“What’s a Kindle?” I asked one day when my sister came home this gray little pad in her shopping bag. She explained to me that it was a mobile library that you could put all your books in, and carry around. Oh, it apparently doesn’t hurt your eyes either, she emphasized, but I remember just scoffing.
I mean, the thought of an e-reader was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard in my life. Sure, a mobile library sounds very convenient, but to me, the experience of reading a book is a sacred art. The wholesome, intimate experience of holding a physical copy of a book is that you get to caress the pages, dribble food debris into the cracks of the spine, and splatter the pages with germs and spit as you laugh or bawl at a line in the book.
In other words, I like to fondle my books as I read, thank you very much, so needless to say, the idea of jamming all your books into a cold, hard pad sounded stupid and rather impersonal to me. I mean, if you had the choice between a physical book and an e-reader, why in the world would anyone choose a piece of hunk of hard plastic?
But lately, I admit I’ve been contemplating a Kindle. My library’s grown to the point that my books are falling off the bookshelf that I have no room but the floor to stack my books. In addition, I need a new way of reading books that aren’t worth getting a physical copy of…so cold hard plastic it is!
Now it’s kind of embarrassing after all the grief I gave my sister about not engaging in the “true” reading experience, and yet here I am, about to engage in the sacrilegious act of buying a Kindle too. And this isn’t the first time I’ve scoffed over something like this! I just recently bought an audiobook of The Once and Future King, and I was surprised at myself for doing so. I mean, I once deemed audiobook users as lazy bums who didn’t know how to open a book (yes, I’m hiding my face in shame right now) yet once again, here I am shelling out 50 bucks on one.
I guess you could say that I’m like the old grandpa who stows away all his life savings under his bed because he’s so distrustful of the latest banking technology. And it’s a sad old life because I’m just sitting there in the corner, reading my favorite book since childhood for the gazillionth time in a row, having no clue what awesome new things I might be missing out on.
So don’t be a cynic to change, young padawan. Change is inevitable and you’ll be forced to change with the times sooner or later. Did I ever think that I’d end up buying an e-book reader or an audiobook, things that I’d once decried as an insult to humanity? No. But here I am, dragging my feet into the store with my head hanging, the last walk of the cynical traditionalist.
So don’t be like me, you young’uns.