Can someone please explain the allure of the Amazon Kindle to me?
As a former English major and book-a-holic, I cannot image my life without reading. And I read fast--really fast. In fact, even though I am in graduate school and work full-time, I still read between 70 and 85 books a year. When I travel, I have to take several books with me and I often end up buying books in airports or bookstores while on trips. And I have an unnatural dislike of library books, so I buy most of what I read (yes, it's a very expensive habit). Additionally, I read several newspapers every day (admittedly most of these are online) and I have subscriptions to about 8 magazines.
But I still cannot understand why anyone would want a Kindle.
First let's start with the obvious: One more thing to plug in and charge. One more thing to worry about breaking and needing repair. One more thing to have to maintain. And one more screen to read, as if we don't spend enough time in front of computers already.
But what concerns me most about the Kindle is this: It is destroying the relationship between the reader and the book AND it is taking the bookstore or library experience out of the equation. Sure, you are still technically reading it....but on a screen, not curling up the pages ever so slightly in your hands, or setting a bookmark inside to keep your place, or turning the pages with reckless abandon to find out what happens next. The magic that happens between book and reader is not so easily recreated electronically. I worry that soon people will deprive themselves of that experience in favor of reading it all on a screen.
Sure, it allows you to take a lot of books with you at once. Sure, it saves trees since it doesn't involve printing on paper.
But I am still not convinced that either of those things are worth more than what the traditional reading experience has added to my life over the years.