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Kindle love from a technophobe bibliophile

September 14, 2010

I shouldn’t like the Kindle e-book reader.

In the first place, I’m a hardcore, confirmed non-techie. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age by my friends. Even though I used computers at work, I was the last in my peer group to buy a PCs, and now that laptops seem to be the trend, I’m hanging on to my PC the way the Amish cling to horse-drawn buggies. I was the last among my friends to get connected to the Internet. My cell phone doesn’t do anything except make phone calls and it doesn’t do that very often because I never turn it on. I refused to give up my 35 mm SLR until my husband surprised me with a digital camera several years ago for Christmas.

I don’t have an iPod; I still use a CD player.  The only reason I’m not still buying vinyl records is because I can’t get them anymore.

I shouldn’t like Kindle because as a life-long avid reader, I love books. There’s no telling how many thousands I’ve purchased over my lifetime. I love reading them, owning them, discussing them, shopping and browsing for them, even smelling them. I love that new book paper scent—it’s even better than a new car smell. My very first purchase over the Internet was a book.

Another reason I shouldn’t like Kindle is the price. I dislike spending money. My husband gets annoyed because I DON’T spend money. I once waited a year to buy a $26 item until I found it for $13. In my husband’s words, “How stupid is that? You waited a year to save $13 bucks?” Kindle isn’t cheap. The 3G version is $189.

So if anyone were to guess at the odds of me buying a Kindle, it would be about one is a gazillion.

This summer I bought one.

Instead of being the last person in my peer group to get one, I’m the first. I admit I waited until the Second Generation Kindle came out, but for me, this technology purchase correlates to lightening speed. This is camped-out-in-a-sleeping-bag-waiting-for-the-store-to open eager.

I LOVE my Kindle. Did you notice the possessiveness in how I said “my” and typed love in all capital letters?

Kindle is simple and easy to use. It fits nicely in my hand. It’s designed to be intuitive. The buttons (such as “next page”) are located where I automatically reach for them. If you’ve reached that certain age where you’re suffering from the heartbreak of presbyopia, the fonts are scalable! You can make the type larger.  You can’t do that with a print book. Kindle is easier to read in bed than a print book—easier to hold with one hand and you don’t have to keep the pages open.

Buying books with Kindle couldn’t be simpler, faster or cheaper. With a click, the book flies through cyberspace from Amazon to Kindle in an instant. I don’t even need a computer. Kindle does it all. It’s magic.

I’m not limited to buying books on Amazon or in Kindle format. I can buy non Kindle e-books in PDF format direct from e-book publishers and send them to my computer and either email them or drag them to my Kindle with a USB cord. I can read them as PDFs or have Amazon reformat them into Kindle.

Once I got over the initial sticker shock of buying the Kindle, I realized that it actually makes reading an affordable pleasure again. I can read sample chapters before I commit to buy, and while publishers have kept some Kindle versions as expensive as the print versions, many Kindle and PDF e-books are damn near dirt cheap—even cheaper than buying a used book on Amazon or Half.com when you factor in shipping.

Most of the e-books I buy cost around $3. For that, I can take a chance on a new book by a new author. Since I got my Kindle about two months ago, I’ve read a bunch of new writers, some of them extraordinary authors only published in e-book format that I never would have been introduced to if not for Kindle.

I can carry a gazillion (okay, it might be more like a thousand ) books with me when I travel. I can carry my entire library with me wherever I go. The Kindle screen is big enough to read comfortably; small enough to fit in my purse. I recently took five books with me on vacation–and fit them all in my handbag, thanks to my Kindle.

For a while, I expect that I will buy both print and e-books. However, I foresee e-books taking over the world. Already I’m buying more e-books than print and it’s only been about two months since I got a Kindle.

Cheap as I am, I even sprang for a snazzy leopard-print cover for my Kindle.

Now that’s love.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2010 7:31 am

    Just an addedum, you can also download a fair amount of free eBooks that Amazon makes available for free each week. It depends on your interest of course, but I find that it’s a good way of stretching the genres that I read.

  2. September 15, 2010 10:54 am

    My husband just ordered me a Kindle for my birthday. They’ve been out of stock, but I just got a proposed delivery date of Sept 27th! Looking forward to trying it out! Glad to know you LOVE yours 🙂

    • September 15, 2010 3:05 pm

      I hope you like yours as much as I like mine. It’s a little different reading experience at first, but you get used to it real fast.

  3. September 20, 2010 4:05 am

    Thanks for this info Cara. When I was last in the States a friend demonstrated just how wonderful and simple to use kindle was. I was hooked and have ordered one through a friend. I can’t wait to download my friend’s ebooks and I delighted to find out from you that I can buy direct from authors’ publishers. I was wondering if I had to go through amazon every time. Books are more expensive here in Australia. A least double, so I’m looking forward to my kindle.

    • September 20, 2010 2:03 pm

      When I buy from a publisher, I buy a PDF formatted book, which I download to my computer. Then I email it to Amazon Kindle, which converts it to the Kindle format and transfers it via Whispernet to my Kindle device. You CAN read a PDF formatted book on Kindle, but many of the functions aren’t usable (such as the salable fonts). The first time I put a PDF file on my Kindle, the type was WAY too small to read comfortably. So, I always have it converted. Many times the books are considerably cheaper from the publisher than through Amazon. I recently bought one that was $5.20 through the publisher, but $8.20 through Amazon!

  4. September 21, 2010 1:25 am

    When mine arrives I’m going to try this. I live in Australia and books are double the price that you Americans girls pay, so I want to find a way to feed my addiction without breaking my bank account. I also like going straight to the publisher because the author gets more royalties. I published my first ebook this year so I’ve been finding it interesting to see how much each online sales outfit takes out of the author’s pay packet and amazon takes the most.

    Thanks again for your info and I hope I can work all the technology as efficiently as you have.
    Best
    Cathleen Ross

  5. Doni permalink
    December 14, 2010 11:15 pm

    LOL

    Oh my….. a ‘non-techie-techie’. I love it. I too am this way. I’m a techie person — who can be rather non-techie a lot of the time.

    I loved reading your thoughts and reviews of your Kindle as well as how you’ll hold out for a sale (the same as me). You seem to have double thumbed your Kindle in this post and in other posts — and that is good enough for me.

    I’ll wait though — with Christmas coming and my birthday afterwards — I’ll have to wait and see what happens – or doesn’t happen.

    Thanks for posting your ongoing review of your ‘luv’ for YOUR Kindle. It seems like a very fair review!

    Doni

    • December 15, 2010 12:13 am

      Thank you for comment. I do like (love) my Kindle. One thing I want to add is that I don’t necessarily prefer Kindle over other ebook readers. I chose Kindle because I was already a long-time Amazon customer. But, it is well designed. It’s very easy to use right from the beginning–it DOESN’T have the steep learning curve that so many other devices have like digital cameras, cell phones, etc. I expect that in the future, ebook readers will become even more affordable.

  6. December 15, 2010 2:23 am

    My Kindle has arrived and the surprise thing is that my husband adores it. He uses it more than I do.

    • December 15, 2010 2:57 am

      Now you need ANOTHER kindle! I think my husband would like it, too, if he had one. We share a computer, but my Kindle is MY Kindle.

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