My boyfriend asked me if I want a Kindle for Hanukkah this year. “What?” I responded, almost offended. “Why?”
I felt horrible immediately, because he was just trying to be attentive. You see, I’ve been reading a lot lately, and he thought this would support those efforts.
I then lovingly told him how I once swore I would NEVER own a Kindle. When I read a book, I want to hold it in my hand, feel the cover, flip through the pages.
There’s just something extra relaxing about taking a break from technology when you read. And in this day and age, there’s almost a romantic aspect to the printed word (which I miss, more and more). If I became a Kindle-owner, I’d become a traitor to my kind: traditional writers everywhere.
But then my boyfriend said something to me:
“I think Kindles have revitalized our society’s interest in reading novels. Without Kindles, I don’t think people would read as much. We wouldn’t be as literate.”
Hmm. Pretty darn good point.
Friend or Foe?
That got me thinking. Americans love their gadgets. I mean seriously, our own president has claimed addiction to his Blackberry. Every time a new iPhone comes out, people storm the stores. We don’t just want computers, we want T.V.s, phones, and newspapers all wrapped into one.
So, is it possible that Kindles have reignited our country’s excitement over literature?
- We hear a lot of talk about the fall of book publishing.
- Hardbacks are giving way to e-books.
- Authors are expected to market themselves more and more.
- I’ve heard mutters that writers (novelists and authors) may someday become obsolete.
Is it possible that, because of Kindles, novelists and authors may still have a very solid future? Perhaps, the Kindle is securing our ability to be relevant in this technology-driven world. And taking this one step further, perhaps without gadgets like the Kindle, writers would be struggling more than ever.
Now I’m reconsidering. Maybe I would like to try a Kindle for Hanukkah.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is the Kindle helping secure our relevancy as writers, novelists and authors? Or is it helping to kill our profession, our craft, and our demand?