Four reasons not to own a Kindle

Alice Gormley 2 December 2012

1. They’re inessential

However you try to justify it, you don’t need a Kindle. Having a large reading list does not necessitate this investment; Confucius is known to have spent 20 hours a day immersed in ancient texts, and funnily enough, the system of ethics for which he is revered didn’t founder at this hurdle. You probably own a Filofax, and one of those pens with dictaphones in them. That’s you, thinking your life is so hectic it defies systems of classification that have been in place since the Enlightenment, happy to waste everybody’s time pretentiously and pig-headedly complicating the fairly easy alternative of putting it on a piece of paper, or in your memory. That’s you, arthritically wielding your foul phallus of an implement, sipping contentedly from a Thermos flask – because you’re really impressed with them too, and how they keep things hot, or cold, without you having to tell them – and thinking you’ve pulled a longer straw than the rest of us. You haven’t; you don’t need them, or your Kindle.

2. They’re organic

First came the Kindle. Then the Kindle Paperwhite. Then the Kindle Paperwhite 3G. And now, the Kindle Fire. This means that if I did add this lugubriously grey slate of lost literati to my possessions, it won’t be long before it falls, wretchedly and infuriatingly, into obsolescence. This is because the Kindle is an accessory, and next autumn it just won’t suit you at all, but you might as well give it to your local Sue Ryder now, because it fits a bit snugly on your distended ego anyway.

3. They’re replacing children’s books

It is bad enough that adults are prostituting themselves to this soulless innovation, anaemically poking Philippa Gregory’s latest quasi-historical whimper to life as they miserably masticate a Marks and Spencer’s ready meal for one. Well, it just got worse: according to recent advertisements in which two year olds are pictured smiling adorably upon Mr Happy’s adventures, favourites such as Postman Pat and Peppa Pig are now available in Kindle form. Buy your child a Kindle, and you are endorsing his probably undetectable but definite demise into Mr Intellectually Stunted.

4. They’re ‘easy to hold in one hand’

This claim says it all about the Kindle. The modern reader is a set of scales; Woolf, Joyce, James and Wodehouse teeter precariously on one arm, while a Primark bag volcanic with tat, a greasy KFC and an engaged Blackberry swing from the other. This is a grotesquely utilitarian attitude to life’s intellectual indulgences that you, hungry to cripple a happy sprawl of pleasantly pungent biblioteca into this depressing slab of broken dreams, perpetuate. Get your life back

Alice Gormley