I love physical books, but last week I buckled. I bought an Amazon Kindle 3.
I, Liza, the proponent of turning actual pages and browsing actual physical bookstores, who has two bookshelves in the main room of the house (one for fiction, one for non-fiction), have purchased an ebook reader.
I realized that buying physical books is costing me. A lot. And sometimes, I buy a book on a whim or based on online reviews and the just don’t like it or can’t get into it. I wouldn’t say this money is wasted as I could go back and read it later and find it excellent, but at the same time collecting books would be a much more satisfying and affordable exercise if I bought only my favorite books for my shelf. Only the books that I know I like.
So I decided to get a Kindle and buy ebooks instead, which are considerably cheaper than physical books. Then, if I like the ebook version enough, I will go out and buy a physical copy of the book for my collection.
I ordered my Wi-Fi only Kindle last Thursday and it arrived on Monday. The timing was great, because this is also the day I realized that I couldn’t find the hard copy of the book I’m currently reading - The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. Now, this book is good. It is so good that even C, who is normally not interested by fiction books in the slightest, has been enjoying having me read it to him aloud (unless he’s just listening to humor me).
After a hasty scramble around the house, I still couldn’t find The Gargoyle. So I decided that this would be the perfect time to buy my first Kindle book. I had the book on my Kindle within minutes.
Reading on the Kindle
I have to admit that reading on the Kindle is very convenient. Perhaps in some ways more convenient than reading an actual book (and it pains me to admit this). I find myself being engrossed in the book more easily because there is no page-turning or book readjusting to get comfortable. Normally when reading I shift and fidget a lot to get the book into just the right spot or to ensure a comfortable grip. Believe it or not (and I know this might sound nitpicky), some books are a bit of a hassle to hold open and you have to actually use some constant force/pressure to hold them in front of you and read.
No such problem with the Kindle. It’s like everything around me completely melts away. I hold the Kindle and barely need to readjust. There is no changing grip to turn pages and the page turning is almost instant, allowing me to also read faster.
Losing my hard copy of The Gargoyle actually provided a great opportunity to compare what it’s like reading the same book in its physical form versus reading it on the Amazon Kindle 3. The only Kindle negative I found was that some of the varying font usage in the hard copy was not replicated perfectly on the Kindle. Every once in a while throughout the story the “snake” in the narrator’s spine talks to him, and her voice is distinguished by “typewriter” text - white blocky font on black background. This same text in the Kindle version of the book is simply shown as an upper-case, bolded version of the same font as the rest of the text. It isn’t a huge deal, but it’s not perfect.
Is the Kindle 3 too small?
When making a decision about purchasing the Kindle 3 my main worry was that the screen would just be too small. At 6", it is smaller than most books I read. I had nothing to worry about. The Kindle 3 screen size is just perfect and you can adjust font size to make it suit (I made mine one size smaller from the default).
The Kindle Lighted Leather Cover
I did not actually notice that this cover was leather until after it arrived. I know, it actually has “Leather” in the name, but I must have been so excited about actually buying the Kindle that I somehow completely skipped over this. I wouldn’t normally have purchased a leather case, but what’s done is done.
When purchasing the cover I could choose between several different colors. I originally intended on choosing green, this being my favorite color. In the end I decided that black might be the better, less distracting option. I figured the black would be more neutral and not distract my attention when reading (ok…is this sounding a little OCD or what?).
The Kindle clips into the case by two connectors at the inner spine. This allows the light to draw power from the Kindle itself. The light itself is completely tucked away into the top right hand corner of the case and to turn it on you simply pull it out until you hear a “click”. The only unfortunate thing about this light is that it does not illuminate the entire screen evenly. The top right hand corner is much brighter than the bottom part of the Kindle. It still provides enough light to read, but I can see how the uneven coverage could get a little annoying.
So far I like the Kindle. It helps me to get more “into” the story faster. However, I still have fantasies of hiding in an attic somewhere, huddled in blankets with a big, mysterious, dusty book, turning the pages of an epic adventure through the night while a storm rages outside. The Neverending Story scene is still my ideal, dream reading situation and no Kindle will ever replace that.