Kindles: Can You Convince Me? {Lisa}

Author: Lisa Soeno

I have always loved books. When I was little I used to pretend my bedroom was a library and would create paper tickets to put inside all my books to stamp. My love for reading clearly came through in the careers advice test thingy that everyone had to do in high school, because it suggested that my ideal job was librarian (I don’t think I admitted this to anyone because being a librarian was just not cool). And even though it’s hard to find time to pick up a book these days, it’s still one of my favourite ways to relax. We even named our little girl after the Lyra from the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

I love the feel and smell of books, the way you can lend them and pass them on through the generations. My dad taught me to respect books (I am guilty of corner-turning, but only on my own copies), and I think it’s such an honour when someone offers you a book to borrow. Also, some books are just beautiful. Like the copies of Heidi, Little Women and Anne of Green Gables above.

However recently I have been wondering whether to invest in a Kindle. I’ve downloaded quite a few books on my iPhone which have been brilliant for the train journey to work. There is no way I would pack a bulky book in my handbag, and reading an actual book whilst standing up on crowded public transport is nigh-on impossible.

An iBook is also great when I am struggling to get to sleep and want to read to switch off, but don’t want to disturb Rich’s beauty sleep by putting my bedside light on. I also like the effortlessness of the built-in dictionary function – I would never bother to consult a real life dictionary whilst reading a paperback. However the text in iBooks is so small that it surely cannot be good for my eyes. I know it’s possible to make the font size bigger but that means less words per page and having to constantly turn the page…#firstworldproblems

So what do you think, is a Kindle a worthwhile investment? Do you prefer book books or e-readers? Am I just terribly old fashioned in my love for paperbacks? And were anyone’s careers advice test results accurate?!

If you’re a fellow book lover, do pop over to Rock My Family today to find out which Roald Dahl books are our favourites here at Rock My Limited and to indulge in some Roald-Dahl-themed dirty enabling.

Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
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79 thoughts on “Kindles: Can You Convince Me? {Lisa}

  1. Hi Lisa, if your love of paperbacks is uncool, then so am I!! (I was a librarian at school and I LOVED it) I’ve always loved books, so much so that I used to be very upset if I didn’t receive one for Christmas as a child! I love reading, but I love to read an actual book. I’ve tried a Kindle after winning one as a prize at work, but just couldn’t get on with it. I like to feel the pages, sad I know…. Plus we have the most beautiful Waterstones where we live, it’s in a grade 2 listed building that I’m sure was a church in times gone by, so I enjoy nothing more than whiling away an hour or two choosing a book. (One of the few true indulgences I allow my self since having a child). Totally understand the appeal of a kindle for travelling etc but it’s not for me…. Also, reading your iPhone in bed is never a good way to switch off, there’s always the desire to just check Instagram or Twitter before you go to sleep… And I’m so happy that my little girl Edie seems to have inherited my love of reading – a lift the flap book would never work on a kindle either ? xx

    1. Hi Danielle!

      I still ask Rich for a book every Christmas – I think he struggles a bit to choose one!

      Good point re Waterstones – there’s also a really lovely one in Birmingham. And yey to our little girls inheriting our love for books x

  2. Hi Lisa,

    I was the same as you, I loved the feel of a book in my hand and never ever thought I would convert.

    However, a few years when we were packing for our honeymoon, my husband looked at my pile of 8 paperbacks that needed to get into our already over flowing case – and said ‘You have to invest in a kindle!’

    So I did and haven’t looked back….best thing I did!
    You can get best sellers for 99p over on Amazon which is so much cheaper than buying a book!
    So, I would say do it! xx

  3. I am anti kindle purely because I think it would be the end of me buying real books and I don’t like the idea of that. I am and have always been a book nerd! I love it when people choose me a book as a gift and now I have a little person I also love it when people pass down or recommend books their children have loved. However, I don’t do a long commute and my husband could sleep through an earthquake (or our daughter crying for an hour and a half between 11 and 12.30 which happened just last night!) so I don’t share your motivations! They’re not very aesthetically pleasing though.. You’d have to find an awesome cover for it!

