For many students the sheer horror of receiving the inevitable and exhaustive reading list at the beginning of each academic year causes us to recoil in dismay. It is a time when bank balances plummet and Blackwells seems to be steeped in the harsh glare of pound signs and poverty. That was until the Kindle saved my sorry soul.
Admittedly my first reaction to the Kindle was an irritable, “ptschh”; surely nothing could replace the joy of picking up an actual book. The smell of freshly printed pages, or library copies well-thumbed, crinkly and old, was an essential part of the reading process.
Yet the Kindle offers a vast array of delights which are slowly but surely discovered as successive days pass by. Being lightweight and compact, the Kindle is perfect for throwing in a bag for a long day’s slog at the library and decreases baggage weight from books considerably. The online Kindle store is expansive and even offers a range of free downloads. Works from the likes of Shakespeare, Austen or Dickens amongst innumerable others, can be downloaded for zero pennies. Not only that, but the Kindle has a dictionary which is both easy and intuitive to use; simply scroll down to a word on the screen that needs to be clarified, and bam! Definitions quite literally at your fingertips. Furthermore with a long-lasting battery life, plus an annotating and highlighting feature, the Kindle is the perfect study aid for students.
For those who are still sat firmly shaking their heads, stubbornly resisting the advancement of technology, the Kindle may serve as a sneaky psychological trick to encourage the younger generations to read. Society’s recent obsession with electronic gadgets and gizmos has rapidly accelerated over the last two decades, leaving the archaic notion of ‘reading’ (who does that anymore?) far behind. However, if the Kindle re-popularises reading and makes books attractive to younger children and even teens, then I’m firmly setting up pro-Kindle camp, and waving my Kindle flag.