First, it happened with my two teenage boys a couple of years ago. I gave each one my husband’s and my old Kindles after buying new ones for us. They were thrilled. Six months later I found the Kindles in their night table drawers gathering dust. When I asked them why they weren’t using them, they told me that they preferred to read real books.
I didn’t, couldn’t, understand them back then. I’ve been a Kindle customer since the very first one came out. I loved, still love, the idea of being able to buy a book and start reading it the second after someone recommends it. I loved, still love, the idea of taking as many books as I want for my summer vacation without the bulk or the weight.
Besides this, I love technology and I’m an early adopter, buying the latest things before most people which is why I currently have a Kindle Oasis. It’s great, nice size, easy to hold, comfortable page turning. Yet, more and more it frequently stays in my night table drawer. Perhaps the dawning of my realization that I’ve been “dekindling” happened recently when I bought the required books for an executive coaching program I’m doing on Kindle. I read them, then placed an order for the physical books.
Today, I wanted to find an engrossing page-turner, began looking on bestseller lists. Yet, soon after I dropped the search. I wanted to be able to buy the actual book and not a Kindle download. I spoke to my brother about this recently when he showed me a book he had just bought at Barnes & Noble. I asked him about the Kindle Paperwhite I gave him a couple of years ago for his birthday. He confessed that, lately, he has been buying actual books.
Is this happening to a lot of people? More importantly, why is it happening to me, the family geek and up to not long ago a loyal Kindler? I have a theory. We spend so much time on our screens that when faced with the choice of yet another one vs. the pleasures that books bring: touching, smelling, actually seeing how far we’ve read, we go for the multisensorial choice.
Maybe, considering our technological and other vulnerabilities, we’re also choosing to go back to simpler things, to those that can’t get hacked or run out of battery.
Speaking of choice, maybe it doesn’t have to be a mutually exclusive one for me. I can choose to buy physical books most of the time, except during holidays when my Kindle and the downloaded 3 or 4 books that I plan to read take up the least possible amount of space.
As it turns out, my family’s dekindlelization has rekindled my love of books. Another reason to love my Kindle, even if I use it less.