Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Birthday Present...

For some time now, Eric has been wanting to get me a Kindle. I was reluctant because I wasn't sure if I would be able to easily transition from a tactile book to a digital screen simulating a book page. I had never even seen a Kindle in person before, and the only person I knew who had one was my cousin, Laura, and hers was new and she'd had it since we last saw each other.

I began to seriously consider Eric's Kindle offer on the plane home from Las Vegas. There were 2 women with eReaders sitting nearby. Meanwhile, I was traveling around with my thick copy of The Help, the current book club selection at the time, stuffed in my purse. It fit, but tightly, and it added plenty of extra weight.

Two days after returning from our trip I went to my book club meeting. Two of the ladies there had new eReader...the Nook, designed by Barnes & Noble. One was a fancy touch-screen color device, and the other was a black and white one without a touch-screen (except for the bottom part where you make your reading selection.) The idea of having a Kindle became even more appealing...I definitely knew that I did not want a Nook after seeing them in person.

After researching the kind of Kindle I wanted...6-inch screen or 9-inch? (There is an almost $200 difference.) Wi-fi + 3G (which allows you to download books from anywhere) or just Wi-fi (which requires you to be near your home network.) (A $50 difference in those 2 kinds...)

My research also led me to discover that there are thousands of free books and a few free games available for download. The highest quality free books are classic novels published before 1923. Other free books are those you would find in the discount bin or at a garage sale...not really high quality reading.

So I settled on a white 6-inch screen Kindle with Wi-fi+3G. I also got a Kindle case that is especially offered from Amazon that has a small LED light that feeds off of the Kindle's power. (The Kindle has 2 notches on the side which the case hooks into.)

I've had it for 9 days now and love it.

The screen is non-glare and really does look like you are looking at a page of paper, but no wrinkles, smudges, tears, or fading. It is very pleasing to the eye.

Right now we are reading Cold Sassy Tree (my suggestion) in the book club and it was available for download for only $4.95, which I did, and lent my book copy to another lady in the group who is always counting her pennies.

Eric likes the Kindle because he doesn't hear the shuffling of pages being turned when I'm reading in bed. See, something for everyone.

I was able to download all of the scriptures for church for only $9.99. Last Sunday I took only the Kindle to church for the first time, after practicing my "scripture navigation" skills for several days before. Thanks to the adjustable sizes of type-face, I was able to participate easily and find my way around the books quickly.

I am not seeing the Kindle as a replacement for books, which was my initial fear. I love books and always will, but there are definite advantages to owning a Kindle, starting with space. A Kindle can hold up to 3,500 books! I'm sure I'll never own that many in my lifetime, but it is a nice feature to have. It is light and eco-friendly. The books for download are less expensive than buying a book. New hardbacks that run $25-$30 are $10-$15 on the Kindle. The average price of all of the books I've seen is $9.99.

Think of it as an Mp3 player for books. It is light and easy to use. I'm looking forward to enjoying mine for many years to come!


Anonymous said...

Good to hear your review of the Kindle. There's a part of me that is interested in something like that, but I keep holding on to my love of "real" books as my excuse not to consider one too seriously. You like to read like I do, though, so if you love it, there's hope for me, too. =)

Kristie said...

Thanks, Karen! (I pasted your comment in here from my email because I made a boo-boo while trying to publish it.)

Rest assured that as you immerse yourself into the book of the moment, you hardly even think about whether you're reading the Kindle or an actual book. It is just a little more portable and carries more reading options. But I do believe that everyone needs to make the transition in their own time.

Sally said...

I love reading but I'm not overly attached to paper books. The major reason I have not gotten a Kindle is the price tag. It would not be a money saver for me because I am also too cheap to buy real books and only get them from the library. Unless it's a photojournalist book like Hungry Planet, then I would buy it. I love classics so that is nice but the HUGE downside of the Kindle for me is that you cannot download books from your 'local' state online library. You can with other e-readers, but I like the style of the Kindle so much better than the others. So, I guess I'm holding out for the day when an e-reader I like lets me download from online state libraries. Or for when I can get a used one cheap on craigs list or win one in a contest. I'm not holding my breath.

Kristie said...

Sally, you're right. The fact that the Kindle cannot borrow from state libraries is somewhat of a downside, but there is a feature that lets 2 Kindle owners borrow from each other for 2 weeks. I recommend that you go to amazon and do a search of "free kindle books" to see the hundreds (thousands, really) of free books available for download. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm going to email this response to you too. =)