is brilliant. I have been slowly getting through A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry. Not because it isn’t a good read, but because I love philosophy books and you have to be in the right mindset to full grasp everything presented. Luc Ferry has, so far, crafted a wonderful dissection of the beginning of philosophy for the Joe-schmoes of the world. My love of philosophy stems from a high school teacher who read to us excerpts from Socrates Cafe by Christopher Phillips; it changed my life and I will forever be grateful to him! Up next, starting this weekend, is J.K. Rowling’s new book The Casual Vacancy.
Do you prefer a book or a kindle?