Here I was feeling battered by an argument I’ve heard and read about many times before. Fair enough, I thought and continued to eat my lunch.
All I’d said was how much I loved my Kindle; I mean come on guys, it’s not like I mentioned a nationwide book burning saga.
It’s not even an “either or” question.
It’s the “either or mentality” that really puzzles me. A kindle, a physical book, or a audiobook aren’t a mutually exclusive thing.
It’s the story that matters.
The story is the juice; the story is the petrol that keeps the car rolling along at 70 mph; the story is the soul of what – we ravenous readers want after all. Does it really matter if it’s told on a piece of paper, a computer screen or through a speaker?
The Guardian recently published a article titled, Readers absorb less on Kindles than on paper, study finds. You can probably guess from the title that the study found that readers using an e-reader were worse than readers with a physical book at recalling events from a mystery story.
Don’t get me wrong but it’s an interesting factoid – one that may, in time be brought up in a pub quiz – but one that also doesn’t bother me in the slightest. We’ve all done it; Got to the bottom of a page… [a little pause] … and then you think, What the hell have I just read?
This happens, not just on a Kindle but with a physical book, audiobook or in fact when your partner talks to you about their day. This isn’t anything to worry about, it’s just little old life trying to impose on your “quiet time.”
So what do we do? Roll the sleeves up and go back to the top of the page (or re-wind in the case of an audiobook)
So, it’s a mystery as to why people segregate themselves into little groups. “I only read YA,” or “I only listen to Indie music,” or “Oh no, I couldn’t read a book on a kindle!”
Just embrace everything (within reason that is) All three mediums mentioned here hold great and different ways to explore literature. So here are a few benefits for each:
- The majority of the classics are free to download
- You can take a vast amount of reading material on holiday without using up your precious EasyJet carry on space.
- It’s practical (It’s also useful when you don’t want an ‘epic’ straining your arm. I recently made this mistake when I bought Stephen King’s IT in paperback – All 1,336 pages – meant I had to read at home)
The Physical Book
- Adds that air of authenticity to the work
- Is great because it’s easy to pass onto friends or family.
- There is no better feeling for a literaturefiend than finding a book that you’ve been looking for; in either a second hand store or tucked away at the back of a dusty library shelf.
- It also enhances the bathing experience. If the book it gets wet, who cares; just sling it on a radiator.
- Easily accessible on a smart phone, tablet or computer.
- If you get a good narrator it can enhance the story.
- Great for a bike ride, car journey, or just aimlessly walking the streets.
And, of course everyone has a preferred way of ingesting a good old story, but placing yourself in the “Kindle,” “Physical Book,” or “audiobook” camp limits the literaturefiend’s options. Surely there is a place in this world for all mediums of storytelling.
“Story” being the optimum word.
For it’s the story that gets the reader horny, sad, frightened, angry, happy and inspired.
The story is what we – the reader – want to survive, just like they did long before books were even printed. Just feel lucky that we live in a time where we can hunt that book down in a store, receive it with the click of a button or listen to it in the dark.
Did you enjoy this article? Did you hate it? How do you feel about the different mediums of storytelling? Whatever your opinion literaturefiend would like to here it.