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Student Contributions

Chris Weale
Upper Sixth
East Town

The Kindle: Saviour or Substitute?

The Kindle: Saviour or Substitute?

Hailed as the substitute for the paperback, the Kindle has often been depicted as another example of technology’s increasing stronghold over the literate population. However that is exactly where such sceptics are mistaken.

The Kindle, or any other reading tablet, is not meant to be technological. Yes, it facilitates the purchase of books via Wi-Fi, but the screen — the method of reading — works like any paper or parchment one might hold in the hand. There is no colour and consequently what some people consider a defect is in fact its underlying beauty.

Simplicity works.

It is perhaps most irritating that people refuse to accept that this device encourages the intellectual endeavour of immersing one’s self in a novel, exploring its world and learning. If we imagine that the Kindle didn’t exist, people would be bound to a process of trawling, endlessly, in bookshop after bookshop, for the appropriate holiday reading. The little Kindle eradicates such a problem. Hundreds, thousands, of books are stored in one place — permanently. This, in addition, is to neglect the reduction in size from a stack of books to one sleek, light-weight device that fits in your pocket.

To repudiate the value of the Kindle would, in my book, constitute negligence of the highest order. It is a device which promotes pragmatism; during those moments between one activity and another, during the long wait in the car and during the wait in the Christmas-Shopping queues, one will be able to read. Without the need for two hands for operation, the Kindle compensates for the cosmopolitan reader; the busy, rushed and enthusiastic reader.

The book does live on.

5 December 2011

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