December 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
So I’ve had my new Kindle Fire for a solid week now, and I felt it time to publish my thoughts on the device.
For anybody that knows me or has been reading my blog for awhile, you will know that digital reading devices is something that I have been STRICTLY opposed to for quite some time. I haven’t been shy at proclaiming my distaste for the fact that “these devices take something away from the reading experience”.
That being said, I have always been able to appreciate the ecological advantage of electronic reading. You know…..I am a slight “treehugger”. Even with this big characteristic that I considered a “pro” on the pro/con list, I just didn’t feel like I could ever take the electronic plunge.
I like my books. I like holding them. I like turning pages. I like lending my favorites to other people (as long as they abide by the “care of Penny’s book rules”), I like collecting my favorite books to display and read again. And there are about a million other reasons why I love having an actual copy of a book.
Then, in November, my sister bought the Kindle she had long been coveting. I couldn’t deny it’s cool factor.
And, voila, for my birthday and Christmas gift combined, my husband purchased a Kindle Fire for me.
Upon opening the gift, I felt a little like a traitor. To books.
Silly, I know. But that’s the truth.
I started reading my first book on the Kindle, and then I commenced to tearing Amazon apart looking for more books to put on the device. I found lots. And lots. Cheap books. We’re talking .99 cents cheap.
Anyway, after reading, net surfing, book buying, and general usage of the Kindle, here are my thoughts on the device. Brought to you in my preferred list-format. You guys know how I love to make lists.
- Amazon has some really good books, at some really amazing prices.
- That being said, most electronic book prices are absolutely STUPID. A new hardback will cost 16.99, but the electronic copy will cost 14.99. This appalls and confuses me. I have no intention of ever purchasing an electronic book for my Kindle that cost more than a few dollars. In fact, I bought a book yesterday that was $3, and I felt like that was pushing it. I intend to procure all my books at an extremely cheap price, or to check them out from the library, digitally.
- When you buy a book from Amazon, they use that purchase to provide you with recommendations of similar books. Therefore, I have a whole truckload of dystopian novels sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read. I’m certain that by the time I read all of these dystopian books, I will be more out of touch with reality than I already am. Not only am I okay with this, but I encourage and look forward to it.
- Amazon has an AWESOME feature that I have been using like crazy. Instead of purchasing a book that you may not like, you can have a sample of the book sent to your Kindle. One can read the first few chapters of the book, and then decide if they want to purchase it or not. (Or maybe get the book a different way, like through the library). I love this. I have had samples of 8 books sent to my Kindle. I also like this because I may see a book that looks interesting, and instead of writing down the title or making a note of it in a different way, I just send the sample to my Kindle FOR FREE. This is awesome. If I decide to buy the book, I delete the sample and purchase the full version.
- Amazon requires Kindle users to set up “one click buying’”. If you see a book you want, with just the push of one button, about 30 seconds later said book is magically waiting on your device, begging you to read it. This is not necessarily a good feature. Pushing that little purchase button can become addictive. Approach with caution.
As for how I feel about actually reading on the device….
Nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever replace reading an actual book. Sorry Amazon. I’m old school. Do I love my kindle???Yes. I love it, I adore it, it has become a practical extension of my arm, I’m ecstatic my husband bought it for me. But I do love books. I like the smell, the feel, and all those other weird admittances that only other bibliophiles would understand.
HOWEVER, let me show you this picture….
This is a small portion of the books I own. All of my shelves are not visible in this picture, and I STILL have books stored in boxes since I moved.
I actually really like the decorative atmosphere that shelves of books provide. Also, I like being able to look at all the books I’ve read and thumb through them if I so desire.
(Also, over the past, say, 4 years, I have downsized my books BY HALF. I used to have an ungodly amount of books.)
That particular shelf has 24 books on it. If I were to store all the books that I purchased for my kindle, I would need a whole new shelf. On the flip side though, I have purchased books, but I have no physical thing to show for it and….. if I LOVE one of the Kindle books, I can’t thrust it into my husbands hands and demand he read it.