    Also, being a librarian sounds like an awesome job now I’m older…

  4. I love books too- the feel, the smell, the way they look. Sorry Marie Kondo but every single one of my books is an old friend (I think Anne of GG says that of the books that move into her married home?) and they all spark joy. There is nothing like a trip to the bookshop either.

    But I love my kindle. For holidays- I now never take the heavy hand luggage stuffed with books, a saviour in these carry on only days. I can indulge my guilty passion for historical romance novels without cluttering up my house with charity shop Mills and Boons read in an hour and abandoned. And when I finished a book while breastfeeding at 3am I could immediately buy the next in the series- I read the whole of Poldark this way, all 12 of them! But I only have the first four to keep…. And all that cash went to Amazon and not my local bookshop…

    So pros and cons. But more of the former than the latter.

    1. Lucy S – Anne of Green Gables was one of my FAVOURITE series of books when I was little.

      I can totally see the sense of getting a Kindle for holidays. I spent a year travelling when I was younger and I reckon a Kindle would have been a god send – lugging around a paper book with all my possessions was a pain but a necessity! x

      1. I think they grow with you too. Spoiler alert but when she struggles with the grief of losing a child and thinking perfect Gilbert might be being less than perfect I only love the books more. Enjoy digitally or in print ??

  5. I have always been a huge book lover and totally anti iBooks until I fell pregnant and realised there was no way I could keep lugging around the latest Booker winner along with my giant bump. So I bought a second-hand one from a friend and can honestly say I haven’t looked back. It’s so convenient and I can basically transport a whole library around with me (amazing for flights and holidays). However, I ALWAYS then buy the actual physical book if I’ve loved it after reading it electronically, so effectively I’m now buying books I love twice – if that’s not supporting the publishing industry, I don’t know what is!

    1. Laura I love the fact that you buy the actual book if you enjoyed the electronic version! – Do you always read it again though? x

  6. I’ve been through the same dilemma. How could I give up on books, I love nothing more then finding a book shop and perusing it for hours and I’ve got two book cases stacked with books.
    But then I won a Kindle, my reading rate has gone through the roof!
    It’s always with me because it fits so perfectly in my handbag, no arm ache because it’s lighter than most books and i got it a waterproof case so no worrying about getting dropped in the tub. The dictionary function makes me seem much clever to my husband, because I’ve stopped asking him if he knows what certain words mean.
    I read every book i purchase now, rather than having 40-50% of my collection unread.
    I will admit I’ve since streamlined my book collection (I still have one & a half book cases) bit I have still brought a few cookery & second hand books (the ones I really loved reading on the Kindle) because i wanted them on book case and be able to lend them to my mom.
    I really wouldn’t be without it now, but will always continue to buy books.

    1. You’ve clearly got this Kindle business downpat Victoria. Lol-ing at the dictionary function making you seem cleverer to your hubby 🙂

  7. I am anti-kindle – I love having a physical book in my hand whilst reading – and having them on the shelf to look at/choose what to read next. I do love books and have been an avid reader since I was very young so I don’t think I will ever give up books themselves.
    Plus being lent a book by someone because they have loved it and really want you to read it is far more personal than downloading a recommended book to your e-reader.
    BUT I do see the convenience of kindle for the commute (I have shoved a hefty book into my handbag before) and also for long holidays when you have luggage limit. Example – I will soon be off on a 2 week holiday abroad – I am going to need a LOT of books – this is the closest I have ever been to actually considering a kindle as an option – or I could sacrifice my holiday shoe weight allowance for extra books 😀

    (I can’t even remember what my careers advice results were – so they must have been underwhelming lol)

    1. Ha ha! I’m pretty sure there were some other suggested vocations but they too must have been underwhelming as the only one that stuck in my mind was librarian 🙂

      Let us know if you go for a Kindle! x

      1. Having read all the comments – I am thinking that a mixture of kindle plus a few physical books for holiday might be the way forward! And will keep my piles of books in the house more under control if I am only buying authors I really love or books I have really loved! Hmmm a lot to think over! Great article! 🙂

