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….
I’m glad that you do have little bit of a bad conscience. Just kidding. 🙂 I see the advantages of a kindle but it isn’t for me. I do donwload the first pages on the Mac to decide whether I want to read a novel but that’s all. I really love the feel of a book. I think however the kindle is great for all those old classics on gutenberg that you might not even get anymore. Do you think it is nicer to read on the kindle than the laptop or PC?
The little lamp looks neat.
Somehow I didn’t think you’d be a fan of the Kindle, Caroline. 🙂 It is easier to read than a computer screen, and that sold me on it. I was worried it would cause eye strain, but Kindle screens use little capsules filled with charged black-and-white particles to give the appearance of ink on paper. That’s supposed to make them reflect light like ordinary paper.
I like that I can order a “sample” before buying too, but the one for a novella gave me only the introduction and author blurbs! I guess they didn’t want to give away too much for such a short book. Hasn’t been a problem for more lengthy books.
I made the crossing reluctantly too, Carole. My guy bought me one for Christmas 2010 … he was so happy with himself, I didn’t have the heart to disappoint him. I love books. I love the dust jackets, too. I love the convenience of buying a book right out of the air. I love having a library in my purse at all times. I love ordering ‘real’ books online (although I hate waiting for them to be shipped). I love being able to swap ‘real’ books with the members of my writing group. I love having the option to back up my e-books on my pc. I love your little lamp … the cover I chose doesn’t have one. I love book stores. I’m no longer reluctantly enjoying e-books but probably will never LOVE them the way I do ‘real’ books. Cheryl
Well said, Cheryl! I NEVER thought I’d buy an e-reader, but I also said that about digital cameras. 🙂 Now an iPad is looking awfully good….
I still love the feel of a book in my hand and turning the pages but I did look over a Kindle and dream about the number of books available to me at any point in time with a click or two on the computer. Haven’t purchased one yet.
I think I’ll be looking at the Kindle as an added resource, esp. when traveling, Jeanne. I did’nt like the book I took on the plane to California, so it would have been nice to have more choices with an e-reader. I ended up buying a novel in the Chicago airport.
I suspect I’ll be following in your footsteps soon. I move too much to have as many books as I do.
That was kind of the clincher for me too. When I moved last time, movers told me to get rid of as many books as possible. They really add to the cost of moving, so I donated a ton of them to the local library. It’s supposed to be cheaper to mail them, so I may try that next time. There are certain books I just can’t part with.
Welcome to the dark side, Carole. As you know I recently got a Nook. It takes some getting used to. Right now I don’t feel like I’m reading. I like the tactileness of a print book and flipping the pages. But I’m sure we’ll get used to it the way that we got used to computers and cell phones and iTunes. Since I commute by subway I like that I’m going to save my shoulders and back. I’ve been wanting to read Mark Twain’s autobiography, but it clocks in at 800 pages! Now I’ll put it right on the Nook!
Strange that the Kindle doesn’t give you the page count. The Nook does. So I always know that I’m on page 25 of page 299 for example. Also, I think that if you were to lose the Kindle you should be able to go back online and redownload everything to a new machine. So rest easy. 🙂
PS – let me know how you like The Paris Wife. I’ve heard great things about it.
Thanks, Jacquelin. 🙂 I do think it’s kind of strange to not have page numbers. I have this need to know when the book’s going to end so I’m not left hanging. I’ll flip ahead (while blurring my eyes–I NEVER read ahead, because that’s criminal in my opinion) to see the last page number. So many books have pages for book club discussions at the end, it’s hard to see how many pages really remain.
Yes, I think we’ll get used to the e-readers, but I hope they don’t replace books entirely.
I didn’t love Paris Wife, I liked it. Truth be told, it made me want to read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. When it comes to real people, I want their version, not a fictionalized one. Probably why I’m not a big fan of historical fiction.
Carole, I haven’t bought a Kindle/Nook yet, although have loaded some classics to Ipad (which I love). I download (I pod) books and listen to them while walking or bike riding. Really looking forward to cooler weather to get back outside.
I thought for sure you’d have one, but you’re close, Mary Beth. I thought about holding out for an iPad, but decided to wait. My son loves his. We’re still in the 90s this weekend.
I think the convenience must be great, especially since I can’t get english books easily. But I do like the hard cover.
Having trouble getting through A Suitable Bore though. 😉