Friday, October 1, 2010

The Kindle...

So, I already posted about my birthday, but the rest of my gift from my sweet husband came two days ago. It was a Kindle!! Ok, so I've always said I didn't want any sort of electronic reader. I'm a book purist, I love the way they feel and smell and I love reading books more than once. I love all different sizes, I feel that I should have a large copy for home reading and a tiny copy for travel reading of the things I really love-Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre are two examples. I love a good bookstore and shopping for new books is sort of like a treasure hunt to me. I would be horribly sad if one day there were no bookstores, only virtual books, or real books that you have to special order and that cost a fortune. I also don't like looking at a glowing computer or phone screen for long periods of time, it makes my eyes and head ache.

However, there are times when I wish I could travel more easily with a week's worth of reading (you can't find tiny copies of everything). I had to take 5 books with me to the beach a few weeks ago and several were hardbacks. I felt no resentment, because I heartily enjoyed them all, but it would have been trouble if we were flying. Also, I don't often use the library, which would be a smart thing, because I like to own books. This becomes a problem with limited space and when you buy things that you realize later you will never read again. I will never read the Stieg Larsson books again. They were exciting, but way too much for a second go. Now, I have two cheapo paperbacks in weird fluorescent colors (can't use them on a mantel) and one hardback, which I actually am going to return to Target, because it's in perfect shape. Don't mention it to Target, please. Those would have been great books to read on the Kindle. I'm also reading Shopaholic on the Kindle-I do not want to own those books, I probably will not want to re-read them, but they're funny, light stories that I am enjoying for now at a very discounted price.

Furthermore, the Kindle is super light (only the width of a pencil)! I can hold it in one hand while feeding the baby and not get tired (it weighs less than an ounce), not fuss with page turning, and not drop the hardback on my foot binding down, for the third time (all hypothetical of course). You can turn pages from either side, forwards and backwards, with just your thumb. This is great for me because I like to read in bed lying on one side, and I'm constantly having to flip the book back and forth to see the pages and flip my reading light as well. With a Kindle you can buy a new book anywhere there's wi-fi access. You can highlight or make notes if you're reading something for a book club or study, like I'm going to be doing with Tim Keller's Counterfeit Gods. (A book that costs $19.99 in real life, but only costs $9.99 on the Kindle).  Also, the Kindle screen looks like a printed page. It's doesn't glow or light up in the dark (so you do still need a light) and it doesn't hurt your eyes--although reading anything for 9 hours straight will strain them a bit. I've never done that...except for Harry Potter 5, 6 and 7 and maybe all the Hunger Games...ok, never mind... Also, the makers of the Kindle seem to be kind of reading purists themselves. They are not going to make the Kindle in color, or with games, or any function other than for reading. (Update: Obviously I wrote this before the newest Kindle tablet came out, color, touchscreen, games, etc...) Ok, that's all good, but...Amazon sold more books on Kindle last year than real books. I'm still not sure about the repercussions of that.

In conclusion, the Kindle has it's place. I'd rather people be reading good books than watching a billion hours of TV or Facebook stalking and looking at pictures of total strangers for hours on end. Also, there are millions of free books on Kindle, anything in public domain and written before 1923 is free. That means most of the classics and all of Jane Austen. Last time I checked, bookstores were still making you buy them. So now I can have my big copies, tiny copies, Kindle copies, and audio copies (on my phone for when I'm cleaning or driving, not a joke). I will never be without Jane Austen again!! Thank you, husband!

P.S. It stays charged for a month!


  1. I was totally with you on the "reading purist" thing- but you have convinced me that a Kindle CAN be used for good instead of evil....sometimes. ;)

    PS- please stop driving and reading

  2. I have the latest Hunger Games and Shopaholic books on hold at the library :)