If you’ve been on this site or checked out our Twitter feed at any time since Monday, you may have noticed that we’re in the midst of #kindleweek. I say ‘may’, as you could have missed such subtle come-ons as ‘why do you love your Kindles guys?’, ‘why is the Kindle best?’ and that video we put on YouTube where we took the scene from Being John Malkovich where Malkovich goes inside his own head and overdubbed all the Malkoviches with the word ‘Kindle’ (disclaimer: we only actually did two of those).
Anyway, what Kindle week has entailed in large part is soliciting the views of you and your ilk, gentle reader, upon the subject of the suddenly ubiquitous e-reader, and you have been nothing if not forthcoming, with a range of opinions expressed both for and against the device that is quickly challenging this canvas print of Paul Ross for the title of Amazon’s most beloved product.This post is part of BookMachine’s #kindleweek. Join the debate on Twitter.
Our own @LauraAustinNow says ‘I love the way no one knows what I am Reading…. Can read anything!’, which does nothing so much as make me wonder what subversive material she’s been sneaking past the secret police up till now.
@Lisathom likes that ‘On a Kindle you can annoy people who read over your shoulder by flipping the pages back and forth without seeming insane’, which is probably not how the person reading over your shoulder would see things.
@sarahjessica1 is so excited that ‘I can get so many FREE [public domain] books for my kindle. Ones I’ve always wanted to read like Vanity Fair’ that she went on to include a ‘:-)’.
The factor most proponents are citing, however, is portability, perhaps summed up best by @wendytoole: ‘Why do i love my kindle? Because my holiday luggage only weights 18.6kg but i have twelve shelfloads of books in my bag’.
All such tweets are giving your humble writer something of an inferiority complex, however, over reading speed, annual mileage or both, given that my own tweets on the subject from @iamchrishello read ‘Don’t like them for the same reason I don’t like mp3s for music. Enjoy the tactile, ritual aspect of reading. Can see them being handy for long trips, like iPods, but I rarely travel long enough to need more than one book’.
I was not alone, however, in my distaste for digital. @chickadee13 covered most of the major arguments against the contraption over three tweets: ‘Life is so full of devices & screens that I feel a book is my refuge. Just words printed on paper. Lovely! Also, some of us read one book at a time and rarely have a need to carry 1000. Oh ALSO you can’t write dedications on a Kindle, it’ll have no history, passed down from grandparents etc.’
On a more practical note, @JohnGlenday perhaps took the brand name too literally when he said ‘Kindle don’t burn as well as books’. Don’t smell as good either.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.