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Kindle or Printed Books?

Updated on May 4, 2012

Where do your loyalties lie?

When the Kindle first came out I was completely against it. Books were meant to be read on paper, not scrolled through. When I have the time there is nothing more enjoyable to me than sitting down with a good book and taking my time reading it and turning its pages. With every page turn you can almost feel the book’s plot build and build. As you get closer to the end you can feel that sense that the answer you been searching for is forthcoming. When the book is really great you can almost feel yourself become sad at the thought of the story ending. I love the books that I have had for years and years that have that weathered paper scent to them. I love the books that I saved from childhood that now sit on my daughter’s bookcase waiting for her discover them.

Then why do I own a Kindle now?

It was a total fluke. I loved ordering books; I loved having them pile up in, on, and around the bookcase in my husband’s and my small apartment. Then on Christmas Day 2010 I received a gift from my brother that was specifically to me from him. This was odd since gifts tended to be for both my husband and I and they were always from both my brother and his wife. I opened it and there was a plain brown box from, I opened it and there was a new Kindle. I was dumbfounded; I had no idea why he would spend so much money on me in addition to what he gave both me and my husband. I looked up at him in complete surprise and I could tell he really loved giving it to me because he knew how much I love to read.

I soon found out from my mother that he did get a deal on it since a newer model was being introduced so I did not feel as bad about the cost.

When I got home with my new Kindle I did not know how to react to it. I had been so anti-Kindle for so long. I had sworn that I would never abandon the printed book. I charged it up and set-up an account; I ordered a book from an author I loved just to ensure that a lousy book would not influence my opinion of the Kindle. I gave it a try and it was terrible.

That winter proved to be a terrible one for the Boston area. Not to mention I was six months pregnant and was weary about going out on the icy roads if there was no need. I read a lot on my Kindle that winter and must admit it is a great piece of technology.

I have not read on my Kindle much since that winter, but I have not read many traditional books either due to the arrival of my now one year old daughter. It was suggested to me that I buy the Kindle version of the books I needed for graduate school; but as a History student page numbers are essential as is the ability to flip to different pages for reference during class and for the Kindle is incredibly limiting. There are no page numbers and can be incredibly difficult to navigate back and forth (at least the version that I own).

This summer however I do plan on reading more for leisure once I complete my graduate studies in July; but I have to admit I am torn on which version I will purchase of the works I wish to read. Kindle versions tend to be cheaper than print, but not always by very much. For now I will just be concentrating on finishing school, but when the time comes I know I will be faced with a tough decision. In the end though I know I will have to return to my first love, the printed book.


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