My Kindle will never replace my book collection—but here’s why I love it
I made room for a Kindle on the bookshelf of my heart
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I love paper books. The crisp, satisfying scent of new ink, the musty odor of well-loved bindings. I love the uniquely-designed covers, the feel of them in my hands, the act of turning the page. I love owning big sets of shelves and stacking them with books, categorizing them as I wish, gazing lovingly at my library, all of it.
I also love my Kindle.
I never thought I’d be a person who loved a Kindle, but I do. Judge all you want—I have shed my shame like an unwanted coat on an unexpectedly warm day. Without it, I am tall and proud and appropriately dressed for the weather, clutching the smooth faux leather of my Kindle case in loving hands. In other words: People of the Internet, I adore my Kindle. Here’s why.
1. Instant gratification
My Number One Favorite Thing about owning an e-reader is that it means I can own any book practically instantly. I’m impatient and frequently excited about some great new book I just heard about, which makes it frustrating to have to wait until the book comes in the mail, or until I can get to a bookstore or library and bring it home with me.
My Kindle eliminates the wait. I can obtain practically any book within one minute of deciding I want to read it, whether I’m purchasing the ebook on Amazon or borrowing it from the library. Magic!
I know, I know, everyone talks about how great it is that Kindles are so portable, but friends, I have to jump on that bandwagon and so should you! It’s an incredible perk. Some of the novels I like to read are hundreds and hundreds of pages long, and you’d better believe I'm not going to lug around huge tomes when I could slip a lightweight device in my purse instead!
It’s also great for when I am traveling or even just planning on reading during my daily lunch break and am feeling indecisive about what I want to read. I can carry a whole library of options in a small package! That’s powerful stuff.
3. It saves space
I owned my Kindle for a few years before I ever gave it a fair shot. I loved my paper books and had no real interest in reading e-books. But then, one fateful day, I ran out of space on my many, many bookshelves. That meant one thing: It was time to donate a bunch of books.
Anyone who loves to read will tell you that books are magical in part because when you read them, they become uniquely yours. They mark times in your life when a certain novel really spoke to you. They’re gifts from friends, or maybe some long-ago stranger wrote notes in the margins. They’re worse for the wear when you’ve really loved them, but you don’t mind a creased cover because it’s evidence of your love. Those are wonderful things, but they make it painful to get rid of books. I donated books that meant something to me, and it wrenched my heart a little bit, and when I had finally cleared up some real space on my shelf, I vowed I’d fill it only with books I’d never have need to get rid of.
My Kindle lets me keep that promise. I read books on my Kindle, and if I really love them enough to own them in paper, only then will I repurchase. My paper book collection remains a reasonable size, even as my ebook collection steadily grows.
4. It saves money
Ebooks aren’t always cheaper than paper books, but they frequently are—and if you pay attention to special deals, you can sometimes find ebooks on sale for about $1. Of course, it’s always nice to pay the extra few bucks to purchase a book at your local small bookstore when you can (trust me, they could use the money!) but for those times when you need truly cheap reading material, Kindle can be a godsend.
5. You’re addicted to screens, you maniac!
I’m not proud of this, but like many people who stare at a computer screen for countless hours of the day, I sometimes struggle to tear my gaze from my dopamine-triggering laptop and phone to… flip pages made out of paper. Once I’m in the zone, I’m thrilled to be reading, but it can be a tough transition. Most of the Kindle options don’t have true screens the way a tablet does, but instead use an e-ink display. This means that it’s easy on your strained eyes, but also feels a liiittle like you’re still staring at a screen. It’s a trick that lets my weak-willed brain sink into the reading experience without having to fight a strong compulsion to scroll through Facebook on my phone instead.
The bottom line:
If you love books, it’s okay to use and love a Kindle too. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up paper books—I submit my own massive paperback book collection as evidence—it just means you have another, convenient tool to feed your reading addiction. And that’s nothing to be ashamed about.