          1. Lisa – I just have to share – I have bought a kindle – I do feel like I am being hugely disloyal to my physical books but I bought a re-furb kindle so a lot cheaper just in case I do decide it really isn’t for me – and am going to trial run it for my holiday in a few weeks – and from my browsing this morning – the £1 books seem pretty good – and there are some books that I was baulking at paying £8.99 for paperback for unknown but recommended author which are a fraction of the price on kindle – so here’s hoping I can find a happy medium between the two 🙂

  8. It’s definitely not an either/or situation! I too love actual books, old friends indeed – and I love the look of a house stuffed with books. But my husband bought me a Kindle when I was pregnant with my first and it was a life saver – spending hours day and night breastfeeding an insatiable small person, I couldn’t have managed without my Kindle! Like the poster above, I too read every single Poldark novel in the wee small hours while breastfeeding my second.

    I do still love actual books though, and oddly I feel as though I take more in if I’m reading a physical book, rather than my Kindle!

    1. Heidi what did you make of this week’s episode and the trial??!! I’m trying to persuade everyone I know to read the books, even if Aidan Turner’s torso will only feature in their imagination….

  9. I absolutely love books and reading and always have – I was always borrowing extra books at the library on my siblings’ cards and my first job was in my local bookshop. However, my kindle has changed my life! I don’t know that I would’ve bought it but I think my husband had reached the end of his tether with half our holiday luggage allowance being taken up with paperbacks (13 books in a fortnight was my record for a particularly lazy holiday) and gave me it as a gift – I haven’t looked back. Books I really love I’ll still buy hard copies of but having over 100 books at my fingertips when I’m stuck on a train or in an airport by myself travelling for work is a total game changer, and if anything it has actually increased my enjoyment of reading. Plus there’s so much extra space for clothes on holidays! X

  10. I try to have the best of both worlds. I love reading but generally only ever read books once, and fairly quickly, so for that reason I am a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to buying books. For this reason I alternate between a couple of books read on the kindle (generally much cheaper for new releases, easier to carry around for my commute and easier to read in bed) and then a charity shop book. Each time I change I like the pros of what I am reading and still means I get to hold a really book quite often. I say go for the kindle!!? Xx

      1. Usually much less, I don’t normally pay more than £5 for any new releases! You do have to pay I think VAT on e books that you don’t on ‘real’ books X

  11. Pros and cons of each too over here! I was always anti any kind of kindle/iBooks… Until I got my iPad and realised how much easier it made taking books on holiday (I used to take half a suitcase full!) and since having a baby I found that reading on my kindle app kept me sane during the first few months of long and frequent night feeding sessions! I love a real book though- it’s a shame they are usually quite a bit cheaper to download, although I do like a good rummage in the book section of a charity shop! X

  12. My mum was a librarian and I am an English teacher. I was initially very wary of e-readers. My house is full of books and as others have said I view many of those as old friends.
    However, a few years ago I decided to take the plunge and buy a kindle. It was one of my best purchases ever! Books that I am really excited about by favourite authors I buy in hardback. Everything else I read on my kindle. This means my house is not cluttered with chick lit and crime fiction. I also read books about teaching on my kindle.
    It’s invaluable for travel and much kinder on your eyes than an iPhone. I am currently breastfeeding and it is a lifesaver for long nights feeds.
    It took me a couple of years but I have also converted my mum. The physical books I purchase I do so from independent book shops. I is swapping books and taking old books to charity shops. I also worry that it means fewer people use their local libraries.

    1. My dad’s an English teacher too – I need to ask his views on this subject!

      I share your worry about there not being enough demand for local libraries. I rely on taking Lyra to the library on a rainy day x

  13. I never thought I would have a Kindle as I love physical books too much but it has changed my life! I couldn’t be without it now. It weighs on my conscience a bit though as I am an avid supporter of keeping bookshops open.

    To try and compensate I buy all babies/children books for birthdays and Christmas and make sure I buy them in our local bookshop rather than online. A bit more expensive but worth it!

