Image by Kate Beaton (http://www.harkavagrant.com)

Yesterday’s list of reasons to hate the kindle got quite a lot of hits for comparatively little publicity, which is interesting.  Presumably it reflects the mood of the internet at present.  However, in the interests of impartiality (I still haven’t come down on either side of the fence) today I feel I probably ought to post some reasons why you should buy the kindle and love it more than your own children.  This inclination is one of the trials and tribulations of being a revisionist historian/journalist – one must always look at both sides of the fictitious coin.  Here goes. 

  1. Kindle gives you superpowers!  The superpower of improved literacy. 
  2. If you buy a stylish Kevlar case and strap it to your person, kindle can be used as a shield against muggers. This makes you feel 72% safer than the defense system of pushing your keys between your fingers as you walk alone down a dark alley at night.  Although as ever, abstinence is the best precaution to take.
  3. For those who rent their home (everyone under 40 in Edinburgh) or plan to move house at any time in the future ever, kindle will save a good couple of trips up and down the stairs lugging heavy boxes.  Of course you’ll probably compensate by buying an oak coffee table or mahogany dresser to fill up the space once utilised by book shelves/piles, and so will never appreciate the difference… but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
  4. When kindle takes over and we are no longer in thrall to musty old paper books, the valuable space currently taken up by libraries and bookshops can be used to house more important social endeavours like high end pashmina boutiques and yoga centres.
  5. If the UK TV advert is to be believed, a dog can chew on your kindle and it’ll be fine. Books are nowhere near as robust as that.
  6. Because the kindle is mainly good for text, as they gain popularity we can gradually phase out cover art and illustrations in novels.  This will help universities and colleges save money, because they can shut down whole art departments due to lack of demand.  This will be good for arty types in the long run, because they will be forced to get a real job instead of spending their days with their heads in the clouds; wasting our time and theirs by trying and failing to make something beautiful.  Good riddance.
  7. All your favourite celebrities have a kindle, and emulating celebrities is the best thing ever. 50-Cent has one custom made of rubies and emeralds, Paris Hilton has one made from Dalmatian fur, and Justin Bieber has one in the shape of a teddy that helps him get to sleep at night.  Because he is a tiny child, do you see?!  No?  Forget you.
  8. If you are the book equivalent of a music snob/hipster and love to be the first (or only) person in your social group to read something, kindle can help.  There are some pretty obscure things on there.
  9. Real books absorb smells, which is probably unhygienic and almost certainly a leading cause of disease. Kindle is much less porous and easier to clean, so you’ll never wind up re-reading something you loved twenty years ago and wondering how it retained that strange musk of baby sick. 
  10. Unlike stupid biodegradable books, kindle will last for generations.  Grandparents will pass them down to grandchildren and future historians will be able to look back at them and deduce all manner of things about our society. Kindle is unequivocally the BBFL of posterity.
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