Why I Don’t Like Reading Books

As a person who loves reading and has bought and read literally thousands of books, I never thought I’d say it, but I don’t like reading books anymore. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading stories, or novels, nonfiction, etc. – it’s that I don’t like reading books.  That’s right, the ink-on-paper all bound in one big lump of dead tree things.  I can’t stand them.

Ever since getting my Kindle I’ve become more and more accustomed to reading on its e-ink display. For a while it was all I read on (other than the computer, but I refuse to read full-length novels on a computer screen). Sure, at first it took a bit of getting used to: holding a hunk of plastic and not having the feel of paper beneath my fingers, but when I started reading a new book (who shall remain nameless), it simply was not available for Kindle – so I had to read it in dead-tree form.  I hated it.

Why? Mostly because of all the reasons I put forth a few months ago as to why you should buy a Kindle. I hate the nuisance of trying to hold the book open (I can just set my Kindle on the counter and read while I do anything, like brush my teeth). I hate that I’m stuck with whatever text size the publisher decided was appropriate for the book (again, it’s nice to set the book down, increase the font size, and read while I’m doing something else). I don’t like searching for something to use as a bookmark or even worse, losing my place when my son pulls the bookmark from its place in the book (the Kindle keeps track of where you left off).

But the biggest reason I don’t like reading books anymore is because of all the waste. Seriously, I generally read a book once and am done with it.  Then it either goes on my shelf or to someone else to read (and being a fan of content creation, I don’t particularly like the used book market, although I do succumb from time to time just to clear my shelves). Either way, there have been a lot of trees killed for my entertainment over the years – and with e-reader technology there’s absolutely no reason for this to continue.  Yes, the Kindle takes other forms of resources to create – but once it’s done it’s made it’s made, and it seriously uses very little electricity.

So this is a call-to-action for all of you writers and publishers out there.  Go put your book up on Kindle (I already did), or chances are I will not read it. It’s disappointing how many books I’ve come across lately that I want to read, but are not available on Kindle. And, since there are a lot of books out there, the ones that aren’t on Kindle are put on my list of books to read someday, when the publisher comes to its senses and does so. In the meantime, if you’re not on Kindle I’m skipping over you.

By the way, publishers, authors, etc. You’ll get a lot better royalty in e-books than in traditional print. Chew on that for a while.

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7 comments

  1. [...] friend and author, William Aicher, recently wrote about how he doesn’t like reading books anymore – the paper versions of them at least.  From a reader’s perspective I can see how this might [...]

  2. I’m certain this will happen to me when I finally break down and buy myself the Kindle. Of course currently it’s between the Kindle and feeding my girls so it might be awhile.

  3. I totally agree with you on this. In addition to the factors you cite, I find my mind’s connection with the author’s words is more intimate and less cluttered on the Kindle than with print. Perhaps it’s that I am looking at only one “page” at a time, or that the font is perfectly tailored to my eyesight and mood. I also read more actively on the Kindle because of the ease of looking up a word in the built-in dictionary or even doing a little remedial history study at wikipedia if I come across a reference that escapes me.
    I have interviewed 26 people so far on my weekly Kindle Chronicles podcast, and except for a very few (and they tended to be in the book publishing industry), they all admit to preferring Kindle reading to print. You are not alone!

  4. The reading experience is revolutionized when you used Kindle but I still stick to my paperback.

  5. Something else to consider is that the Kindle and Kindle content is only available in the US at the moment.

    As an Australian based indie author, my books are available in print on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/RealmShift-Alan-Baxter/dp/0980578205/ref=ed_oe_p and http://www.amazon.com/MageSign-Alan-Baxter/dp/0980578213/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226877823&sr=8-1 ) and as an ebook through smashwords ( https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376 including a Kindle compatible edition), but they’re not available on Kindle at Amazon. To publish through Kindle you need a US bank account – as an Aussie, I don’t have one.

    By writing off anything that you can’t get on Kindle, you’re cutting yourself off from a massive amount of quality overseas writing. Kindle will spread, I’m sure, but not very soon. We don’t even have an Australian Amazon yet, let alone an Australian Kindle.

  6. Kindles sit in a landfill for thousands of years,
    Books are bio-degradable

    Kindle devices, like other gadgets, are constructed of the same petro-chemicals that are heralded as so wasteful in plastic drinking bottles. Inside that device is a battery containing highly toxic ingredients, which doesn’t even begin to take into account that the device has to be recharged until the product wears out or becomes obsolete. A book, by contrast, never requires another ounce of drawdown on the electric (coal powered) grid once it has left the publisher’s warehouse. A print publication does not contain toxic parts, and it is even possible to use biodegradable, soy-based inks. A conventional book, magazine or newspaper will not end up in a Third World electronic scrap yard where children pick over the parts in search of something to resell. Books are not carcinogenic, whereas the components in many of our circuit boards are, not to mention the IQ diminishing effects of the lead content. A small child could rip up a newspaper and shove it into his or her mouth and you won’t have to call poison control. It ought to tell you something about how “green” a gadget is when you know that the innards of the device would be very, very harmful if ingested. Do you know, for example, that you are supposed to wash your hands after handling a batter, even a button cell that is designated for your watch? That is because these things are toxic. And that doesn’t even begin to account for the circuitry inside the device itself.

    And what about how much energy and wastes that is required to produce said kindle?

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