Then along came Kindle

I love the tactile quality of a hard cover book with a textured outer surface and extra thin creamy pages with a sliver of gold at the edge.  They just feel good.  I have a dream of one day owning a home library with an open fire flanked by leather armchairs, each with its own reading lamp and side table, surrounded by floor to ceiling wooden shelves heaving with books.  I will sit in it and read for hours, only stopping to feed myself or the fire.

But then along came Kindle.  At first I scoffed.  Where’s the joy in yet another shiny metal box containing vast reams of information, with the inevitable tangle of wires and the drudgery of recharging .  But somehow Kindle’s slick design, great screen and option of a leather cover appeals.  It’s a great design, with the key flaw being that you are tied to Amazon for purchasing.   But even at Kindle’s price per book (US11.95 for Australian users) it’s a significant saving versus buying locally, as well as reducing my carbon footprint.  And eventually an e-book would allow me to read the 10% of the weekend newspaper that I want, with no need to dump the remaining 90% of paper straight in the recycling bin (at least it will do once local newspapers agree terms with the e-book companies.)

So do I cease buying paper books to fill my as-yet-non-existent dream library?   Should I invest in an e-book and donate my books to a charity, giving someone else a chance to read a life changing book, whilst I try to remember to charge my e-book? 

I had plans of buying a set of 50 Popular Penguins in their fabulous retro orange covers for both my children, so they could start their life with access to classics I wish I’d had, and I could enjoy their neatly matching vibrantly coloured spines on the shelf.

But maybe they’ll never read them, as they will expect all books to come electronically, and the Penguins will be as unloved as a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica, once so valuable, and now so out of date and mouldering in so many garages?


2 responses to this post.

  1. Buy the Penguins. I think they’re lovely. Tom Ford does too. He recently purchased the entire set. Nothing more wonderful than something lovely on the outside as well as on the inside.


    • You’re right, hard to beat a beautiful set of books. Just need to keep them far away from small and destructive hands, until they can appreciate literature rather than feeding them into our open fire whilst shouting “Look Mummy, HOT!”. I live with tiny Philistines.


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