The Kindling


“Get real,” she said. “No one’s going to spend time reading bulky books in future. Why would they, when we already have audio books and kindle?”

My friend and I were having coffee at a famous fast food chain. We had left the office for lunch but decided to grab a muffin and an espresso instead.

When someone said such a thing, I’d flare back at them without a second thought. But now I held my tongue. My friend made sense, and I hated myself for admitting it. I said nothing, however. My coffee lingered under my tongue sending shots of bitterness through my system.

I love reading physical books. And I’ve admitted more times than I know, that despite the Kindle app’s animation to turn pages, an ebook just doesn’t feel the same way. But I’m reading four or five books now, and all of them are on my mobile. It’s easy because I never know when I’d get the time to read a page or two, and my phone’s just lying there in my pocket.

But I’m also against the digital revolution that’s almost killed paperbacks. It saddens me that leather bounds are now classed as exclusive collector’s items.

Books are books. They’re made up of words that can twist and tug at the deepest of heartstrings, and not antiques held together with age-old rust and dust.

Books are books. They’re living things filled with opinions and teachings. They can weigh in when you’re down, though sometimes even weigh too much when you’re carrying a burden.

Books are books. They are a mark of history written. They’re proof that people lived through them; they behold fingerprints and memories of thousands of enlightened minds who’ve cherished every page, every word, and every curve of the “g”s in them.

Whereas Kindle is cold. It’s a case that displays what it contains, and it contains a new thing every day.

Kindle is just a Kindle. It’s sleek to the touch, fits into your arms, and easy to carry.

Kindle is just a Kindle. It’s got hundreds of voices screaming for your attention, and if you’re ever appalled by the violence in one page, you can always find some zen in another.

The Kindle is just a Kindle. It’s versatile with multiple stories and multiple stands. It will neither weigh in for you nor weigh you down.

Kindle is kindling in the name only. It kindles not one but many emotions, which is good for some but too many for most. Bulky books rekindle spirits. There’s no escape from the secrets within a bound book. You either take all it in or give it all up. There’s no intervention, and there’s no mid-ground.

But even as all these thoughts rushed through my head, I still kept my mouth shut. As much as I hated it, ebooks and Kindles are the new way of reading.

With the rise of 140 characters, facebook-like attention spans, and books you can listen to while watching silent movies, many people think hot chocolate and the sofa near the foggy window is more suitable for the family kitten. My friend was right. In future, not many people would read heavy books. We’d intake lines and lines of words like we inhale air. And like air, most of it wouldn’t even reach our brains. It’s the age of the Kindle and unkindled souls.



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