Education · Technology · Uncategorized

Why I Finally Broke Up With My Kindle

1 Fran_ois BoMadame Pompadourucher (French painter, 1703_1770) Madame du Pompadour


My Kindle and I have had an uneasy relationship for over three years now. I tried to love it; I really did. But I finally had to admit it wasn’t working out. Best we just call it quits.

First of all, I don’t like the way I can only look at one page at a time. Until I got the Kindle, I didn’t realize how often I fan the pages of a book, looking for information I’ve forgotten or to see if I have time to finish the chapter before dinner. I also didn’t realize that I typically read the last few words on a page as I make the turn. You can’t do that on a Kindle.

I like to write in my books. God doesn’t care. They are, after all, my books. Of course I would never write in someone else’s book or a library book—curses on those who do—but I happily scribble in mine. I like to pick up a book I’ve already read, and fan the pages looking for the stars, the underlines, and the marginal notes to myself and to the author that I’ve made in my own handwriting. I like to dog-ear pages, paste on sticky notes, insert bookmarks.

In short, I like to handle a book, that is to do a lot of things with my hands as I read.

And I like to know where my books are— and I do. They’re on the bookshelves. I can identify them by just looking at the spines. Some books are fat, some thin; some tall, some short, and they’re all different colors . I like them around me; I don’t want them dancing off into the atmosphere.

But the most disqualifying aspect of the Kindle for me is the fact that I simply cannot concentrate on what I’m reading on a screen for more than 15 or 20 minutes.

To be fair, I should acknowledge that there are certain advantages to the Kindle. You can make the type bigger. It’s easier to read lying down because you only have to hold the reader; the book literally weighs nothing. You can read in the dark; there are lots of free books available, and if you travel, you can carry any number of books with you without adding weight to your luggage.

You’re a nice device, Kindle. But let’s face it; as far as you and I are concerned, it’s over.


6 thoughts on “Why I Finally Broke Up With My Kindle

  1. I don’t have a kindle but I think I would feel as you do. Reading on a screen is very different for me. I don’t invest as much. I I don’t take the words as seriously as I do when I’m holding a book and reading off a page. I like books cluttering up my life. I like having to figure out whether to get rid of them or not. I like the way they pile up, waiting to be read. I like hating them and throwing them across the room.


  2. I like to read using the Kindle, iBooks, or Overdrive apps on my phone. Most of these have the virtual equivalent of the things you like about paper books, and do them in a very effective way (for example, you can see all your dog ears and margin notes at once without having to page through looking for them). But I still understand the tree books thing and find a meat-space book preferable in a lot of situations.


    1. Yeah I know. But it’s the tactile component that I miss. I want to crease the corner of the page with my own fingers. I want to FEEL that book with my hands. I actually want to hunt for the notes I’ve made with my own hands. May be a generational thing.


  3. I, too, have tried to love my Kindle but failed for many of the same reasons you pointed out. It’s not that I’m averse to technology. In fact, I embrace it. But, I don’t automatically love every new technological advancement. It has to work for me. And, like with you, the Kindle doesn’t work for me.


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