For thousands of years stories, long and short, have been recorded with paper and a pen and have developed into the books we know today. But with the recent technological explosion, seeing technology take over every part of our lives, somehow even the most old fashioned of objects, the book, has been transformed and carried into a new era of e-reading with The Kindle leading the charge.
The Kindle allows its users to store up to one thousand four hundred books, download books wherever they are in sixty seconds and carry their entire library around in a sleek and lightweight piece of tech.
It can also be seen as the killer of the humble book, replacing literature in its printed form. But what will happen to the libraries? I found myself worrying. I quickly kept that rather geeky comment to myself and considered my bias. I may be biased as I consider myself a bit of an “old fashion reader”. I like to hold my books, turn the pages myself and see my bookcase full of…well books. Although I don’t own a Kindle myself, my phone does possess Kobo, a similar if not the same version of the Kindle. At first I found the convenience of it all amazing, in one day I could read so much. A plethora of books was always sitting waiting for me in my pocket when someone was late, the queue was too long or the urge to read struck me. Within a day or two Jane Eyre was read. All from filling in the small gaps I had in my day in which I would normally spend idling about my phone in boredom. The Kindle can offer avid book readers so much more than the simple printed pages of the classic book. Convenience, storage and a snazzy new gadget, what more could you want?
But for a passionate reader and literature student like myself I find it sad to see books in their printed form reduced to the screen. Curling up with a screen just isn’t the same; you can’t fold down the corners, highlight the interesting words or scribble in the margin. But this got me thinking, although the wave of electronic reading that’s currently sweeping book lovers everywhere does appear to be replacing the printed book, in a way it has also saved the written word. Before the invention of the Kindle, books were somewhat “going out of fashion”. People preferred their stories to be delivered through film, TV or music. The written word itself was dying out. This could be down to the image obsessed society’s perception of the bookworm or the need for information to be delivered quickly, effortlessly and through some piece of technology. Probably a combination of the two. And so the Kindle was born. Bringing literature back into the modern society through the most accessible and acceptable form, technology. It has, in a way, preserved the art of reading. The craze of ereading has not only saved stories, but magazine and newspapers are now making the jump from print to screen, and so far making it successfully. Who knows, in a few years time maybe every platform for the written word will be presented to you through the screen rather than off the page. The question is: is this a jump we want?