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Margaret Says No To the Kindle

Photo by Flikr user kodomut.
Photo by Flikr user kodomut.

Over the past few months, I have become increasingly aware of the fact that Kindles are everywhere: clutched in people’s hands, stuffed in backpacks and toted around on airplanes and buses. I am, however, going to disagree with what appears to be the majority of humanity and make what now seems to be a shocking statement: I hate the Kindle.

Now, I don’t disregard the fact that the Kindle is a nifty piece of technology, or that the device lightens your load when you’re traveling. However, I find that its many defects—namely, its quest to ruin the joys of life—greatly outweigh any benefits it may be said to possess.

First of all, the appearance of the Kindle on the consumer scene has led in large part to the death of bookstores, and thus all that is good in the world. In their wild frenzy to purchase books from the Internet, enough people have ceased to buy books from actual bookstores, such that these stores have begun to drop like flies. The Borders near my house was turned into a Ross store, and the wonderfully cavernous Barnes & Noble in the Westside Pavilion is now an unnecessarily gigantic furniture store. Now, instead of being able to wander through a comforting, safe atmosphere that allows you to lose yourself in a haze of ideas and fantasies, you can only trot through a fluorescent, gray prison, trying to decide which seriously hideous couch cushion you would like to purchase. (Yes, I am a little bitter).

With a Kindle, you no longer have the option to browse through bookshelves infused with the scent of fresh paper, looking aimlessly for anything that stands out. Sometimes, browsing can result in a wonderful surprise—something that is lost with the Kindle.

Secondly, every time I look at a Kindle for more than 10 minutes, my eyes want to fall out of my head and die in a corner. Seriously, your eyes were not meant to stare at a screen for an extended period of time.

Third, the Kindle shows such an annoyingly small piece of only one page that there is no way to get a feel for the actual dimensions of the book and the story; it feels like you’re dangling from a rope that’s about to break in the middle of space. (I’m guessing). Moreover, the Kindle denies you the simple pleasure of turning a page or bookmarking your spot.

And lastly, what the heck do you do if you want to flip back 50 pages in the novel?? You’ll be sitting at your desk wanting to die for 5 hours. Okay, maybe not for that long. But still long enough, perhaps, to make you want to buy an actual, tangible book.