  14. I love real books and a kindle is no replacement for them. That said, I do own a kindle paperwhite and I love it. It’s fab for reading on the move – especially when flying – and allows you to switch between books whenever you feel like it. I wouldn’t be without mine now. I still buy books, but save those purchases for particularly beautiful volumes like those pictured above. When I’m just going for a bog standard paperback, it goes on the kindle, thereby also minimising clutter. Double win.

    The only thing is, I love cookery books and they are no good on a kindle. They’re not so bad on a device with a colour screen, but they don’t work on my more basic model. So I buy all those in hard copy (much to my husband’s dismay). 🙂

    But overall, I would say go for it Lisa. It won’t replace real books completely but it’ll be a convenient addition to your library! x

    1. So I need to go for a paperwhite if I do decide to take the plunge…?

      I am so with you on the hard copy cookery books. It doesn’t matter if they get splattered with ingredients and they are usually pretty! x

  15. I have always been a bookworm and renewed my love of reading a few years ago by setting myself a New Years resolution of reading a book a month – I’ve stuck to it ever since. My husband has a kindle and I have tried using it a few times but I just can’t take to it. I love the tangibility of having a book and turning over the pages. I spend too much time on my phone so I really like being able to switch off from gadgets and relaxing with a book.

    1. Nice resolution, good work Claire B!

      Interesting that you haven’t taken to a Kindle – I think that’s been one of the reasons I haven’t bought one yet. x

  16. I was skeptical too! I love books, especially massive hardbacks but when I got a kindle for Christmas I was converted. On public transport and whilst travelling at least. Our house is still FULL of books and I wandering into Waterstones (where I used to work) and buying a massive stash but my handbag is so much lighter now if I have my kindle.

    Also I wouldn’t worry about the careers advice at high school.. I got given ‘Fork Lift Truck Driver’ which I didn’t realise was an actual career. x

    1. Ha ha Rachael! Out of interest what IS your actual career? (It sounds strange but I’ve always wanted to have a go at driving a fork lift truck/digger!) x

      1. Haha it looks really fun doesn’t it! I’m a PA who spends her lunch breaks googling pictures of fork lift trucks and regretting my decision to go for an office job 😉

  17. I absolutely love books…is there anything better than buying a beautiful brand new book? I often find myself spending my whole lunch break in Waterstones, picking up various titles and reading the backcovers! I have just had a built in bookshelf in my living room (always been the dream) and I love it! Despite that, a kindle does have a special place for me too. There are so many benefits – its lightweight, books are cheaper, can read without a night light/in the dark, I also find its “comfier” to read my kindle and I seem to whizz through the pages, it’s ideal to take away on holiday or put in your handbag and I think it also does a pretty good job at simulating a book (doesn’t feel like you’re on a tablet for instance). It’s a different experience but in its own way I do really enjoy reading on the kindle too and it has its own place for me. I would definitely say go for it, mixing it up between the two really works for me! X

    1. P.s keeping with the Kondo vibe it is better for de-cluttering too and allows me to only buy those books that I am really excited about, classics or those by my fave authors. I love having a shelf just full of all my most favourite books and the rest (chick lit and other guilty pleasures are on the kindle) As well as the books being a lot cheaper, the daily deals on the kindle for only 99p are great for trying new things! x

  18. I used to play libraries too and made tickets and stamped them!! I also share your love of the smell and feel of a beautiful printed book, and have so many I really need to move. But I wish I’d had my Kindle a few years ago to take on holiday instead of the 18 paperbacks that lined the bottom of my suitcase. Kindles are great, I don’t understand why people get sniffy about them. When I got mine, friends were horrified, ‘but you love books, how can you swop to a Kindle?’ was common. I didn’t swop, it’s juat another, great, convenient way to read more. Massive bonus, get a new book delivered instantly, wow. I listen to books in the car too, another lovely way to read more. I suppose the Kindlephobes would say that’s cheating too. So what, go get youself one and enjoy.

    1. Jo you’re a girl after my own heart! Funnily enough, Rich’s mum also used to play libraries!

      EIGHTEEN books?!

