The Kindle

I have a question for all of you. Do you have a Kindle or do you know anyone who has one? Help. I think I want one but I want some opinions before I buy something like this.

I’d heard of the Kindle before but never really considered buying one until very recently. I went shopping one day a few weeks ago and low and behold, both Danielle Steele and Stephen King had a new book out. I knew King had one out and I knew it just came out and it was on my list but I was doubly happy seeing both of these authors having a new book out. I read the Steele novel first as I knew her book would be “light” and I knew the King book would be much longer and much “meatier.”

Well, the King novel is over 1000 pages. It almost made me giddy thinking about such a long story. Everyone knows I love long books and I love the story to go on and on. I hate endings. I picked this book up on a cloudy afternoon all rarin’ to go. Let me tell you, this book is HEAVY. REALLY HEAVY. I tried every position in my chair. The only way I could read this book was sitting up straight in my chair with the book in my lap. No lounging holding it above me. No reading laying down. No reading in the tub! Oh NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! That’s one of the things I love about reading is the relaxation it gives me in my lounge chair. So I realized I was going to have to wait until summer so I could read it outside on the deck where I sit all the time in the summer. It actually  made my wrists and fingers sore after only one afternoon.

So, I went to Amazon.com one day to order something and The Kindle was on the front page and it made me think, I could read this book from there and many others. It would solve a big problem I have and that’s where to store all the books I read. I’m really the only reader I know so unless it’s Danielle Steel, Steven King or a few other authors who’s books I collect, I’ve been donating my books to charity. I just don’t know what else to do with them. The other things is each book is $9.99. Much cheaper than a paper book and it can be downloaded right to this device in under one minute without a computer. You can also get major newspapers and magazines. I also have little “elves” that come into my house and lose my page. I would never have to worry about that anymore either. This will keep track of whatever you were reading and what page you stopped on. Very clever. It’s also very easy to take this book with you where you go. It’s very slim and takes up no room at all.

But I’m so torn. What about the feel of a real book? Would I miss that? Books have a “smell.” Would I miss that? Would I miss cracking that binding on a new book? I love books and would hate to promote people quit buying them. Do you think that’s even a possibility? Look at how so many newspapers are closing down, would that happen to books?

Then when I was reading about The Kindle, I came across Sony’s Reader. Same principal as Kindle but from what I’ve read, The Kindle has more features I like. One is with the Reader, you have to download them onto a PC and it’s not Mac compatible which I’m also considering for maybe sometime next year. Now there are two things to consider!! Oh my! Now how will I decide?

Our friend Morocco had this question on her blog too and it made me laugh as I’d been thinking the same thing but only a few of us answered the question so I wanted to throw it out to you guys.

So, do any of you know anything about either one of these devices or do you know anyone who either loves or hates theirs?

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26 Responses to The Kindle

  1. SKL says:

    I don’t know anyone who has one. But I too found this intriguing. I would normally not buy it for myself because I am way too cheap when it comes to myself. I thought about it for my parents, but they are not really able to read any more; they use audiobooks. Can this thing download and play audiobooks? Now, that would be a great feature. Another question is, what if you’re reading four books at the same time? Can you switch between page 45 of book A and page 152 of book B (etc.) without having to re-scroll through them? Also, what if you want to go back to a previous page to re-check a part you read before?

    I could see this being great for traveling or even having something to read discreetly during the completely lame “continuing education” courses I sometimes have to take. I’m not particularly attached to the “feel” of a book. But I would be concerned that the screen has the right brightness/contrast so that it would not bother my eyes.

    Overall, if you buy that many books and pay that much for each, it sounds logical to buy this product. I will be interesting to hear if anyone has any experience with them.

    • Laura says:

      SKL, I know nothing about the Kindle, but you mentioned that your folks are not able to read anymore. My brother told me that the Kindle might be good for Steve (blind) because he read somewhere that it can read the words. However, if it’s a digitized voice, that would probably be a little irritating after a while, especially to those who are used to the professionals on the audio CD’s.

