Slowly, at first reluctantly and resistantly, but gradually and persuasively, I've begun to admit the usefulness, convenience and with the right book the fun and attractieveness of reading from my Kindle. In that one small device (bigger than the more recent versions already) I have Augustine's Commentary on the Psalms, Jane Austen's novels a growing library of leisure reading and maybe one day I'll try a more serious acadcemic book. We'll see.
But for me there will always be books that cannot be Kindled. Books that are now lifelong companions, with a personal history decipherable in the underlinings, margin notes and memories of moments of illumination. Books I love to handle because they are beautiful objects in their own right, binding and font, paper and ink, stitching and smell, giving a book its presence, recognisable, familiar, visible and ready to be reached for. Books which are best enjoyed as page turning back and forward, ease of finding and inviting glance or gaze, making connections from there earlier in the text to here and the next place as the dotted line of thought is joined up.
And then there are the few books that deserve to be as expensive as they are. Beautifully produced, a joy to handle, works of art and craft, so that the importance of the contents is validated by the care given to the making of the book. Amongst my books are the volumes I own of the Hermeneia commentary series, and since they were first introduced the standard and distinctive quality of the production remains astonishing. And now at last the three volume commentary on Luke will be available in English in the Hermeneia series. This is the year of Luke in the Revised Common Lectionary, and over the year these volumes will find their way to my shelves - I've a birthday in February for a start.
Eventually choices will have to be made about shelf room and that's where the Kindle wins every time. But for now, handling, reading and enjoying the art of the book remains a difficult to supercede pleasure.