My Photo
Location: Midwest, United States

I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

RSS Feed

Thursday, January 06, 2011

I Do Not Love My Kindle... Yet

My beloved aunt who tends toward excessively generous gifts got me a Kindle for Christmas. It never occurred to me that I might want a Kindle, but I do read a lot. I'm an English teacher for Christ's sake! So, fine. I'll own a Kindle.

Still, I was ambivalent. When I saw the commercial for the Kindle (or maybe the Nook... it was on mute) I watched attractive, thin people tossing their Kindles into their backpacks and bike baskets and purses - so convenient! - and thought "Yeah! Compact. Portable. Just like a book." It seemed unnecessary.

If I felt the Kindle might be superfluous, my Old Man was sure of it. His comment on learning about my aunt's gift? "Don't open it. It'll be worth more on eBay if the packaging is intact." And, yes, it's true that we did sell the digital picture frame she gave us on eBay a couple years back. But that gift was really ridiculous. A Kindle's not ridiculous. I'm just not sure it's me.

But it's a gift, so I'll try it. That was my attitude. I opened it. I set it up. I started browsing around for books. But I quickly realized that ebooks are only a few bucks cheaper than actual books. And I had a hard time coming up with a title of a book that I was willing to pay almost full price for without actually ending up with a physical book. I like books! And for those books I don't want to own, my local public library is just down the street.

Part of my problem is that I'm married to a fairly voracious reader. My Old Man reads four books for every one I read, and I'm continually trailing after him, picking up one of his recent reads that he's sold me on. This makes it really hard to think of a title I want to spend twelve bucks on that I couldn't get at the library for free or at my local used book store for way less than an ebook.

Does anyone out there own and love a Kindle? And why should I love mine?


Blogger Loretta said...

Kindles seem best for those on the road who don't want to lug around a bunch of books, but need reading material at their fingertips. Toby likes his Kindle all right, though I don't think he LOVES it or anything. Also, a lot of what he wants to read simply isn't available via Kindle.

As for me, I don't have Kindle envy until I am packing four or five hardcover novels into my dufflebag. And even then...would reading on a Kindle really DO it for me?

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do really like my Kindle. I travel a lot for long periods and read a lot, so not having to pack 10 books is handy, especially now that suitcases must weigh less than 50 pounds. Plus, as an added bonus, no one around me knows what I am reading. I didn't even think about that until I was using the Kindle, but I find that I really like that aspect of using it.
Libraries are great (and I even belong to some in the places I travel to), but when you can't have the return date hanging over your head or you find that you want a book NOW and the library is closed, you have whatever you want at your finger tips.
And lastly, I tend to read long books and I find the Kindle much easier to read in bed than a really thick book. And with a little book light attached to it, it is much less disturbing (than turning pages) to the person in bed next to you.

1:58 PM  
Blogger DoctorMama said...

Because of a Kindle, I started reading again. I got one for my husband last Christmas and turns out he got me one too (awwwww), and I thought I didn't want one, but I tried it and it was ok, and I took it on vacation and it was great to be able to take a stack of books without a stack, and then I got an Android and started reading on that too because I could do it at night with the lights off, and then I switched entirely to the droid, and now I read read read again, and it does DO it for me, as Loretta said. Let's see, over the past nine months or so I've read the following that I loved or at least liked:

Dirt Music
Cutting for Stone
Let the Great World Spin
Await Your Reply
This Is Where I Leave You
The Girl Who etc. series
The House at Riverton
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Remarkable Creatures
Noah's Compass
Bangkok 8

And a few other mysteries etc. for the beach, plus some I started and didn't like, making probably a total of about two dozen. Whereas I think I read maybe four novels in the whole year before.

Books are beautiful and I love them, but I can't argue with results. (A friend actually gave me a copy of Room, and I ended up buying it on Kindle so I could read it in the dark!)

Oh and: you can get a ton of old stuff for almost nothing on the Kindle, e.g. Ben Franklin's autobiography. So for you it might be a good way to stock up cheaply on a library of "reference" books that you can dip into -- or electronically search.

9:31 AM  
Blogger E. said...

Thanks! This is just what I wanted. First of all, yes, big books. Of course. Hadn't thought of that. I read Infinite Jest the summer before that and loved the book but hated the bulk. I want to reread it one day, and I think it'd be worth it to shell out for the Kindle version just to avoid the awkwardness of the big-ass book. (Esp. b/c I often like to read folded into an armchair, and huge books don't tuck well.) This goes double for big old books, which I can get for free. I've never read Dickens's Bleak House and that's a real honker, and it's true, you can get all that old classic public domain stuff for free. And of course for traveling it will be wonderful.

Okay, I'll keep at it. My Kindle may do it for me, eventually. But hopefully at least it will be a useful sideline to my actual physical book reading addiction. Thanks, friends!

2:52 PM  
Blogger Toby Higbie said...

As Loretta said, I like but don't yet love the Kindle. And I think I'm likely to switch over to an Android model eventually because its better for open source books.

Like everyone else, I got it so I could read books on the road. But I wanted to read historical monographs, not novels. Sadly, not too many of the former available on Kindle. But the Internet Archive now offers a Kindle format download for everything, so nerd that I am I enjoy downloading century old government investigations, etc. If you thinks its bad dragging around Infinite Jest, try the 1911 Immigration Commission (20 something volumes).

On the plus side, I find the Kindle easier to read than printed pages sometimes. Not sure why, just a little easier on my eyes.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to hear your take on the Kindle, E. I've been toying around with getting some form of e-reader for awhile, and while I can be super-sentimental about physical books, for me it comes down to space considerations. I simply don't have enough room at my place to comfortably (and safely!) house all of my books and then there are only a few I really turn to again and again. I also love the idea of being able to increase the font size on the e-readers, since I don't like to wear glasses while reading - just me and the words, please!

Anyhow, if I were to get one today, it would probably be the one you have, but I might just wait a bit and see how it all develops. It seems like it's all still getting settled, and I would like a device that is independent - can purchase from anywhere, not just a few sources.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Other E in SEA said...

Last comment was from Other E in SEA, who should probably should just get an account already... :O)

6:10 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home