2 years ago 🏆 for day 11, 2019 with 643 words.

Why I Went Back to Reading Physical Books

When I got my first Kindle, I was absolutely thrilled about it. So much more access to books. So much easier!

I loved that I could just buy books through the Kindle directly, I loved that there were books available for free and I was thrilled that discovering new books was so much easier. My reading increased so much! I was reading all the time. Nothing beats the feeling of reading a good science fiction romp on the Kindle.

The problem with this quantitative increase in reading was that most of what I was reading was not very nutritious. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good romance just as much as the next girl and I adore pulp fiction, it is the best thing for making my mind relax. However, having the Kindle and the ease of access to books that came with it turned my reading diet into the reading equivalent of fast food only. The significantly easier way to buy and consume books immediately lowered my standards for what I would read. Before the Kindle, buying a book was more of a commitment, I had to at the very least order it from Amazon physically. I had to wait a few days, I had to find a pc because online shopping on mobile was not as easy yet. With the Kindle, the books were just there, right in front of me, just one click. Oftentimes even for free.

After a few years of this, I intentionally changed my reading habits because I was craving more substance. Today, while I still use my kindle for travel sometimes, I do most of my reading with physical books. The fact that I will have a physical copy of it makes me consider what I am buying since I only want to have physical copies of things I actually would like to have on my bookshelves. I still indulge in guilty pleasure on the Kindle, but my consumption has gone down significantly. The Kindle is now for the kind of pleasure read I would usually pick up at an airport before a long journey. The kind of book I would then give away after I arrived.

Having to make a physical commitment to the books makes me chose more carefully. Also, while an e-reader is nice for the average novel, I really enjoy the way books are made. I enjoy the custom covers, the margins, the paper, and the little specialties that come from printing on a page. Some books use the space on a page to convey additional meaning. For example, I once read a book in which at some point the narrator started to threaten the reader and "punish" them. One of the punishments was three pages of "KRUMMBUMMBUMMKRUMMBUMMBUMM" written all over the page in capital letters. He then said, "if you do not believe me and behave better right now, I shall continue this for another five pages". These are the kind of stunts you can only pull on an actual page.

Another limitation of the Kindle is its display of books that have illustrations. Yes, you can display the pictures, but it will not look as good. Basically, it is good for the display of text only, but as soon as space becomes a part of how meaning is conveyed, the Kindle reaches its limits. This can also be a problem in non-fiction books that have diagrams, illustrations or a certain layout that helps organize the content on the page.

Now, don't get me wrong. I still love my Kindle and I still use it, but I am more mindful about what kind of book I use it for. The fact that I then go and pick hard copies of books to order makes me more selective because hey, shelf space is limited.

dreamer

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By Fiene 🏆

Trying to make this writing thing stick. Visit me at the-thing-about-everything.com

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