Why I Resisted Buying A Kindle When the Amazon Kindle first went on sale in 2007, I thought it was just another expensive electronic gadget. That first generation Kindle sold for close to $400;a big ” ouch” as far as I was concerned and not worth the money. Also, I told myself, I preferred real books to any electronic reader and though I was a frequent buyer on Amazon and saw all the ads and info about Kindle on the site whenever I was there, I was just not interested.
Even though I had never touched or even seen a real life Kindle,I knew that it could not possibly replicate the feel of a real book, with that indefinable ink and paper smell and the comfortably repetitive motion of turning pages one by one. My books were my friends. To abandon them for an impersonal, cold hard machine like the Kindle was unthinkable. I was not ever going to buy a Kindle– not me. I was like some old geezer in a horse and buggy, shaking a fist as a ModelT Ford went by and yelling “get a horse” None of those new-fangled gadgets for me.
No sir-eeeeeOpening Up To Kindle One day I sat next to a woman on the train who was reading from a Kindle. I was really curious. I craned my neck and peered over at it. I asked her how she liked it. She brimmed with enthusiasm and went on and on about how many books she could store on the device, how she could change the size of the font, downloading her daily newspaper onto it etc. etc. I said , rather smugly, that I preferred the look and feel of a real book and that I would never read the New York Times online.
What this woman said next totally rocked my world. She said: ” Owning a Kindle doesn’t mean you have to give up books. It’s not an either/or thing” The concept absolutely blew me away. Buying a Kindle did not mean I had to give up books. The Kindle was just another way of receiving and processing the written word: an addition rather than a substitution. Duh! Why hadn’t I thought of that and , more importantly, why I was so resistant to the idea of reading electronically?
What was it about electronic readers that threatened me so much? I thought back to the days of my childhood, when TV was just coming in. There was lots of talk back then about how TV was going to ruin the minds and destroy the bodies of the younger generation. TV was the enemy. It was going to do everything from annihilating radio and Hollywood to promoting tooth decay. TV was going to be the downfall of Western Civilization, which is hard to imagine considering that there were only three, grainy black and white channels back then, and they only broadcasted for twelve hours a day.
Then it hit me. My resistance wasn’t about the Kindle. it was about change. I was just being a stubborn curmudgeon, rejecting a new way of doing things because I wanted the world to stand still.
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