Saturday, November 12, 2011

E-Readers: Ruining the Reading Experience

Everyone enjoys a good book. The turning of the pages, the new book smell, the printed ink; all componets of a good read. But it seems now, with the technology of the Kindle, the Nook, and other E-Readers like it now threaten the traditional reading experience. They make even reading go digital. Though going digital maybe cheaper, and the new trened now, I believe that reading should be kept to the pages of a book, and not the digital pages of a Kindle.
For me personally, I feel like I cannot connect with the digital pages of a Kindle. They seem so cold, uninviting, and heartless, while the pages of a real book are warm, tender, and caring. Reading on a Kindle makes me no be able to connect with the book, no matter how good the book may be. The turning of the page keeps me on edge, like what will happen next, while clicking the heartless buttons on a Kindle.

I'll be the first to admit, the technology of the Kindle is pretty awesome. Some models show each page in a non harsh way that is easy on your eyes, due to no back lights, or the thing that makes screens glow. The glow of a computer screen makes it hard for me to read manga online for hours at at a time, though the Kindle screen is easy for my eyes. Although no backlighting is great, I am sometimes left in the dark about what I'm supposed to use at night in order to read the Kindle. For a book, the answer is simple, just use a flash light, or a screen with back lighting, or in extreme cases, candle light. But for a Kindle, the question arises: Can I use a flashlight to read it, or will it act weird, like using a flashlight to see on an LCD screen?

Along with the fact of I cannot connect with the book, I like the feeling of being able to mark my place in a book by dog earing the pages. Even though it's a great debate among readers whether you should dog ear or not, I believe in it. However, with a Kindle, you have to rely on the fact that it will keep your place for you, and that someone will not mess up your spot. True, people can do that with real books, but you can always tell the last place it was marked because of the way the page was bent. With digital marking, there is no way to trace the last page you were on.

One of the reasons I am encouraged to get a Kindle (Which I won't) is due to the fact books take up space. Let's face it: People who love to read usually have book cases filled with books. (In my case manga) I like the feeling of having those books over run my house because I know I can lend them out to people, and usually get them back in prime condition. With a Kindle, you can't lend those books out without lending out the whole system, and if you do that, you're out of books to read. Although there is a chance someone would steal your books, I believe the chance with a Kindle is higher because it is a more expensive, newer piece of technology, and electronic.

Also, my biggest complaint about the Kindle (unless they have upgrades this with newer models) is that it can't   read manga, or Japanese comic books. As an otaku, I'll admit to the fact I have more manga books than real books on my book case, they over run my house, and I read them constantly. With the original Kindle, you can't load manga to it, and I think that it would be slightly awkward to read it. Would you press the buttons to the right to go "forward" in the book, or to the left to keep with traditional page turning? Also, since the Kindle does not display color, the color pages which I love so dearly would probably not be able to be shown.

Albeit all my complaints about the Kindle, and E-Readers, I will give them one positive thing: They make books affordable because you don't have to pay for the ink, the paper, the publisher, and other stuff required in making the book. The digitalization of the book makes it cheaper, and usually a book will cost about three or four dollars, a good idea for any of us going through hard economic times, which it feels like all of us are.

The Kindle is a revolutionary idea of taking books, and making them digital, but in that movement, i feel like some of the meaning behind reading is lost. You can read how ever you want though, whether is be a book or a Kindle, as long as you read, then you are just making your self better, though I prefer books.

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