The magic of Kindle may be wearing off already.

Amazon announced today that it makes almost no profit from Kindle sales, instead relying on e-book purchases to make ends meet.

Last Christmas, having heard the hype and curious as to whether it was really worth it, I asked for a Kindle. Where previously Christmas afternoons were spent playing computer games, listening to music and trying on as many clothes as we could, this one was different. The instant I picked up my Kindle I felt more connected to the written word than I had since childhood. I read all afternoon and all evening, and I’ve never enjoyed a Christmas more.

As a child I loved to read; I was never found without a story, whether it was literally in my hands or just working on something in my head. What I found when I used my kindle was that once again I had access to a whole world of books. I didn’t have to go out to a bookshop, struggle through the shelves and come away with something I didn’t like. Kindle gave me the opportunity to try things – to bridge the gap between teenage and adult fiction and decide what I liked best without breaking the bank. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s Chief Executive, told the BBC that research shows “when people buy a Kindle they read four times as much as they did before,” and I can certainly see why. For the last nine months almost all my reading has been done on that tiny screen, protected in the ugly leather case that must have been my dad’s choice.

Last week brought about a revelation in my thinking, though. I accompanied a friend to a bookshop, where she needed something for university. Walking into that shop, seeing books all around me, able to read “properly” for the first time this year, I realised what I’ve been missing. The spell was broken, and the instant I arrived home I ordered real books online. When they arrived two days later, the kindle was resigned to the shelf, where I fear it may stay for a long time to come.

Kindle was a great novelty and it really got me back into reading, but that’s all it was; a novelty. Despite all the disadvantages (the turning of pages, the size, the wear and tear) I would choose a good old paperback over e-book every time. Some things just shouldn’t be tampered with, and reading is one of them. Maybe that’s why Amazon doesn’t make much profit on the new editions of Kindle; because the magic has worn off.

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