Ever since I was a kid, I've loved reading. The joy of getting lost in a story, waiting to see how a fictional character's life unfolds and keeping myself from flipping to the last page right at the beginning - this is what made up my childhood, and frankly, even today is the favourite part about my weekends.
But, with dating apps, streaming platforms, and 'candy crush' sagas, whiling away time on a device became easier than carrying my books everywhere.
And thus I cheated on my favourite fictional character with a real-life, abysmal, date. I replaced my travel reads with downloads of my favourite episodes instead. And I hated it.
Because reading was never a chore for me. It was, and still is, one of my most favourite things to do in the world. Which is why, when I got gifted a Kindle, I snatched it up and decided to revive my first love.
Because with Kindle, I have access to over a thousand books in one go. I don't have to hunt bookstores for the latest release, or the obscure old novel someone recommended.
Also, when I used to carry books, I'd easily be lugging around 10 books, at least - my new book, my favourite novels I may just want to re-read, a light-hearted piece in case I just want to browse, a serious novel I've been meaning to read forever, etc. etc.
With Kindle, I can download a thousand books, and still have space in my travel handbag for essentials - like my flight tickets and passport.
And most importantly, I no longer have to 'lend' a book and then forever live with the pain of not knowing if it will ever be returned?
And when (not 'if', never 'if') a part of my soul, aka my book, comes back, what condition will it be in?
*Oh, the nights I spent lying awake with these thoughts!*
But, after almost a year of falling in love with Kindle (and contemplating about being their official brand ambassador), I am doubting myself.
Because every time I download a new book on Kindle, I feel like I am cheating on my physical books.
Every time that I open a new book, the only thing I can sniff on is the device's metallic scent. And I miss the new book smell like an addict misses their drug of choice.
Every time I pause in the middle of a novel, there is no bookmark to hold the place. And so, all my quirky, memorable, souvenir bookmarks now decorate my office table.
Every time I fall a little in love with a fictional character, I don't have a book to hug close to my heart. (Don't judge). All I have is a slender, sleek device - and it just does not give me the feel like a bulky, old book does.
Simply put, I've been having an affair with Kindle for over a year, but now my bibliophilic heart can't take it anymore.
No, of course, I am not giving up my Kindle. I am emotional, but not a fool... yet! But I am going to dust that old bookshelf, pick up the one paperback I bought but never read (I know, I know, already judging myself), and curl up in my house's favourite corner.
Because, just like an affair, a Kindle may be easy, convenient, and definitely exciting, but paperbacks and hardbacks and threadbare novels were, and always will be, my first love(s).