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To Kindle or not to Kindle?

  • Submitted: 1st August 2012

As you would rightly assume from reading this blog, I love reading and travelling. I’ve used books as inspiration and travel guides as I’ve lived and worked across various countries. As I’ve moved home various times I’ve always had a problem of how and where to store books and which ones to take with me on my travels.


It is not uncommon for me to parcel up books in boxes and due to the cost of postage, to send them surface mail back home to my mum’s house for collection at a later date. Needless to say, my poor mum is knee high in books. I’m expecting her to appear on the TV programme ‘Secret hoarders’ which is about people who find it difficult to get rid of unwanted items or just seem to collect everything and anything and no longer live in a house but a ‘storage area’.

Until I settle down (and subsequently have to live in an airport hanger) I have a problem:


I’ve always said no as I love books – the physical object of a book. I love holding a book in my hands and turning the pages. I love reading the printed word and putting my bookmark where I’ve left off, when I put the book down. And some people will find me weird for his but I love to smell the book – its pages, not always new, revealing a little of their former life. I imagine the workers in a old printing press lovingly creating the books and putting the pages together. These people are just as much part of the story as the author themselves.

How much do you love the ‘crack’ the spine makes when you open a new book for the first time. For ages, I was obsessed with not marking the book in any way and I would carefully open it up – not too far –  to ensure that the spine was still unmarked. I know this makes me sound a bit strange but now the marks make me smile as they show how much the book has been loved.

So if I buy a kindle and succumb to something I never thought I would, does this mean I lose the magic of opening a book and keeping them on the shelves as a testament to how much I have read and to have a written story record of where I have been and travelled?

I’m still undecided – as I reach out to read my latest purchase – all 650 pages of it, I look forward to the challenge of getting to the first 100 pages, and then the next 50 and then becoming fully immersed in its grip. Seeing the changing place of the bookmark ending one part of the journey as it marks the timeline through my latest literary grasp.

The Kindle certainly has a lot to live up. Although my suitcase and my heavy arms would certainly be thankful, I’m not sure I’m quite ready to make the jump into digital.

Maybe I could have both? Or would that be like cheating on your lifelong partner for someone younger/more hip/ flashier with his digital calling card?

The jury is still out.  While I’m waiting, I’ll pick up that paper back I bought earlier. Now where’s that bookmark?

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