Now, I realize I’m getting into an area that everybody is aware of. This is not new information. The reason I bring this storage topic up is because while I love the lack of physical space required for the Kindle books, I also really like being able to browse my shelves for a book I haven’t read or want to lend out. So, I’m a little conflicted, but mostly I’m just happy that I have so many new books available to me (at the simple touch of a button no less) that doesn’t require shelving space.
By the way….I suspect this is the real reason my husband bought the Kindle for me. He really HATES all my books. He particularly hates moving 100 pound boxes of books.
Do I intend to read only Kindle books from now on????
My local library does not have an electronic option available (at the moment), and I currently have two ACTUAL books on hold with them. Two books I’m really looking forward to.
I also recently purchased a book for my birthday that has arrived in the mail and I can NOT WAIT to read it.
(I would like to note that the Kindle version of this book on Amazon costs the exact same price as buying a hardback copy. I fail to comprehend this. In cases like this, if I REALLY want to own the book, I will always buy the physical copy.)
Also, if I find a series that I really like, I tend to collect all the books in that series. I will still purchase the physical copies of Sookie Stackhouse, Stephanie Plum, and others that I know I love.
Changing gears here…
Here are the books I have bought for my Kindle…..
- The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan
- Smokeless Fire by Samantha Young
- Alice in Deadland by Mainak Dhar
- The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Entwined by Heather Dixon
- The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
- The Declaration by Gemma Malley
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
I have purchased 9 books, and it cost me $11.42. Dude. That’s awesome. That’s less than the price of one book. Might I also mention that I purchased them while sitting on my couch, and they were delivered to me instantly. Ahhh….laziness. (I suspect that in 20 years all forms of physical activity will be rendered void. ha.)
Samples that I have requested……
- The Dummy Line by Bobby Cole
- Enclave by Ann Aguirre
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien
- Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
- Chasing Amanda by Melissa Foster
- Far Away Home by Susan Denning
- A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein
So those are the purchased books, and the samples. I fear that within one hour of finishing this post, there may be 5 more books added to the gang.
Here is the case I’ve ordered, though due to it being on backorder, I will probably receive it sometime around my fiftieth birthday.
Sadly, it’s leather.
I would have strongly preferred not to have a leather case (this is a vegetarian thing) but I really, REALLY, liked the design of this one, so I just went with it.
Now aside from reading, I also enjoy the Kindle for other reasons, as does my two year old.
I keep a Netflix account, and I made the mistake of playing Toy Story on the Kindle ONE TIME. Now, my two-year-old believes the Kindle to be his personal Woody-watching device. He points to it and shouts Woody at me.
In wrapping this up, I’m going to relay a question that my sister recently asked me in regards to my Kindle. It was….
“So do you feel like you’re betraying books and reading by having the Kindle?”
This question may sound odd to some, but she asked it is a very serious manner because she knows how I feel about reading actual books.
The answer to that question is no. I’m always going to prefer actual books, I will still read and purchase books, but the Kindle is awesome because I have way more access to books than I did before (and I still had A LOT of access before), and I am able to procure books more easily and quickly.
So I love the Kindle, I will use it like absolute mad, and it will continue to be an extension of my arm, but I am still going to read and love physical books too. And after reading my first book on the Kindle, I know that even though reading on the Kindle is okay, I will always prefer reading an ACTUAL BOOK.
And, well, I guess that’s it.
So, what can be taken from this post that I have written?
If you don’t know, I will tell you….
I am a nerd. A hardcore, til death, NERD.
If you have any questions literature related, THIS NERD IS YOUR GIRL.
Feel free to weigh in on the topic.
You could be thinking, “Wow, could she OVERTHINK this any damn more???”
And the answer to THAT question is no. There is no possible way I could overthink this anymore than I already have. ha.
EDITED TO ADD:
I just purchased these books…..
- The Old Man and the Wasteland
- Wool by Hugh Howey
- Wool 2 by Hugh Howey
- Wool 3 by Hugh Howey
This brings total books purchased to 13 and at the price of $15.38.
I have more dystopian choices than I know what to do with.
I can’t stop. Somebody, anybody, please make it stop. HELP ME.