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I Admit It: I Like the Kindle

Knowing that I’m an avid reader, many people have asked what I think of the growing popularity of ebooks and ereading devices. Ask me about a year ago, I would have told you that I didn’t see myself changing. 

Well, I changed.

My interest in the Kindle was generated by my foray into self-publishing. I had to format a book for this thing, so it seemed logical that I learn something about it so that I could make my text look as good as possible on it. I discovered that my negative opinion was based on false assumptions about the device.

Here are some of my former thoughts on ebooks and why I changed:

  • I like the feel and smell of paper. This is still true, but I had to temper my love of paper when I began developing allergy issues. Books gather dust. I don’t like reading and sneezing.
  • I don’t like reading on  computer screens.Turns out that many dedicated ereaders have e-ink screens, which are designed to simulate paper and do not have back-lit screens. It’s not at all like reading on a computer, and even though I didn’t believe it at first, it is very much like reading a paper book.
  • I’m not going to pay $200 for a little ebook reader.The prices have dropped, so that helped, but my opinion really began to change when I saw that publishers generally price their ebooks lower than their print editions, which is fair. I am still chagrined at many publishers who are pricing their books at the same, similar, or higher cost of their paperback or hardcover print editions, so I just don’t buy them. I didn’t buy them before either, by the way. I checked them out at the library.  And speaking of libraries…
  • If I can check it out for free, why would I pay for a digital copy and an ereader? I still love libraries, but if you’ll note my comment on allergies above, sometimes the books from them take on an odor that just does not work for me. I have had to return books solely because of my reaction to them. (Gosh, I sound like a hypochondriac. No more allergy talk.) Plus, I don’t enjoy reading hardbacks. They are awkward to hold, especially in bed. And libraries generally stock them.

Now that I have my Kindle, I love it. It is small, lightweight, and portable, and it contains a whole library of books. It is more comfortable to hold and I don’t have to work to keep it open. (I know it sounds like I’m about to start complaining about my bursitis or something.) And it doesn’t weigh nearly as much as hardcovers. I can set it up in bed and read hands free. I even put it in a Ziploc bag and read in the tub. I don’t have to worry about breaking the spine and having pages fall out or loaning books to someone and having them returned all creased and ruined. Books are generally more affordable, and public domain works are free; I got all of Austen’s works at no cost and am working on my free Shakespeare collection. It has search features and a dictionary built in.

But most importantly, I love reading on it. It offers a paper-like reading experience. I’m not lying.

This thing is pretty darn cool.

11 thoughts on “I Admit It: I Like the Kindle

  1. I got one for Christmas because there were so many reasons to have one. I haven’t really read much on it yet but I have a feeling I’ll like it too. (Yes, I was reluctant for a while before deciding that I wanted one.) Glad to know it comes recommended. 🙂

  2. I got a Nook as an early Christmas present this year, and I love it! You’re completely right about the e-ink; it really is a lot easier on the eyes than I thought it would be. I’m completely stealing your zip-lock idea!

  3. I stole the Ziploc idea from Kindle Boards people. It works great, especially if you put the long side of the device against the short side of the bag. It seems to wrinkle less.

  4. I don’t have the allergy problem. I still like books, but one day they will probably be used more for promotional purposes at book signings and I can foresee that they will be considered much more of an art form. I have realized lately just how much reading I actually do on the internet and on my computer. I read a lot of blogs and I am virtually obsessed with monitoring my Google Alerts. We don’t need to make excuses anymore to move from books to kindles, it is what it is, and this is where the eyes are. But – my books go with me when I move.

  5. I have been asking myself the same questions about getting a Kindle, so your post offered some great insights for me. I have started writing a book that I want to publish as an ebook as well. That is one of the great things about the internet these days, anyone can self-publish to get started. If it takes off, great! If not, back to the ‘drawing board’.
    Thanks for the excellent review of the Kindle.

    Wendy

  6. Jennifer I love your an avid reader I have to be honest I have a collection of ebooks but I just read them from my computer. Not ideal admittedly but it works for now. I have been really interested in the ebook readers I see at department stores. I think you have sold me.

    Steve

  7. I got a Nook last month and I love it. And I CAN get library books on it, and my library is getting more and more ebooks, which is why I got one in the first place. I agree it’s ridiculous of publishers to price ebooks the same (or higher!) than paper ones. I, for one would never pay more than $10 for an ebook. The great thing about ebooks is that self-published books have as good a chance as books published in traditional channels as they look and feel the same.

    I love the Ziploc idea…that’d work at the beach, too!

  8. Me too, Jennifer! “Admit” is just the right word. Sitting in my kitchen, enjoying my Kindle, I hope my friends on the bookshelves aren’t watching, or at least, don’t mind! I have gotten especially addicted to the highlighting feature–and the fact that it produces a searchable list of the most quoteworthy passages. In the end, I’ve decided that more reading is good, in whatever form. Thanks!

  9. I’m glad everyone is enjoying their ereading devices as much as I am. I also love the highlighting feature. It has come in handy when working on my next novel–Caroline Bingley. I’ve highlighted all her major scenes, so when I need a reminder of just what a lovely lady she is, I just turn on the Kindle and enjoy her scenes again.

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