I received an Amazon Kindle from Oprah when my book club was in her audience last month. If you don't know what I am talking about, you can read the story starting here and then the day of and my thoughts after.
After the initial amazement that we received a Kindle, I was leery about whether I would like to read on it (or any eReader). I just love the heft of books and turning pages and such. I am not a true book lover in that I have to have all the books I read or keep the ones I do read in pristine condition. I am so used to carrying around a book - since I was little and got in trouble for it in school - that I wasn't sure I would want to read my books on a screen.
But as it's definitely the wave of the future, as I had one and didn't have to pay for it or my first books, I figured I wanted to try it out and give it a fair shake. Since I was way down on the list for our next LOLAs book at the library, I decided to read Midwives by Chris Bohjalian on the Kindle. You can read my review of the book here. This post is about the Kindle.
Overall I liked reading on the Kindle. It obviously took some getting used to initially. I had to figure out what size type works best for me. I found that while I am sitting on the couch and reading, I can use the smallest type choice with no problem. But when I was walking on the treadmill, I needed the second to the biggest to not get motion sick. How cool that I could have those options!
The Kindle keeps track of where you are in the book. Automatically. You can add bookmarks of places you want to go back to for one reason or another. You can also add notes to specific areas of the book (great for reviewing books or for book club discussions). My son (I allowed each kid to buy a book - anything to get them reading and enjoying) likes to highlight the line he is on when he turns it off. Even though the Kindle automatically saves his page, he wants to know exactly where on the page he was. Apparently he doesn't want to take the time to re-read anything.
You do have to push the 'next page' button more than turning pages, but after awhile you don't even notice. The nice thing is that there are two buttons for next page so no matter how you are holding the Kindle, it's easy to hit the next button. With the different type sizes, more or less text will be on the screen so I made sure that when I could, I used the smaller type so I didn't have to hit the button as often. I also had an error (not really an error where it fussed at me but not sure what else to call it) where somehow I pushed something that sent me back to the beginning of the book without bookmarking where I was. It only happened once and I can't recreate it - if I figure out what happened I will be sure to let Amazon know and update this review to include the issue.
The Kindle is wireless, downloading items quickly and quietly. It is definitely faster than even my high-speed internet on the computer. There are so many books available to read, it's amazing. But there are also newspapers (which is a big highlight for my friend Julie), some blogs and magazines. And you can send items to it via email so you can read just about anything on it.
I have no doubts I will continue reading on the Kindle. I don't believe I will read on it exclusively at this point but I can see heading that way in the future. My biggest issue is that I generally don't buy books to read. I either get them from the library or from friends. I buy less than 10 books a year for myself (10 actually seems high). So it will be a switch to buying books, even though it is cheaper to buy on the Kindle than paper books. And since I cannot give this book away when I am done, the money seems to be an issue for me right now.
I can see using this exclusively when I travel. I usually travel with lots of books and with the Kindle only being 10 ounces, that would seriously cut down on the weight in my bags and the space needed. I would have loved to take this to Hawaii in March - I took 10 books with me that week! Plus since I can have my books along with the kids books on here, it's great to slip into my purse and use as a distraction for them if needed. The only drawback for that is we only have one!
My thoughts are if you are a book buyer but not in love with bulging book shelves, the Kindle is for you. If you are tired of carrying around heavy or bulky books, this is for you. If we can convince the libraries to rent books via the eReaders, this will be for ALL of us. (Can you imagine? No waiting for a book that you want from the library? It makes me all tingly!)
I am excited to keep reading on my Kindle and see how the technology changes my reading habits over time. And to see how books and the book market changes as more folks get interested in eReaders, including the Kindle.
If you have a Kindle or other eReader, let me know what you think. I'd love to chat about it some more!