Monday, January 24, 2011

Kindled

I'm a reader.  I love books.  I often read three at a time.  Close one unexpectedly on me and I'll have it back at the right page within seconds.  I'll re-read my favorites until they've lost their covers and spines and have to be replaced. I love the discoloration of old hardcovers and fancy endpapers.  I'm not picky and I'll read anything:  classics, biographies, romance novels, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, suspense.  As a kid, I thought books were the best gifts of all.

But as much as I enjoy books, a Kindle was never on my radar. My family of techie guys thought otherwise and I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century.  I'm ashamed to report that my reaction to my birthday present was something less than gracious.  A Kindle was way too expensive. (And if they were going to spend that much why couldn't they have gifted me a compound sliding miter saw?)  It doesn't even come with pre-loaded books.  And I couldn't exactly go to my favorite secondhand book store to buy ebooks.  There are no pages to turn and, worst of all, falling asleep while reading in the tub would be disastrous.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that the Kindle color scheme is about as exciting as the one Henry Ford thought up for his Model T?  I could get a skin for the Kindle itself,
but the design would mostly be wasted on the back even if my guys hadn't got me a sturdy cover for mine (I think they know how hard I am on books).  My crafy genes are busily figuring out a way to Zha-zha my leather cover with something bright and cheery.

At least they got the size right.  It's just a tad larger than a paperback.
It's easy to figure out how to use and very Green on energy use.
And I like seeing the various screen-savers like this flock of winged wonders.

I'm happy to admit that I was wrong.  I'm loving my Kindle--mostly due to Project Gutenberg.  
It's true the ebooks there are free downloads, but the true attraction is having access to some books that are extremely hard to find.  How can you quarrel with Lucy Maud Montgomery, Charles Dickens, Jack London and Stewart Edward White? It's like being turned loose to roam the stacks in a mammoth library without needing a library card or having to return them on a due date.

And I will be delighted to return the favor to Project Gutenberg by proofreading their in-progress titles for them (and I even have a book or two that aren't in their library yet that I hope to shepherd through their process so that others can enjoy them as much as I have).


I'm still wondering if perhaps someone would issue me bathtub insurance for my Kindle?

4 comments:

  1. I wondered how you would deal with reading in the tub!

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  2. Can you dog-ear pages with it?

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  3. I am still in the anti-Kindle camp but your post has made me think a little more. I am just a die-hard bookie, loving the pages and feel of a book. I stare at computers all day at work so I don't want to look at one when I read. But I do like the conveniance of it. If I go on a long trip and need suitcase space and can't bring tons of books, I might reconsider.

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  4. I am a book/paper lover myself, too. We did give our 13 year old reader a Kindle for Christmas. About a week later he informed me that, after using the kindle, books just seem so inconvenient, "you know, you have to hold them open and stuff". Pretty profound, huh?

    Love that the classics are free. He's got Dr. Doolittle, Sherlock Holmes and the likes downloaded and ready to read.

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