Yes, I’ve done it. I’ve gone to the Dark Side. Bought one of those Kindle things. Now I feel strangely guilty, like I’ve betrayed my precious books. I love books. I love their deckled edges, their beautiful dust jackets and the way they feel in my hands. Somehow an electronic device doesn’t quite deliver. It’s like the difference between watching a movie on the big screen and watching it on an iPhone. Same content, different experience.
How can this
compare to this?
I’ll admit I’m a sucker for beautiful cover art. It really draws me in. But if the first sentence or paragraph is poorly written, I’ll put the book back. No wonder agents tell potential novelists to make that first sentence sing.
Back to the Kindle. Yes, the convenience is wonderful. Instead of lugging one or more books on the plane, I can take this slim device that weighs less than a hardcover. I can put THIRTY-FIVE HUNDRED books on it if I wish. Think about that for a minute. Three thousand, five hundred. Do you really want your entire library on something that can get broken or stolen? Then where are you? I already break into a sweat when I can’t find my iPhone.
Yet another wonderful feature is how fast you can get the book you want. One click over at amazon.com and the book is on your Kindle in seconds. I can’t drive to the library that fast.
Did you know there’s a site called gutenberg.org where you can upload the classics to your Kindle for free? I already have a few on mine. Maybe if I’m stuck on a plane for several hours I’ll finally read Moby Dick. Or not. I’ve read just about all the classics, but keep avoiding that one.
I do like the little built-in light that came with the cover I purchased. It runs off the Kindle’s battery and lights up the page nicely without disturbing a slumbering spouse. 🙂
An interesting feature for me is the indicator at the bottom of the screen that tells you what percentage of the book you’ve read. Since there are no page numbers, you pretty much have to look at it to know if you’re close to the end. For some reason, I’ve found myself reading more to get the percentage number to go up faster. I’ve never felt competitive while reading before. What is up with that?
Maybe after a few months I’ll be hooked on the Kindle and won’t want to hold a book in my hands again. But for now, I still heart the real thing….