I have… succumbed, for want of a better word. I did that little clicky thing on Amazon and ended up with a Kindle.
I say that like it was some sort of accident, but I’m not that impetuous. I can assure ‘you’ it was absolutely nothing of the sort. As with most decisions in my life (at least the bigger ones) an inordinate (not to mention potentially disproportionate) amount of thought and deliberation lay behind said purchase. I’m talking months on and off, if not over a year. Thankfully I managed to curb my ruminations from creating pro/con lists. Just about, there were some rather close calls that I’ll willing to own up to. After all they are expensive, it’s a commitment…
Anyhoo. Crux of the matter is I am now the owner of a shiny (and already well-used) Kindle.
Love at first handle!
Not often I can make that claim I am sure. Also, having now read that sentence back it sounds rather more…iffy, than I had intended and vaguely X-rated.
Already, in fact before it actually reached my hands, I had a selection of fiction and fanfiction ready to load on there and get reading/clicking. Plenty to get me started anyway. All of which were free (either from Amazon, or Project Gutenberg or from fanfiction sites around the web), though now there are a few on there that I have paid for.
So far, I have read such a plethora of fanfiction. Ranging from: Birds of Prey, Murder in Suburbia, Hand aufs Herz and Women’s Murder Club, not to mention Lost Girl and Rizzoli and Isles. Hours of very happy reading… which reminds me, I now need to go and make a lot of comments…
In truth my ultimate decision to purchase a Kindle was down to four reasons:
- Fanfiction on the go
Last year I read 250+ books (without counting fanfiction). If I bought/owned all the books I’ve read over the years (including the mass of library/borrowed books), I’m fairly certain that I could build an apartment of reasonable size. So the storage of what I read was a major consideration.
I don’t drive. Now, that might seem an exceedingly bizarre thing to say in the context of luggage and reading, as I am fairly certain it is illegal to read and drive. However, in the context I am talking about it is an extremely pertinent thing to say.
It means that I have to use public transport a lot and ultimately means I don’t have the luxury of carting half a tonne of books around with me on my extended visits to family and friends. Admittedly, previous to the Kindle, this is what I did, and naturally things had to be sacrificed… like shirts or underpants…luckily I am a Bibliophile not a clotheshorse, so I never found that to be particularly upsetting. (Which is also why I am a card carrying member of 5 libraries in 4 counties.)
It’s an addiction I tell you!
When I am about to set out on my travels, I’m never sure what my reading mood will be, so the fact that I don’t have to predict this choice several books in advance so I can take the right ones with me, I can flick through as the mood strikes me.
I love to read fanfiction. The Kindle means that I can save on an inordinate amount of paper or Tobi-PC time by saving them as word documents and emailing them to my Kindle.
I am now officially one of the converted.
One of the more…entertaining results of this is the amount of Librarians at work (I am a Librarian) who have come out of the “Kindle closet” and ‘confessed to owning one also. Several others have professed their interest/similar tumultuous mental debates as to whether or not to buy one. Almost like ‘Librarian’s Anonymous, as if owning something that is not a physical book could be considered shameful or sacrilegious… which as a genderqueer queer, is truly amusing and ironic.
However, whilst I do think their virtues are immense and should be lauded, they do also have their downsides.
- As yet in the UK they are (Kindle specific, not e-readers in general) incompatible with borrowing e-books from public libraries. However this problem was recently addressed in the USA (please correct me if my information is faulty) and thus rectified. SO I suspect it is probably only a matter of time before a similar agreement is reached between Amazon and UK libraries. At least I sure hope so.
- With a Kindle (specifically) you are tied inextricably to Amazon unless some kind soul converts e-books to .mobi, further ensuring their conglomerate hold over the book buying public.
- E-books are by no means guaranteed to be more cost effective. Which means book trading (and its associates) could eventually become defunct. However, I am talking a long way down the line. This isn’t going to happen overnight for certain.
- A book purchased for one Kindle cannot (that I can tell) be passed onto another. My friends and I share a lot of books. We are all readers and couldn’t possibly own all that that entails, partly because we have similar reading tastes so that would mean a shed load of duplicate bookshelves, but also means we trade a lot of recommendations between us. With e-books, you negate that sense of community and that aspect of reading.
(ETA: I believe that I am wrong in the sharing of e-books. If you open your Kindle on your PC as if it were a USB stick, you can drag and drop and thus exchange. I have not experimented with this to great extent as yet, but I believe that it is feasible.)
However, whilst there are negatives, I am finding thus far into my Kindle relationship, that all is pretty much fabulous. I’m just hoping this isn’t ‘our’ honeymoon period… but it’s been two and a half months, so I think ‘we’re’ going to be alright in the long run.
Ultimately I highly recommend e-readers. However, not necessarily a Kindle for they are expensive and there are others on the market that are also excellent but kinder on your wallet. I would suggest looking at comparison charts to see which one would work best for you, because after all it is the individuals choice that matters.