      I think Lolly may be doing a post soon about audiobooks. My brother’s also a fan of listening to books in the car. x

  19. I also don’t think it’s an either or situation – I love books. The smell, the feel, the excitement of turning the oar or getting a lovely new edition – or finding an amazing old one in a charity shop. But my kindle is just so convenient when I’m travelling. When I ended up in hospital for 11 days whilst waiting for or little man to arrive, it was brilliant to be able to download a book than wait until the husband was able to visit and lug yet another pile of books and magazines in 🙂

    And I also buy the hard or paper copies of books I loved on the kindle!

    1. I think you’re right – I just need to bite the bullet and get one.

      So sorry to hear you ended up in hospital for such a long time. Hope you and your little one are doing ok now x

  20. I’m with you, I love physical books, but I got a kindle fire instead of an iPad for Christmas, and now I love trying out books that are on offer (a friend of mine set herself a challenge to only read the £1 offer books for a while to expand her reading!), and then buying physical copies if I love them. If you have a tablet though, don’t bother buying a full kindle, just get the relevant app. Apple have a kindle app. If you’re a prime Amazon customer, you can borrow books too, very cost effective.

  21. I love a book book. I just can’t bring myself to get a kindle. There is just something about actual books that I adore and can’t see me switching. On the careers front at the age of 15 I picked advertising account manager as my perfect job and the careers lady said it was just perfect. Nothing to do with my love of talking I promise!! And do you know what, that’s exactly what I did and I’ve always loved it. Maybe you should have been a librarian? Could have been fun xxx

  22. Agree with so many people on here, it isn’t an either/or choice. IMy dad and I have alwasy bought each other books and I have always been a complete bookworm. No Christmas or Birthday is complete without a new series of books that dad has researched and thinks I will love (best Daddy ever). He bought me a Kindle about 5 years ago and I suspected the present was coming and wasn’t sure if I wanted one. However I love it for convenience – great for holidays and popping in your handbag (I am never without a book, what if the person you are meeting is late?) and also for reading in bed without turning on bedside lamp and if you have finished another book but not tired enough to sleep yet and need to carry on reading, can just buy a new one!
    It hasn’t replaced my love or use of ‘proper’ books though; I am an avid visitor of my local library and borrow books from there all the time, I still buy books from bookshops and charity shops and my Dad still buys me my birthday and Christmas haul every year. So I would say give it a go, it doesn’t mean you love books any less!! x

  23. Definitely echoing the above comments about reading with both real books and the Kindle. When packing for 10kg limit hand luggage only trip I now no longer have the dilemma of “another book or another pair of shoes?” And if you do get through your books faster than you thought on holiday its so easy to just download another.
    What i buy in which medium depends on the author or the book…the Ian Rankin “Rebus” novels i tend to buy on kindle, but i know that the new Harry Potter script will be in hardbook to join the rest of my collection on the shelf.
    I know there are some fancy Kindles out there now with tablet style functions, but i just have a bog-standard old one that just does books. Occasionally when i forget it i have it synced with the same amazon account on my phone but its just not the same and certainly feels worst for your eyes. Get one, you wont regret it! X

  24. I love books, always have. I totally see the logic in a kindle but I love reading an actual book and keeping it on the shelf if I really like it or sending it off to a charity shop if I don’t!

    Love the Phillip Pullman series – so different and really thought provoking!

    I remember travelling many moons ago around Australia and most of the hostels had a book swapping bit somewhere which was great as you could always leave your book behind and pick up something new. I remember getting Nelson Mandela’s autobiography and reading it as we toodled about Western Australia!

    Maybe one day I’ll convert, but now is not that time.

    1. Lynn the Golden Compass film was on Film 4 last night and we let Lyra watch some of it for the first time – she was fascinated by the fact that there was another ‘Lyra’!

      And yes the book-swapping was a massive part of the gap year which I spent travelling – it’s funny how a book can take you back to the place that you read it 🙂

  25. I love a physical book – I can’t bear to part with books and love how they look on the bookcase (arranged in alphabetical order by author and then in chronological order for series or by publication date…!) I love perusing bookshops and picking up the book and feeling it in my hands. I also love the cover artwork – sometimes it’s the artwork that attracts me to the book in the first place!

