I’m Holding a Kindle and I Don’t Feel Like a Traitor


A first for me: I’m reading a novel on a Kindle.

Meredith the librarian (and every book lover should be so blessed to have a librarian for a friend) came by the office yesterday and gave me her usual and welcome raves about books she had read.

One of them I couldn’t resist after hearing the title: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.

“I’m going to the library today,” I told her. “If it’s in, I’ll check it out.”

“Oh, don’t bother with that. I have it on my Kindle. You can borrow it. I’ll drop it by your house this weekend.”

Kindle. An electronic device. Reading a novel. Turning pages with a button. No, no, no!

“Hey, that’s great. Thanks, Meredith. Call me first to make sure I’m home.” I didn’t allow a hint of misgiving in my voice.

Weekend. Good. That would give me time to contemplate the great sin I was about to commit.

Meredith explained that she won’t be using her Kindle too much this summer. She’ll spend her time at the local bookstores, flipping through the printed pages and making purchases for our school library.

“Read this,” she commanded, as good librarians do. She placed Unspoken on my desk, finished up her work, and said goodbye.

At lunchtime, I sat outside under an umbrella with an Arnold Palmer over ice, the Santa Barbara sunshine streaming around me, a slight breeze, and a wordless, wonderfully illustrated book for children.

I was feeling pretty close to heaven.

About an hour later, Meredith returned. With the Kindle. She had forgotten something and decided to feed two birds with one scone.

“Have you seen my cell phone?” She handed me the Kindle.

I held it like I’d been using one for years. “On your desk. I heard it ring.”

(Ah, Meredith. She’d lose her head if it wasn’t attached to her neck. And that would be a most unfortunate thing for us. Because she is a genius, and one of the sweetest ones I know.)


After showing me which buttons to push, she rushed off to finish the rest of her day, and I was alone with a Kindle.

I turned it on. I found the book.

I read.

I took it outside and marveled at being able to see the screen clearly in the bright sunlight.

I liked it.

I had an image on the sidebar of my blog that announced to all: “I PLEDGE TO READ THE PRINTED WORD.”

And I do.

It’s just that the printed word might be read on a screen and have pages turned with a button.

I’ll never be without a printed book. There’s too much in my life tied to the experience of having a physical book in my hands or seeing one in the hands or shelves of another: childhood visits to the library, sharing with friends, college, reading to my infant, the first time he read to me, my desire to be a published author.

What memories will a Kindle evoke? I don’t know. And I don’t know if I’ll ever own a Kindle.

But, thanks to my favorite librarian and a fabulous electronic device, I’m OK with joining the digital gang of readers.

Do you own a Kindle? Was it love at first read or did you also feel like you were giving in to the “other side”?

Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional and a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers.

6 Comments Write a comment

    • I think the guilt comes from my initial “I’ll NEVER take pleasure in reading from a screen” outbursts. I’m a techie from way back, and I love all the new gadgets, but the writer in me kept resisting the digital changes in the book publishing world. I agree — they can (and will) co-exist in my reading life, like they do for you.


  1. I own two kindles – an e-reader and a fire. I love them both, but I also love a real book. I don’t feel like a traitor because many authors I like are indie and wouldn’t have an opportunity to publish their work without the e-reader revolution. At the same time, a lot of mainstream writers I like are cheaper on the kindle so it saves me a little money and allows me to read more! 🙂


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