I have been using my Kindle in various forms for the past two years. On the device, as a PC application and on the iPad.
Probably the two most useful for reading are the iPad and the Kindle device. My Kindle is the non-backlit model. Basic but functional. Of the three, it behaves most like a book. And of the three, I like it the most. It can be read in bright sunshine, has a battery that lasts for a month and features nothing else at all really.
By contrast, the iPad is yet another backlit device (we all have so many these days) beaming photons at your eyes and also features numerous distractions in the form of apps. And Wi-Fi. And email. I don’t really like the eReading experience that it has to offer. And it’s heavy too, especially when you add the weight of a decent cover. Which you, like, have to.
Lately, I have been drifting back towards the physical book. Why? Because I find that with ebooks, once you have read them, that’s all there is. They have nothing left to offer.
However, when you are reading a physical book (book from now on) you are sharing that you are reading a particular book with those around you. On the beach in summer, that can mean that you could potentially strike up a conversation with like-minded people (or just people that speak the same language!). The same goes for reading a book anywhere in a public place.
When you have finished a book, you don’t get prompted to “like it” or “rate it”. It was a personal experience. You feel it. Internally. But it doesn’t end there. You will most likely pass it on to one of your friends or family members with a recommendation (try doing that with an ebook) or you may place it on your bookshelf, where it enhances the whole and becomes an addition to your furniture. I love to see stacks of books on shelves or in bookcases, don’t you? Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Books can also be gifted to people. Sometimes with an embellishment from the author. I recently got an author to sign a book as a gift for my mother. Ebooks just don’t compare. And this small act makes it unique.
So now I am thinking that while the kindle is great for the holidays and will continue to be, for everything else, I’m going back to books.