My Affair with Kindle

The affair started at the beginning of my first year at the ANU (back in 2011). I didn’t see it coming and I didn’t think it would end the way it did. I still ponder about the “what if” question sometimes. The nostalgia lingers on a weak thread of love and hope. It was a despairing occasion, for both of us. To lose a loved one, because you cheated, is an unforgivable act. But if you asked me, even back then when the wound was still raw, would I do it, cheat again, for the other; I must confess that I wouldn’t hesitate to say “yes”.

Because I love you, Kindle. You are the queen of the Amazon jungle.

With the new digital age and being in the 21st century and all, it really comes as no surprise that e-readers are taking over the novelistic market of literature. Amazon is a current leader (nice try, Apple) in this ebooking phenomenon. Their Kindle is one of the best e-readers on the market with the use of an amazing Electronic Ink Pearl displaying technology.  I actually have no idea what this means, but I suspect the point of it is you don’t get that shiny glare most often seen when reading iPads. Storage space is also not a problem; one Kindle boasts a storing capacity of over 3,500 books – think of the endless possibilities! An entire library for less than 245 grams, meaning that you can easily slip it into your purse, man-bag or simply parade it triumphantly around campus while only using one stress-free hand – take that chemistry textbooks!

The longevity of the Kindle is also impressive. It can go un-charged for more than two months straight, based upon a daily usage of half an hour. The prices for the books are usually half of what you’d pay for paper back editions, and all your beloved classic novels are free for Kindle users –  from Dostoyevski to Dickens, it’s all for free! As for the Kindle itself, the price ranges from $79 to $139 depending on the model and its memory size (this price range does not include taxes and shipping).

Now a lot of you classicists reading this article will be like “Bitch, please. Real literati only read paperback.” I was once a skeptic too. Nevertheless, Kindle’s  lightness, its intelligent design and charismatic characteristics lured me and I eventually gave into it. We have become inseparable ever since. However, the love and appreciation certainly didn’t develop over night. Initially there was some tension and jealousy, but with time, I gradually cheated on the books more and more often.  Admittedly the free ebooks did influence my stingy student ego, but that didn’t make it any easier for me to let go. Take my words:

“It will be hard, there will be drama; but the outcome is a lover like no other. “ “But there’s nothing like the smell of a new book and the crisp pages of a new novel” the stubborn traditionalists persist. To them I say: “try eating French-fries under a dead dry tree.” That’s what we ebookers do to remind ourselves of the ones we once loved although it’s hard not to bring Kindle along for the occasion.

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