    However, I totally understand the convenience of a Kindle. I don’t have one but I could be more tempted now, especially to try out the £1 books as others have mentioned.

    I do love an audiobook – my mum has loads on CD for when she travels for work and I used to borrow them all when I lived at home. I recently signed up to Audible when I was ill (my head hurt too much to read/watch anything!) and started to listen to the Game Of Thrones – I’ve watched the TV series but always wanted to read the book, but listening to it is so much better! Only 2 more hours to go till the end and then onto the next one…!

    1. Yes I used to arrange mine by author too! (They are now colour co-ordinated however 🙂 ).

      And I’m with you on being persuaded by artwork despite the fact that we are not meant to judge a book by its cover.

      How interesting that you are enjoying the audiobook of GOT more than the TVseries…I read the books but gave up halfway through the last one. Maybe I also need to give Audible a go! Hope you are feeling better. X

  26. I was very anti kindle, and then I got one as a present after I had my little boy, much easier to turn pages with a swipe, when he is asleep in my arms, and I love it. I have a paperwhite and the resolution is so much better than on an iphone/ipad, it feels like reading paper, and you can adjust the light so you don’t need the bedroom light on, I also find it crazy that a small device can hold more books than I could ever read… just need some more spare time to read now!

    1. Seems like quite a few people only got into Kindles after being bought them as presents and have since been converted 🙂

      I do like the sound of the paperwhite, and yes more spare time to read would be nice! X

  27. Hi Lisa,

    I was totally anti Kindle until I was bought one…loved it for reading on holiday and in bed without having to have the light on, but….since I first started reading on my phone the Kindle is in the bottom of a drawer full of tat that never sees the light of day.

    With the hundred and one things we need in our handbags, a Kindle is more hassle than its worth if I can read from the phone which is always with me anyway.

    It’s probably worth having for holidays but to be honest I’d completely forgotten about mine until I read your post so I didn’t even dig it out for Cyprus last week…


    1. Hey lovely! Yes, that’s why I got into reading books on my phone. How annoying that you forgot about yours for Cyprus but then I’m guessing you wouldn’t have had much time to read anyway…?! Looking forward to our Thai feast tomorrow xx

  28. It doesn’t need to be either or you can have a kindle and still buy books!! I use my kindle for texts books and it saves my back having 10 3 inch thick folio size tomes in one small device. However I still buy real cook books and beautiful cloth bound classics

    1. But what about if you need to put post it notes in your text books Rachel?! Do kindles have a function that work as well as post its? X

  29. I like using a mix of both but find my Kindle particularly good for a) trying samples of books I think I might like and b) reading a series where you don’t want to have to wait for the next book!

  30. Hi Lisa, the kindle transition is tough, but a little something that might help you ease into the kindle transition, is one of these wonderful little cases to wrap it in! The wonderful people over at have created some great designs – If you’re careful, you might even get away without anyone knowing it’s not actually a book!

  31. There will never be a replacement for a good old book in my eyes, but I have to say that I was in the very same predicament as you a few years ago Lis. Dave and I have very different sleeping patterns so I’d always reach for a book whilst tucked up in bed. It go to the point where Dave actually brought a headlamp home from work and made me wear that when reading in bed (not a great look!) so I’d read on my phone, but the backlight really tired my eyes out. The kindle paperwhite is fab. Especially when sunbathing you can actually read the text unlike on iPhone/iPad. Also great for a read whilst feeding baby (got me through sleepless nights many a time!) as so light and not as cumbersome as trying to turn pages.

    I’d never give up my penchant for buying big hardback cook books but my novels are now all downloadable! Go for it! X

  32. Hi Lisa,

    I was certainly similar in that I completely love books and just didn’t think I would ever be able to get used to a kindle and not being able to physically turn the page as funny as that sounds! My husband bought me one as a birthday present a few years ago and after being a bit dubious at first, I use it almost everyday and haven’t looked back! It’s so convenient, especially on holiday!

  33. Oh my goodness I’m so with you on the real book front. I love them so much I even set up a company which focuses on giving real book as special gifts for people, called The Beautiful Book Company! Nothing beats the smell and the feel of a brand new book.

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