I love my Kindle but…

…I can’t envision completely abandoning real books. I love going to bookstores, picking up a book, opening to a random page and finding out what sort of world the author has created for me. There is something to be said for proper bookstores that create a wonderful environment for booklovers to while away an hour or two or three. This makes me think of bookstores like Waterstone’s. The very first time I encountered Waterstone’s was in Edinburgh. It was love at first sight.

That same rush of falling in love, with a book and a bookstore, is something that’s lacking when I buy books for my Kindle. I have a subscription to the Philadelphia Inquirer on my Kindle so I can always know what’s happening in my hometown, even when I am away from my computer. I’ve read some fantastic (and some not-very-fantastic) fiction on it. I even have a special little mock-croc cover for it to protect it when it’s in my handbag. I love the portability of my Kindle–I take it with me whenever I am traveling–it’s crossed the Atlantic three times now, been to Italy, Poland, the UK…but then the battery runs down and I have to charge it before I can read again.

With a real book, the battery never runs out–the story simply ends and I can choose to  revel in the story a little longer as I muse over its plots and twists, or hop into the next book in my neverending queue of books waiting to be read. And I love how real books smell. There’s something so scintillating about the smell of a new book…yes, I am a literature nerd. I’m a bookworm. I am all those “slurs” lazy people (yes, I freely admit that I think people who don’t read or claim they don’t have time to read, yet they have time for some of the trite on TV like “The Bachelor” or “Jersey Shore” are lazy) have for those of us who like to read.

So it saddens me when I hear how Americans are abandoning bookstores and not bothering to read. It depresses me when I think of how many bookstores I’ve seen disappear over the years. As much as I like the convenience of online bookstores, I still want a bricks-and-mortar bookstore that I can walk into and browse in. And I still want the weight of a real book in my hands. Nothing can replace that pleasure for me…not even my Kindle.