To E-Book or Not To E-Book

A few nights ago, a legend to literature, Ray Bradbury died at the ripe old age of 91. I felt overwhelmed with guilt, for when I read this beautiful tribute to him, I had my Kindle in front of me.

There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel – Ray Bradbury

I enjoy my Kindle. I love it because it was an anniversary present from the S.O, but I enjoy it because it’s the most convenient gadget I own. No-one who knows me can ever say that I don’t love books, or that I have stopped buying them. Every piece of furniture in my room holds stacks of books; paper held together with glue&string and letting out the aroma of beautiful&weird&romantic&heartbreaking thoughts. On my last trip, over a month ago, my Kindle nestled in my bag, but I bought a bag of books at the airport and then proceeded to devour them all-flight-long.

I would never have bought a Kindle for myself. Which is how the S.O knew he had to buy it for me. I use it, yes on a fairly regular basis. But for every day I carry my Kindle in my bag, I will have a book (or two) in there as well. I enjoy my Kindle because the bookstores in my city are pitiful, but that doesn’t bother me anymore, because as soon as a book I’m craving releases in the UK or US, I can read it seconds later.

And isn’t that the sign of a truly dedicated reader? Not how you read, but the fact that you read at all? That you devour the gloriousness of words and ideas in any form, whether it be paper, or electronic, or even advertisements on hoardings soaring over bridges?

If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape – Ray Bradbury

I stuff myself; the way all writers, established or aspiring do. My books of poetry and collections of short stories are stacked on shelves above my bed. My novels in an alarmingly large bookshelf, the weight of which could kill someone if it ever (God forbid) toppled over. My children’s literature and fiction in another bookshelf in the corner of my room. More novels stacked on the floor next to my bed, with my reading lamp resting at the top. My room smells like my favourite kind of library; the smell of books that are mine, mine, mine. Mine, the Kindle-owner.

R.I.P Ray Bradbury; your words will outlive you, just the way you’d intended. I just wish you’d lived long enough to know; e-books may not be books, but they don’t make a person any less of a reader.

You were right about the burned fuel though. Amazon really should do something about the smell.

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7 thoughts on “To E-Book or Not To E-Book

  1. Hi, I love my kindle and Nook apps, as I can read endless book’s and not have to carry them. I’d venture to say technology is taking over the printed word, but you still just can’t mistake the feeling of a book in your hands! Thank you for the follow. Good luck with your writing!

    1. I know; technology *might* be taking over, but readers who love books will always be loyal to the printed word! My Kindle is great, but I can’t imagine a world without books.

      “Thank you for the follow. Good luck with your writing!”
      Ditto and ditto 🙂

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  4. I understand this completely.

    When I got my first Android phone last summer, what were two of the first things I did? Download the Kindle and Kobo apps.

    What did I spend the $50 Visa gift card I got with the phone? Books for said newfound apps.

    I am also the idiot where, moving six times in the past year, thought it would be a great idea to pack all of my books (large portions of which are giant-sized and hard-covered) in massive cereal boxes. Because there always has to be one of us.

    Always.

    1. Cereal boxes? Really? Ive never tried that before!

      I was the idiot that lovingly wrapped all my hard-bound and massive books in pillow cases, and then nestled them in my laundry hamper to move them to a new place. Result: Laundry hamper rebelled, ripped and has never been the same again i.e. the people who love books are idiots.

      Always.

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