I recently wrapped my latest experiment: kindling. Not the dry sticks of wood easily ignited for the purposes of making s’mores, but rather the experience of reading on a kindle*. When my friend first offered to let me borrow his kindle, I wrinkled my nose in distaste, ready to denounce the latest in the wave of computers pretending to be other things,** but then I remembered what Jesus said, about how Thou shalt not judge the kindle in thy neighbor’s eye, if thou hast not removed the kindle from thine own eye, so I decided to accept my friend’s magnanimous offer and launch an investigation into the kindle. And you, my Readers, are the first to receive exclusive coverage of my findings.
*Kindle: (noun) A computer that, having witnessed the savage overthrow of the paperback book, has entered the Witness Protection Program and now masquerades as, inexplicably, a paperback book. To throw the paperback police off its trail, most likely.
**iPod: Computer pretending to be radio; iPhone: Computer pretending to be phone; iPad: Computer pretending to be weird flat screen of no use; Kindle: Computer pretending to be book.
In the following expose, I report my findings objectively with the highest journalistic integrity you’d expect from a speech therapist with no background in journalism.
The Kindle: Pros & Cons
• The kindle has internet capability. This is awesome, because not enough things do these days.
• I no longer need a tray or endtable for my coffee. I can actually hold my kindle in one hand, cradle my coffee mug in the other, and click the “next page” button with either my chin or the excess flesh on my giant thumb.
• Flexible text size. I can magnify the text until only a few words are visible on the screen, and I can subsequently brag, “Look how fast I read that page!”
• High risk of electrocution. While reading my kindle in the bath, I dropped it into the water (and quite frankly, I’d appreciate if you wouldn’t extend this information to my friend from whom I borrowed it), and this could have led to a disastrous and untimely end for my kindle. And myself. Also don’t take your kindle scuba-diving or on your jet-ski.
• Disorientation. One false click and you’re trapped in a maze of menus accidentally purchasing the entire Harry Potter series when all you want is to get back to the page in your current series where you find out if Katniss is going to end up with Peeta or Gale.
• Speaking of pages. There are none. So when you misclick, you can’t navigate back to a specific page number. And you can’t brag about how many pages you’ve read. You can only say, “I’ve already read 7% of my book!”
• Bookmarks don’t work. So despite tireless attempts to mark my spot by placing a bookmark on the screen, I was thwarted by the complete absence of pages.
The Traditional Paperback Book: Pros & Cons
• It has pages, so bookmarks are an effective means of keeping one’s place.
• All books are available as books, but not all books are available as kindles. If you’re having trouble following this logic, it’s much like how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are cardboard boxes, and no rectangles can be triangles without shapeshifting.
• No danger of electrocution, except for that one time when I tried reading in the bathtub while straightening my hair and texting on my cell phone.
• Lack of space. In the absence of regular trips to Powells to unload one’s book collection, books quickly fill and eventually overtake one’s living rooms, bedrooms, and even the bathroom. I recently had to sell my toilet to make room for a bookcase in that exact spot. I really need to pee.
• Death. While one’s head remains stable while reading the kindle, everybody is familiar with the slight shift in neck position as one transitions from scanning the left page of a book to the right side. With these slight shifts happening as often as several times per minute, a frequent reader is at high risk of Spontaneous Neck Snap, wherein one’s head actually pops right off after one too many slight shifts. While practiced readers are skilled in shifting their books rather than their heads, no reader is entirely protected from Spontaneous Neck Snap.
And there you have it, Readers, from my (friend’s) kindle to your brain, all you need to know in order to make an uninformed decision whether the kindling experience is right for you. Comment below for your chance to win a FREE TRAINING VIDEO on how to hold the kindle. Comment TWICE and receive a free booklet entitled, “How to Tell If Your Kindle is Upside Down” AND an unlimited subscription to my blog.