A lot has been written about paper vs digital. I thought I had seen all arguments, but yesterday I read an article that made me laugh because it presented a list of advantages of reading on Kindle that I hadn’t thought of before. The list appeared in the Times of India and mostly included the well known advantages of digital reading, but then it said this:
2. No one can borrow
For book lovers, one of the major issues is that they forget who they had lent their books to. It is tough to remember from a library of hundreds of books. Kindle, however, becomes your own personal library.
I thought it was very funny to see this listed as an advantage, because I’ve often seen the fact that you can’t pass along an ebook listed as a disadvantage. The article went on with:
9. No wear-and-tear
Even if you maintain your books with utmost care, the pages of the books fade away with time. There is a risk of the books getting wet and are even prone to termite problems. With Kindle, you will not face these issues.
Well thought off! If you love pristine books, nothing is better than ebooks. I live in the Netherlands and had never heard of termite problems related to libraries, but apparently in India that’s a huge problem. I can also imagine that if you live in a tropic climate with high humidity that it is a huge problem to keep your books dry and termite free. High humidity also is a problem for electronics of course, but termites will probably not be interested in your Kindle. And finally there is the terrible fear:
11. Fear of being judged
At several occasions, people don’t want to reveal what they are reading publicly (since the cover of the book tells it all). Kindle becomes your secret friend. It doesn’t have a cover or a name. and hence, you are saved from being judged too.
I knew about the English idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but perhaps it should be “don’t judge a reader by his book cover.” I also wonder if there already is name for this fear. The fear of being judged by your cover. Sounds like something Woody Allen could make a movie about. If someone knows if there’s actually a name for this phobia, or if you’re good with latin and can come up with a good name, please let me know.