Thursday, November 12, 2009

eLoving my Kindle

I've only had it a few days, but I already love my Kindle. I'm not surprised. I like reading paperbacks and hardbacks as much as the next guy, but I've never seen why enjoying print books would exclude enjoying eBooks too.

The "tactile experience" is an argument I often hear given as a reason to stick with books printed on paper--the feel of holding a book, turning a page. I like turning pages...sometimes. I've even fluttered them against my skin or near my face. I've run my fingers down a fresh page as I read. My main interest is to read the words on that page, but I understand enjoying the tactile experience.

Some folks say they like the smell of a printed book and couldn't give that up. I like the smell in a library, but I just don't find it a major factor when reading in my easy chair. Maybe I need to hold books closer to my face? Regardless, I don't miss a printed book's smell.

Bottom line for this reader: I like my Kindle because, like a printed book, it disappears. I read fiction to escape into the world a talented writer has created for me. It doesn't matter if a paperback, a hardback, or a Kindle disappears in the process, as long as the medium does indeed disappear and leave me in the world the words create.

My Kindle is light and thin. I find it easy to hold with a finger poised on one of the "next page" buttons. A simple flex of a finger gets me to more words. It's not all that tactile, but frankly, it's easier and less cumbersome than holding a book with one hand and needing a second to turn a single page, especially if I'm reading in bed with one arm behind my head. The Kindle disappears quickly and completely. I like that.

I like the cost of eBooks. I like downloading them without postage charges in less than a minute. I like that I can download a free sample before buying. I like that if I buy a dog of  a book despite the preview, I'm out $5 and a minute to download it instead of $14.95 + $4.00 postage and 12 days of waiting for delivery or a trip to the bookstore and a $19.95 + tax price tag. I like that I can carry many, many books in my thin Kindle, and if I still find myself without something I want to read, I can shop and instantly buy and download almost anywhere.

As an author with a paperback and an eBook to hawk, I still don't really know how to market my eBook. I'll still want to buy signed copies of printed books sometimes. I'll still buy printed books because the eBook version isn't available. But I love my Kindle. I foresee saving enough in books to recapture the $260 price tag fairly quickly.

There's my take on the Kindle five days after getting one for my birthday. For what it's eWorth.


  1. Keith, I couldn't agree more! I love my Kindle for so many reasons, but I think the best thing about it is that, to me, it still feels like a book and it reads like a book. Maybe I can get the "book smell" if I stash it in my library while I'm not reading it. I hear people talk about reading on their iPhones or other small gadgets, and those just aren't big enough, in my opinion. The Kindle's screen really looks like a page out of a paperback, only it's a million times more functional. I'm glad you like yours!

  2. Maybe Amazon will make a Kindle accessory -- a little bottle of print book smell to dab onto the Kindle. Ha.

    I wouldn't want a smaller screen, either. I find I still put on my reading glasses and keep the text small-ish. A way to cling to something of the printed books? Who knows?

  3. Ah, darn, now I want one! Christmas is coming; I guess I better start leaving hints.

    Are there any competitors yet? I should keep up with this, but i haven't been.

    Enjoy your Kindle, Keith.

  4. Hi Joylene. Yeah, there's a Sony version. Barnes & Noble just released their own eReader last month, I believe. I suspect there are others. Jack did the research for me and decided, especially after a recent drop in price, the Amazon Kindle was the way to go. Seems like a good choice.

  5. Wow, you're right; that's a big difference in price. Thanks, Keith.