Why I Don’t Trust My Kindle – And Why I’m Keeping My Library

I’m always amused to find books about getting away from technology that are available on Kindle. “Disaster survival books on Kindle” sounds like an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp. For example, I’m researching information about “preppers” (the new word for survivalists, people who want to prepare for the world coming to an end) for my novel, and I found a cookbook to use in case of a disaster…available on Kindle, of course.

How will the people who buy this book on Kindle use the recipes if there is a disaster?

What’s the first thing that will happen in a disaster? Yep, the Internet and all electricity and Wi-Fi will disappear. You might be able to use your tablet for a little while, until the battery dies, but then what? How will you get these great recipes?

My husband’s nephew and I had a conversation about this over Thanksgiving – how will the disaster come? He thinks it will be a government shutdown, with all the disruptions and many people out of money. I think it will be an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) event, which will destroy “the Grid” (electrical circuits, cell towers, water pumps, cars, everything we depend on in our 21st century environment). The EMP event is a basic premise in my book, and the main character, Audrey Larkin, an “older” woman, must learn how to survive in this post-EMP environment.

In either case, Armageddon won’t be pretty. And it won’t include the ability to find information on a Kindle. Libraries will be shut down – no more card catalogs and no way to access books from online catalogs, and bookstores won’t be able to sell – who wants to buy a book when they are starving?

So…that’s one reason I refuse to get rid of my books. I figure when the disaster hits, whatever it is, and when the power goes out, I will need them. If you want to read about a real disaster,
which only lasted 5 days but was devastating, consider 5 Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink. (My Goodreads review). It’s a difficult read, but worth the effort.

I do get rid of novels after reading them (they go to the local library), but I never part with:

  • How-to books, like home medicine, cookbooks, manuals on how to make things. I even have a couple of old Boy Scout field guides. You never know….
  • Classics. They never go out of style and if I want something to read by the light of a candle after the EMP hits, I’d rather read a classic.
  • History and biography. If all the e-books on historical subjects are gone, I want to be able to tell others what happened in the past. I’m particularly fond of American history and the history of World War I. I like the saying “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.”
bookshelves at home

A mess I know, but you get the idea.

The other reason I’m keeping most of my books? I love looking at them on the shelves.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Trust My Kindle – And Why I’m Keeping My Library

  1. I’m intrigued by your novel! :) Have you read the MaddAddam trilogy by Margaret Atwood? It has some similar ideas/themes about how survival will happen after the disaster, whatever the disaster may be. I couldn’t part with my books, no matter how much I enjoy my ereader. They do look so nice on the shelf…

  2. Thanks for the comment. I have read the first two books in Margaret Atwood’s trilogy, want to read the second two. I think often of the quote by Erasmus: “When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”

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