So, I’ve been doing a bit of a reading experiment this past week. I’m reading a book for the first time on the Amazon Kindle. It’s been very interesting.
You see, Santa brought one for the Beloved at Christmas and she’s been using it for the past several months. One of the books she’d read was Steig Larsson’s “The Girl Who Played With Fire”, the follow-up to “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” which we’d both enjoyed (as a book and a film – not too many of those). She’d suggested that I read it, but of course it didn’t make much sense to go buy another copy with one sitting on her Kindle and so she has relinquished it to me while I read the book.*
I’m about half-way through and enjoying it but I thought I’d comment (and solicit opinions from you fellow readers…) on the Kindle. Do you have one (or a Nook, or similar device)? Do you like it? If you don’t have one, would you want one?
As I see it:
- Light and Portable. I think this is really important for folks that travel frequently and don’t want to lug books around. I read mostly before bed, so this isn’t a huge deal for me.
- Easy-to-read. The Kindle’s text and background (text size is also adjustable) is very easy to read in any light. Really easy and intuitive interface.
- Versatile. You can simultaneously carry around several of your favorite books, magazines and newspapers. Periodicals just “show up” in your inbox. Pretty nice.
- Resource friendly. No trees were cut down for my version of this book.
- No covers. I like the “interface” of a book’s cover. It “tells” me something about the book.
- No flipping pages. Sometimes I like to flip back and forth to re-read something in a story (especially a mystery story like this one). Harder to do on a Kindle.
- No home library. I like having books in my house. There’s a constant debate at The Aerie about just how many books we should retain, but I like seeing them and visiting them from time to time. They’re like old friends.
- No sharing. This might be the biggest drawback. When I finish a paper book, I can loan it to friends to enjoy. Even multiple friends. Even if I had a Kindle of my own, I don’t think we could “swap” books that we’d previously purchased. Granted Kindle books are less expensive than paper ones, but I think the inherent ability to share is important to so many readers.
- No oops. If you’re at the beach or in the bath and you drop your book and it gets ruined, it’s an $8-20 annoyance. If you drop your Kindle in the water (or maybe even the sand, I wouldn’t want to do the experiment), it could be a several hundred dollar catastrophe.
So for me – even though I have liked the interface and reading experience with the Kindle, unless I start traveling a lot, I think my preference is to stick with good old tree-eating paper books.
What do you guys think?
* a poor deal for her, I’m a slower reader than she is.