Guest Post: 7 Reasons I Don’t Want a Kindle
It’s Saturday, and the 7 Reasons team are taking a well-deserved day off, but fear not: In charge of the 7 Reasons sofa today is Roger Williams; a Manchester-based writer, lyricist and owner of a full and luxuriant ginger beard. Here are seven reasons that he doesn’t want a Kindle.
1. Fahrenheit 451. The primary definition of Kindle in my whopping great Collins English Dictionary (a tome so weighty and downright bookish that while it would be impossible to swallow, it would be entirely feasible to use it to, say, smash a Kindle to smithereens) is ‘to set alight or start to burn.’ Mmm. You don’t need the Enigma machine to decode the sub-conscious desires of the Satanic device’s inventors here. They clearly want us to burn books. That’s right 7 Reasons readers. Biblioclasm! Libricide! Buying a Kindle is tantamount to supporting the book incinerating activities of the Spanish conquistadors, the worst McCarthyite zealots, the Nazis and the Dove World Outreach Centre church in Florida.
2. If it ain’t broke don’t e-fix it. Books are the perfect marriage of function and form. They have a quality of soul which an electronic device could never match. The volumes you gather as you travel through life are a story in themselves. The spine creases of the well-thumbed volume; the stain left by the coffee you spilt when you first saw her; the enthusiastic underlinings of well-loved sections and the page corner-foldings of inspiration; the sheer sentimental, colourful, characterful accumulation of books. You can’t furnish a room with a Kindle. Unless it’s a room for a hamster. That hates books.
3. Books smell good (musty second hand bookshops in Holmfirth don’t count.) I’ve never smelt a Kindle but I imagine it would smell of evil.
4. Books have done the job perfectly well for hundreds of years. The more complicated you make something the more likely it is that something will go wrong. At no point in the annals of history (beautifully preserved because they’ve been written down, on paper) has anyone ever complained “This book has crashed” or “I wish this book would go faster.” No one has ever advised you to turn a malfunctioning novel off and on again.
You can still read a book that’s hundreds of years old. You can’t watch videos from the early 1990s. The written word is timeless, but technology moves so fast that by the time you’re two thirds of the way through A Suitable Boy your Kindle will be in museum for obsolete things. Being bullied by a Sinclair C5.
5. There’s a physicality to books, a reassuring heft, a presence, whereas Kindles by comparison are…spineless. Books are transferable. How many times do you read something you love then lend it to a friend you know is going to share your enthusiasm? There’s no room for that in Kindleland. You either have to loan out your Kindle, and all that it contains, or they have to buy the f-ing e-book themselves.
6. Bathing. I admit this isn’t really an issue for me because I’m male and therefore genetically unable to multitask, but word is you can’t read a Kindle in the bath. I plagiarised this point from a letter written to The Guardian by a woman. I wasn’t doing anything else at the time. She was probably cooking a three-course meal and reading the paper when she wrote it.
7. And alright, I admit it, I woke up one morning and realised I was a Luddite.
Now…I’ve heard a rumour they’ve just installed one of those new weaving machines at a mill along the turnpike road in Bolton. Anyone want to come and help me smash it up before the idea catches on?