I never really wanted a Kindle. It’s not that I’m truly against them, I just love the feel of books!
I love the textures – some are smooth, some are bumpy, some have smooth pages, others have pages that feel like construction paper. Library books are the best – they have those plastic covers and most are well worn hardbacks. The pages are soft from so many hands. The binding is loose but not broken. Paperbacks have softly frayed covers. Sometimes you get extra lucky and you are one of the first readers of a brand new book – it’s special library cover is crisp and the binding cracks a bit. One time I was reading a Janet Evanovich book from the library and it dumped sand all over my bed – it had spent a fun week at the beach that summer! Books are meant to be read and enjoyed and library books are fulfilling their destiny!
eReaders kill the feel of a book in your hands, and I wasn’t ready to take that step.
My mom got a Kindle and I played with it a little, but didn’t really like it. I kept trying to touch the screen to get it to do stuff and it didn’t work! There were too many buttons and the interface was clunky. I decided that it definitely wasn’t something I wanted.
Soon after Amazon introduced the Kindle App for iPhone I downloaded it and it quickly became one of my favorite apps! I always had a book in pocket! AWESOME! Now if I was stuck waiting or stuck in traffic (only when the car is completely stopped at a red light or bumper to bumper traffic) I could read! Last summer when we went to Washington State I bought all my hiking guides on Kindle and it was so handy having the guide books with us at all times without the added weight and bulk of the actual book! So far I have read 15 books on my Kindle App and didn’t really miss the “book feel”
A few weekends ago I was at my parents house planning our summer trip to Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon and I was thinking about how I could cut down the amount of stuff I needed to bring. I was trying to think of things that I always feel the need to bring with me but never use or really need. The 1st thing that came to mind: books. I always want to bring a lot of books, but I never read them. Books are heavy. Books take up space.
But a Kindle is small. And light. And holds LOTS of books!
Also, I have a bunch of books by John Muir, that I’m planning to read when I’m in CA or at least start, and they are all on Kindle. They were free too!
So I broke down and bought a Kindle. It’s the “small” one – 6 inches. Wifi only. I opted not to get the one with “special offers” because I didn’t want to have all the ads. I also got a cool cover for it that has a light that pulls out and is powered by the kindle battery so never needs batteries!
I LOVE IT.
I love it more than I thought I would! It has a bar at the bottom that has little hash marks denoting each chapter so you can tell at a glance how much farther to the end of the chapter – perfect for an anal reader like myself who hates putting the book down before the end of the chapter. Turning the pages is just a tap on a button. The e-ink is very easy to read. Much easier to read than on my phone. In it’s cover it fits perfectly into the book clips on my treadmill – and I don’t have to hold it open like I do with a paper book. I have a ton of books in my hand so if I get bored with one, I can just read another! This morning, when I had jury duty and did a lot of sitting and waiting, this feature was really nice!
The only problem I have with it: you have to buy the books. Over the last few years I’ve been pretty good about getting my reading material exclusively from the library, therefore my reading habit is mostly free. Now, if I want to read it on my Kindle I have to pay for it. And frequently I’m finding that the kindle version of a book is more expensive than the paperback version!?!?!
I’m looking forward to the launch of the lending library service Amazon has promised later this year.
I hope that I still love “real books” as much as I did and the Kindle never takes the place of “real books”, but in the meantime I’m trolling Amazon to find cheaper books to download and read! :-)