Get Free Tips, Sneak Peaks & Great Insights from Our Community of Writers & Readers

Books, Books, Glorious Books… or Kindle?

Books or KindleWe’ve just moved house.  It’s been quite an undertaking – hubbie and I have accumulated a lot of debris (aka, crap) in the two decades we’ve been together and, when you add kids to the mix, the stuff we have could fill the Albert Hall.  Snowboards, tents, kites, George Forman grills – items we use irregularly but can’t get rid of, as well as the day-to-day clutter that comes with modern living.  Play Stations.  Wii’s.  Gadgets galore.

But the thing that our hardy group of helpers complained about when assisting us with the move was the books.  Boxes and boxes of them.  Hubbie has a large collection of law books and tomes about gardening.

The kids have boxes of “Thomas” books, “Julia Donaldson” books, “Little Miss” books,

as well as my old “Read It Yourself” and “The Garden Gang” books.  But the bulk of the paper weights that our poor friends had to shift belongs to me.  I have text books from university, bundles of cheap classics, crafting books, contemporary books I love and read again and again…  Even a box of Enid Blyton books that I simply cannot get rid of.  A good friend of ours, being faced with yet another box of texts to load onto the van, turned to me in exasperation and said – “Bekki, buy a bloody Kindle.”

I won’t take his advice (hubbie already has one), because there’s something wonderful, magical and scented about holding a book in your hands.  You can’t read a Kindle in the bath or smudge it with butter, or put a cuppa down and leave a ring on its covers.  Ok, you’re not supposed to do these things but, to me, this is what gives a book its life.  Beside the book’s content, these stains and marks are what makes a book stand out – I can remember what I was doing when I smudged a certain book with chocolate (lying next to the pool on holibobs), and I can smile at the memory of splattering the last and final instalment of Harry Potter with baby milk, picturing myself holding my eldest over my shoulder when he was six months old whilst trying to devour the latest offering from J K Rowling.  Bet she’s got book cases lining the walls AND a Kindle.

But I did appreciate the Kindle when we were away on holiday.  Hubbie kindly loaded it up for us both and we didn’t need to cram our suitcases with paperbacks or limit what we took.  So yes, I do see the benefits and the electronic downloads are nice and cheap, too.  I may become a convert and it’s awesome to go online, pick a title, download, and have it ready to go within minutes.

Still, now we’re in our new house, one of the first items of furniture and storage to buy will be a bookcase.  Or three.  ‘Cos, let’s face it, who doesn’t like staring at an array of books in someone’s house and trying to work out what they tell you about that person?  You’d have to be really nosy to take a look through someone’s Kindle.

What do you think? Book or Kindle? Or both?

About Rebecca Burns

Rebecca Burns - writer of short stories.

Debut collection, "Catching the Barramundi", published by Odyssey Books in 2012 and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Award in 2013. Rebecca was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2011 and profiled as part of the University of Leicester's "Grassroutes" project, which is funded by the Arts Council and showcases the 50 best transcultural writers in Leicestershire.

Read a sample and download "Catching the Barramundi" at Amazon.

To read more of Rebecca's work, visit her web site found on the link below.

View all contributions by Rebecca Burns

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Victoria March 4, 2014, 4:16 pm

    I don’t want a Kindle either but have two book loving friends and a mother in law who have been converted and LOVE their Kindle. I like to buy from charity shops and donate back once read, do like to recycle, and that is much cheaper than buying a Kindle and then books. I also have lots of books to read before I could even think about justifying the cost.

    • Rebecca Burns March 6, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Ah, if only I had your self restraint, Victoria! I’m afraid I keep buying books to add to my “to read” pile, that never seems to get any smaller. But I do like your recycle idea and have picked up some cracking reads in charity shops.

  • Rod Griffiths March 4, 2014, 9:30 am

    We moved house two years ago, downsizing from an old rambling farmhouse. We had a library and books all over the house. We took crate loads to Oxfam. I’ve had a nice letter from them telling me they have raised over £500 selling our old books. I use an iPad and my wife has a Kindle, I don’t think either of us read any less and actually old books are a little easier to find then those days when I couldn’t remember which shelf to look at.

    We still have some paper books, mostly signed copies, old prizes, and books by friends, but I buy most books as ebooks now.

    • Rebecca Burns March 6, 2014, 3:37 pm

      £500 is an amazing amount to raise for charity through the sale of old books – very generous of you! and yes, having access to out-of-print books is actually easier now there’s so much digital content out there. Still, there are books that I wouldn’t dream of being parted with, dog-eared and stained as they are. Bet that’s the same for you!