Wednesday, 25 January 2012

To Kindle or not to Kindle, that is the question...

The Kindle was rumoured to have been Amazon’s Christmas 2012 bestseller, which is not surprising, considering that this year in the U.S. more ebooks were sold than ‘actual’ books. With the risk of sounding like an archaic, nostalgic and pretentious literature student, I’m going to put it out there that I like physical books where I turn the pages. After discovering the ‘Bücherbrockenstube’ (second-hand bookshop to all you non Swiss-German speakers) in Berne this summer, selling thumbed through paperbacks for 1 CHF, this love only grew. I think it’s SO artsy and edgy to buy someone’s cast off version of that book from the top of my reading list. Maybe they’ve dog-eared the best pages, hell maybe there’s even a “à mon amour” postcard inside, which yes, is still my bookmark. On top of that, there’s the fact that I’m reading a humanities university subject, so naturally, reading and books are both business and pleasure to me.

On another note, as a self-labelled jet setter due to my various international homes (!!), I would like to say I’ve cracked the art of efficient packing. I no longer pay £98.87 to British Airways for excess baggage (yes, I’m bitter and the sum is forever more etched onto my brain) and still manage to bring back ALL the academic books I’ll need over the holiday PLUS that blasé novel in the hand luggage for plane entertainment. I’ll casually brush over the fact that in the clothes department,  I have in fact only packed knickers. Maybe my favourite jumper is bunched up in my washbag… The point is I travel with a LOT of physical books, academic or not.
Funnily enough, it’s on these trips that I most encounter people reading, be it the Financial Times, Grazia, an academic textbook or their favourite novel, and they all seem to be doing it on a Kindle or an iPad. And hey…they have absolutely teeny suitcases with so much baggage allowance weight wasted I could cry.

So I’m going to be functional and embrace a Kindle for the sake of practicality and academia. But I’m not going to lie and say that the prospect of buying a pretty, leather book-style case for it doesn’t excite me…! Obviously I’ll also keep visiting the Bücherbrockenstube, but those books will be read in one country only.

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