I’ve been holding off writing this post, because I wanted to make sure it was true. I didn’t want to give a false start on my new found gadget relationship. I have to admit though, I’m thoroughly smitten with my Kindle.
Before you eBook haters/book lovers dismiss this, hear me out. I was once among your numbers. I have hundreds of books. I love them, hardbacks and 1st editions. Signed…meh. But gimme a nicely bound, small press edition of one of my favorite authors and I’m in heaven. I even have some books in bulk, because I wear them out by reading them too much. I’ve proven my case. I’m one of you, and there will always be a place in my heart for the printed book. However, I must come clean. The majority of my book purchases will now be on the Kindle.
Let me explain to you why the Kindle is great. I’m not going to do a feature-by-feature run down. I’m not going to do a side-by-side comparison to real books. I’m just going to let you know my experiences and you can deem whether or not it makes sense for you to buy one.
- You get lost in the kindle – This was the one thing that I thought would be the breaker. I love losing myself in the pages of a good book. Losing yourself in that way on a computer screen is impossible. You have the menubar of the OS, IM windows, browser chrome, etc. Plus, 72 dpi just can’t deliver text as pure and crisp as a printed page. The Kindle doesn’t suffer from any of that. It’s so much like the real page that on several (yes, several) occasions, I licked my fingertips in anticipation of turning the page. Yeah, it really is that crisp and clear.
- No more worries about creasing the binding or scuffing the dust jacket – One thing I love about books is the beautiful binding. That’s why I don’t like paperback books. It *pains* me to put a crease in the binding. (I think it’s the comic book fan in me that screams in pain over creasing paper. LOL) That’s why I love hard cover books, no binding to crease. They do have cover jackets though, which I have to lay aside lest I put a crease, smudge or tear in them.
- No more losing your place – One thing each book of mine has is a bookmark. Sometimes, it’s cute pictures of my godsons, but normally it’s the receipt, a sticky or a piece of the nearest scrap paper. I open the book, stick the bookmark in the back and get to reading. I usually put it in front of the last page versus after, as that tends to stay in place better. However, when I have to chase a kid or go help my wife real quick, I don’t have time to put the bookmark in place. Not to mention sometimes the kids take the bookmark out. Now, there’s no worries. Even if I decide to read another book, when I next click on the first book, the Kindle will remember my last known location automatically.
- You HAVE to hold a book, but not a Kindle – By this, I mean that for the most part if you have a book and let go of it, it closes. I love to read on the couch. It’s by far my favorite reading spot. I’ve become the master of using cushions as padding to hold the book’s weight while my fingers just turn pages. There are places where that’s not possible though. I’ll give you two locations: my desk and the gym. Have you ever tried to manually type some sample code from a programming book? You can’t without help, because the monstrous number of pages causes one side to close on the other. I usually have to have a small dumbbell near my desk, just to prevent the book from closing. It’s frustrating as all heck. I used to love reading at the gym too, but that was limited to the recumbent bike. Now that I run on a treadmill, I can’t read. I’d love to read the paper or a book, but the sweat of my hands and small shelf on the treadmill prevent it. Not anymore! The Kindle fits perfectly in any of those locations and it never-ever shuts on me. 🙂
- Magazines and newspapers are accessible again – With the exception of Harvard Business Review, I’m not allowed to have magazines anymore. They pile up on my desk, then bookshelves until my wife gets mad and throws them out. As for the paper, I occasionally make time to read an article or two on Sunday. Other than that, I don’t have time. The one spot I do have time to read both types of periodicals though is the gym. Like I said above, before the Kindle, that wasn’t an option. I’m happy to report that I read the New York Times this morning while running my 3 miles. It was great for 2 reasons: First, I love reading the NYT but hate newspaper ink. Second, it made my 3 mile run go soo much faster than having to put up with a silent version of SportsCenter or Charmed.
- The Classics (and other books) are FREE! – Yes, that’s right. Since most of the classics have been in public domain for quite awhile, anyone can eBind them up in Kindle format. Also, there are a ton of sites that just give away free books for the Kindle. I’ve been meaning to stock up on the classics now that my boys are getting old enough to read to and understand the storylines. I’ll save a ton of money due to this little perk. Money that I can spend on other books to support living writers.
There’s my list. Like I said, I didn’t touch on features of the Kindle since so many other blog posts do that. This is more to share my experiences with reading on the Kindle.
If you like what you read and decide to give the Kindle a spin, use my referral link. This way I can feed my eBook habit and not get in trouble with the Mrs. 🙂
Update: The Kindle also saved my startup – Read more here.