(image courtesy of Wallace)
To Kindle or Not to Kindle?
For those of you who wonder about them, have not heard of them, or would like to hear more about them from someone who has one (and still loves her regular books very much), this post’s for you!
I remember hearing about this contraption called the Kindle for the first time in the Fall of 2008 at my book club. I was astonished. A machine that people read books off of? Preposterous. Who would want that? What about the feeling of the book in your hands; feeling the side of the book in your right hand getting smaller and smaller as you get closer to the end? What about the smell of the book, and the satisfaction of turning the page? What about the worn look a book gets after you’ve read it (and especially after you’ve read it more than once), or taken it in the bath with you and had the steam curl the pages making the book look completely loved? What about having the stories you adore filling your shelves, as declarations of who you are and what you’ve read?
Well, I still feel all of the above, but I’ve recognized how extraordinarily convenient the Kindle really is for someone who reads a lot (or travels a lot... or both). How does the Kindle pretty much sell itself? The fact that you can carry so many books with you in this light weight device (what I've heard is the lightest of all the e-readers) is incredible. The fact that you can download a book in 60 seconds be it while on the runway, in the airport, in a hotel, or in your own home is beyond convenient. And The fact that books cost less without the paper means you aren’t spending as much after the initial investment of buying the device. You can also get newspapers, magazines, and blogs whether by subscription or by individual issue.
While I still prefer books (and sometimes after reading a book on my Kindle that is so great it needs to be part of my library I will also buy the physical copy of the book) I still find the Kindle very valuable. Especially if I'm not near a bookstore, or if I think there's a book that I won’t necessarily need to have in my collection, I use my Kindle and am thankful that I have it.
You must know that I am someone who cannot travel without at least two books, and if the trip will be of any substantial length (with long plane or train rides to boot), maybe even more than two. The Kindle is incredibly useful in that capacity, and every time I’m getting ready to take a trip I add some of the books from my wishlist to my device and am thankful that my bags are that much lighter.
P.S. I have the first generation Kindle, which I think you can still get used or on e-bay. Otherwise there is the new Kindle, which is very similar and probably even nicer.
Q & A With Wallace at Coconut Library
1. What made you choose this reader over the Sony Reader? (I think the Sony Reader was the only other big e-book reader on the market when the 1st gen Kindles were out.)
Honestly, I knew more about the Kindle. Be it advertising or word of mouth I had become more familiar with it, so I chose it. I also thought the fact that it linked to Amazon would make it incredibly easy to find the books that I would want to read.
2. Do you plan on upgrading to the new Kindle at any point? If you do upgrade, would you consider any of the new e-book readers on the market?
I have no plans, as of now, to upgrade. Even my version (which is the first) is wonderful and I imagine if they do any upgrade that I would care about (i.e. the ability to share books between e-readers) they will offer the upgrade for purchase to people who own earlier generations.
The only other e-reader that I would consider is the Nook, but after holding one and seeing the weight of it (and the fact that it's a bit too fancy for me -- not what I'm looking for in an e-reader) I think I will stick to the Kindle. Kindle's are the closest of all of the major competitors (Kindle, Nook, iPad) to real books as far as I'm concerned.
3. How often do you use your Kindle or what percentage of the books you read are on the Kindle?
I still mostly read conventional books, but when I'm traveling, I almost exclusively use my Kindle. I'd say I use my Kindle 1/4 of the time. It doesn't sound like much, but that 1/4 of the time I use it I wouldn't be able to get a book any other way (i.e. not near a bookstore, on the runway, etc.).
Thank you Wallace for your post! After reading your guest post, my husband took the plunge and bought me a Kindle! I can't wait to play with it!
Wallace is currently hosting The Summer Reading Challenge: 2010 on her blog, Coconut Library (soon to be Unputdownables). Head on over to check it out!