This is a short and sweet post on why the Kindle (or Nook, Kobo, iPad, Android Tablet, or any other e-reader) may be a viable and preferred alternative for some readers to traditional books. I occasionally read books on my Kindle, but am not a huge supporter of all things Kindle. These (stolen mostly from Alan Jacobs’ lecture on Reading in an Age of Distraction — HT: FirstThings) are a few reasons why I might be wrong not to be a bigger supporter of the Kindle.
1. It occupies your thumbs. Many people find it difficult to read a book because their mind is constantly occupied with wanting to check their e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter updates. For some, this may be more of an addiction for their thumbs than it is their minds. If you fall into this category, the Kindle may occupy your thumbs enough to enable you to read more.
2. It makes you cool. If toting a book around makes you look nerdy, then toting a Kindle around makes you look “technologically adept” and that may be enough for some folks to have one and read it.
3. It allows you to read what you really want. Some folks just can’t get “in” to reading because they burden themselves with “educated” books. They force themselves to read the acceptable classics: Tolstoy, Austen, and others. They find it difficult to get into these books, so it takes them longer to read them. They do this because they know people will see what book they are carrying around and will/may judge them for what they’re reading. Reading on a Kindle allows you to give in to your guilty pleasures and read the books you really want to read without passersby knowing what you are reading. Because you will be reading the books you really want to read, it will be easier to get “in” to them and thus read more.
4. It provides instant access to most books. When you do finally have the itch to read, you are often forced to wait a day or more to get over to the library or store to pick it up. Worse, you might have to wait several days for it to arrive via post from Amazon. By then, you may no longer have such a strong desire to read. The Kindle allows you to download and begin reading the book almost instantaneously.
If you aren’t a reader, these may be the helps that get you on the path to being one. If you are, but aren’t as consistent as you’d like to be, the Kindle may be the difference-maker for you. If you are and are consistent, this may be pointless for you. If you are and are a paper purist, I’m sorry for any offense. But, what’s worse? Reading books on a Kindle, or not reading at all?
Finally, this post is dedicated to my friend, Uri Brito, who loves the Kindle. He really does.