Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Bookish Confession

I have to come clean.

I have a Kindle.
What's that you say?  You didn't hear me?

I have a Kindle.  
You still can't hear me?  Alright, alright!!  I HAVE A KINDLE!!

There.  I've admitted it.  Me, the book elitist who put up a Pledge to the Printed Word.  I have succumbed because I think the Reader in me ultimately was stronger than the Booklover.  I never thought I would find myself saying those words and I am just shaking my head in wonder at this turn of events.

It was a gift.   That's how it started.  I expected to hate it.  And it did take some getting used to.  I can't tell you how many times I went to turn a non-existent page (you must press a button instead).  And I read so fast that I found myself pushing the button too fast as well, going on to the next page before I had read the last few words.  So in a way, it has forced me to slow down.

It is unbelievably, and expensively, convenient.  Two o'clock in the morning and you have nothing to read?  No problem.  With one click a book is delivered, usually less than $11, to your device.  And in less than a minute, you are reading.

Many Kindle versions of books are ten dollars or less.  But those ten dollars can rack up really, really quickly when you read three or four books a week.  And then you feel you don't even have anything to show for it.  At least with a book you can still look at it, put it on your shelf, see it in all it's tangible bookish glory.  The Kindle is all about virtual.  Your book is just a title on your Kindle home page.  Yes, you can read it again.  But it is still not the same. And, at least for my model, there are no pictures!!  So that leaves biographies out.  I love biographies and the pictures are my favorite part.  However, there are also a lot of free books out there in the public domain, great stuff like Twain and Jules Verne.  One of the free books I read was The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne.  Before he wrote the Winnie the Pooh stuff, he wrote one of the first modern detective stories and, while it was dated, it was great fun.

Because of my limited mobility, I have not been able to browse in a bookstore in a long time.  I truly miss that.  That, to me, is the all time high point in book shopping.  To be intrigued by the cover art, a title, and then to have a synopsis on the back be as promising as you would hope, it doesn't get any better than that to a geek like me.

Until I get a lift for my power chair, which is $1900 away, I am forced to virtual browsing.  I wouldn't say I have a love/hate relationship with my Kindle.  I don't love it and I don't hate it either.  It is more like a grateful/tolerant relationship.  I tolerate it's shortcomings as an un-book and I am grateful I have access to such a wonder of technology.   It will never, ever take the place of a real, in-your-hands book.  But, at two in the morning, it is a nice substitute.

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Cheryl said...

Hi Marie, I agree with everything you said. I expected to hate it and felt a little like a traitor to the actual book publishers of the world. Still it is so convenient when either I don't want to get out or I just want to check something out. The fact you get to read the first few chapters before you commit, is a win for me.

I have downloaded several freebies and quite a few $2.00 or less.

One the best sellers I usually buy the book at places like Costco as they cost about the same as the Kindle version and I would rather have the real book. It depends on the price.

Marie said...

Hi Cheryl!! Thanks for stopping by.

A kindred spirit!! Are you as amazed as I am about not hating it?!?! I expected to be really conflicted, but I do love being able to instantly have a great read in my hands. Talk about instant gratification!!

For someone who is limited in getting out, it truly is a gift.

Thanks so much for your comment!!

brokenteepee said...

I am the same way with my nook. I am constantly trying to turn the page! A book feels so cold on it. It's just not the same...

Don said...

I am an avid Kindle user, and an avid hard copy reader as well.

I think both ways are very acceptable, and would get a book in either format. I prefer the Kindle though.

Why? Well, I can carry many books with me. I can mark lines of interest and find them quickly instead of having to thump through the book to find that mark again. (I HATE folding pages to find a place later!) I also like the cost of the books you can find for Kindle. Especially the free ones! I was able to buy a five volume set of books, that runs for over $200 due to the size of the books for $1.99 on the Kindle. You CAN'T beat that, and it covered the cost of the Kindle in that one purchase!! Not counting the free books before and after that!

Kindles (Nooks, etc) are great! And, it helps save trees at the same time, in a time where going green is growing in importance...


Anonymous said...

I, too, enjoy my Kindle, but nothing will ever replace a real book.

Don said...

Have you read any great books on the Kindle yet? Did reading it on the Kindle detract from the book for you?

Missing your updates!!

Friar Don, OBR

Don said...

By the by, you can go to each day and get MANY great books free from Amazon for your Kindle. The offers only last a day or two each, but if you check a couple of times a day new books are frequently added. Some great books, of just about every genre are available as well!

Friar Don, OBR

Anji said...

My daughter Dom who reads and reads bought herself a Kindle (much to my amazement). She loves it and wants to buy me one for my birthday....

It must save a lot of space in the long run.

ExposeYourBlog! Joining up bloggers for over two years.

Don said...

Anji, the Kindle (et al) saves tons of space!! I have over 400 books in line, with 95 archived off as already read in the last year roughly, on my Kindle (granted about 1/2 of the books are cookbooks (I like to eat....)) right now, and I would have NO room from many of them if they were hard copy.

LOVE hard copy books though, and have over 100 of those to boot, but the Kindle comes in handy!

Friar Don, OBR

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