Nick Bryan Dot Com

“It’s All... Papery” – Returning To Print Books

I’ve had a Kindle for a year, and it’s fast become my primary method of reading. I love the interface, the convenience, the way I don’t have to fill up any more space with piles of books, which attract dust in vast quantities and give me allergy seizures.

So, yes, I am an ereader convert. But some people, my so-called friends, are behind me on the development scale and keep lending me books made of dead trees. I finished one such novel the other day and thought I’d share some thoughts on my re-entry onto paper.

Get Some Physio

Considering how much Kindle hatred there is out there, you’d expect picking up a real book to be a revelatory experience, making the story a million times better and exuding some magic smell. (Because it’s always about the smell, isn’t it? Hey, guys, computers can have odour too, especially when the cooling fan fails and the motherboard burns.)

But you know, I didn’t notice much different. Yes, it’s weird measuring your progress in page numbers again, rather than abstract percentages, and feeling a physical change under your right hand as the plot falls away. And flicking through regular books to check stuff for your reviews is way easier, that is one big plus point for them.

But you know what I have to do with paper books? Protect the fragile little darlings from getting bashed around, especially this one that wasn’t mine, find my place manually rather than automatically, carry a heavier rucksack, accept that other people on the tube can see what I’m reading. (Fortunately, it wasn’t porn, it was The Time Traveller’s Wife. Untimely Book Review to follow.)

Get Some Therapy

So, inane revelation time: books and ereaders are different in some ways and not others. And, yes, there are problems with Kindle brand dominance – I’m not a huge fan of Amazon being the only place I can easily buy stuff.

But. I’d rather we talk about actual issues like that, rather than throwing a tantrum about methods of reading. It’s just data, and I say this as an experienced IT professional. I’ve always been insistent that how I display and consume my data is up to me, ever since I was a little boy and my Mum tried to make me read the Radio Times instead of using Teletext. (Sorry, American readers, I may have lost you there.)

And speaking of young kids: people who do things like refer to the Kindle as “the K-word”? Not a great look, folks.

So, where do you stand on the Kindle/book debate? Have you gone back to books, and did you experience whiplash? Comment! Below!

(And yes, I took that picture of my Kindle on top of a pile of books. I know, I know, the layers of meaning are stunning.)


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