I’ve been a bit in the closet with my Kindle (and of course, my Kindle book light,) fearing the wrath of purist friends and Indie bookstores and worrying that I will be part of an online horde slowly removing books, beautiful, lovely, wonderful books from the shelves of the world.
But here’s the reality for this book-addict:
Reading an e-book will never replace books. Not for me, anyway. E-Books will never be the same as a creamy fresh new hardcover—yum—or a paperback either. It feels a bit anonymous, reading in a grayed-out world. I miss being able to flip over to the acknowledgements when the mood strikes. You can do it with a Kindle, but not with panache or ease. I miss covers. I miss page numbers. (I have not yet figured out the numbering system.) I miss the smell. I even miss falling asleep with the book splayed out on my chest.
Moreover, reference books? Does. Not. Work.
And it sure doesn’t light up my life, as do the books scattered all over my house.
And I wouldn’t buy a friend’s book that way—except as a secondary version. Bonus, friends—you just made two sales!
Which is why I don’t use the Kindle as my home reading.
However, it works. I can read books on it, and, just as when traveling I can’t bring my whole closet (thought I try!) I can’t pack all the books I need.
So what I love about a Kindle is:
For traveling! Like today, when I am going to NYC and then Rhinebeck NY, and would usually need a second suitcase for my books, I pop that tiny thing in my briefcase, and presto magic a world of books. No more worries that I inadvertently only packed the boring books.
If you read fast and furious, and you travel, then a Kindle becomes your very best friend.
And for the T. And to bring in the car when your husband is ducking into Home Depot ‘just for a minute.’
If you’re in a writer’s group, you can download friend’s manuscripts and read them on Kindle. Download your own manuscript, and it looks all tidy-real book-warm-your-heart.
Oh, and the sampling! Amazon lets you download a chapter for free. I often do this before buying the book in real life, in real time, and a real bookstore, thus, I’ve decided that I’ve perhaps already earned the money I spent for Kindle back, simply by not buying quite as many books on whim, but only those I actually found engaging.
Which maybe, as a writer, I should also see as a downside.
Oh well, once again, I live in the world of ambivalence.
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