      Steve has asked for a Victor Stream Reader for Christmas. It’s $100 more than the Kindle, but much smaller. It is compatible with many different formats, including MP3, which means that you can get those audio CD’s and rip them to the computer, then download them to the VS Reader. I know that many books are now available as MP3 downloads, as well. Not to mention the music that could be loaded on. And just reading over the site, this thing also has voice-recording capability, which could come in handy.

      Steve knows way more than I do about this little machine, but it might be something for you to consider, especially since your parents are not reading anymore. Here’s the website:

      http://www.humanware.com/en-usa/products/blindness/dtb_players/compact_models/_details/id_81/victorreader_stream.html

      However, if they are still interested in reading, I would check the Kindle to see if it can do large text, which may make it easier for them to get back into it.

  2. Lucy says:

    I don’t have one… and don’t know any one who has one. I can definitely see how they would be convenient (light, cheaper per book, good for traveling). I don’t know any of the answers raised by SKL.
    I was thinking of getting one for my dad…. but they are really expensive!! It seems like you definitely have to be sure about spending that much money on a device. I think I would miss having an actual book in my hands….with real pages and a wonderful smell.

    If you decide to get one…let me know what you think 🙂

  3. SKL says:

    I think you could check the reviews on Amazon.com and see what the general concensus is so far.

    • Joy says:

      I did read a bunch or reviews for this and more people voted for the Kindle virus the Reader. The biggest reason was the Sony needs a computer to download the books and the Kindle doesn’t.

  4. nikki says:

    Wow this a sounds right up my alley. The main reason I don’t read is I hate to touch the pages of the book! I know nothing about these kindles you are talking about but I will look into them!!!!!! I bet they are really expensive though, but for you who reads A LOT I think it’d be worth every penny. 🙂

  5. Laura says:

    The first thing that popped to my mind, Joy, when I read about where you like to read is this….

    I would MUCH rather pay another $7 – $30 to replace the book that I dropped into the tub (if I couldn’t rescue and dry it acceptably), than shell out another $250+ to replace the Kindle when it took the plunge!!

    Besides that, I don’t know much about it.

    What I would look for, though, are these things:

    1. how does it store the books? Can you store them on an outside source, like a flash drive, your computer, or an SD Card (the little card that most cameras use)? If you’re like me, you have favorite books that you go back and read again and again. Or perhaps there’s a reference-type book that you downloaded to the Kindle, and you’d like to save, “off-site”.

    2. As I mentioned to SKL above, does it do different sized fonts, and can you set it for yourself?

    3. How are your eyes after a couple hours of reading a computer screen? I’ve had to start using eye drops because I’ve discovered that I blink much less when I’m on the computer, and days that I’m writing a lot, I need to use artificial tears. This has never happened to me, even in my most intense marathon reading sessions. I would guess you might have the same problem with the Kindle – there’s something about the illuminated screen vs print on paper.

    4. Will your homeowner’s insurance cover it so you can have it replaced when you drop it in the tub? 🙂

    • Joy says:

      I did read about the storage of the books but not I’m not sure what was what between the Kindle and the Reader.
      Yes you can change the fonts.
      My eyes do get sore after being on the computer. That’s why I wonder what it’s like to sit and read on one and if I’d feel like I was “really” reading a book.
      I’ll have you know, I’ve never dropped one single book in the tub!!!! LOL!! Nows the time I will right???

      • Laura says:

        the VERY FIRST TIME I got in the tub with the express thought of, “I’m gonna sit here and read”… I dropped the stupid magazine into the water.

        That was when I decided that the bed was a MUCH better place for me to read.

        • SKL says:

          I got all ready to read in the jacuzzi once, then once my hands got wet, I thought, how the heck do I do this? Hold my arms over my head? That’s supposed to be relaxing?

          But here’s an idea for an invention – waterproofing the Kindle.

  6. javajunkee says:

    I was happy to see that you mentioned my first concerns…the feel, the smell…those are my favorite things about books!
    I spend too much time now over a screen that would just be one more…and though I don’t read much I have to be able to fiddle with the pages when I read..I thumb the pages and mess with them. That’s what books are for!

  7. Gary says:

    I don’t know anything about them but they look really cool. I wouldn’t mind getting one of those when the price comes down on them and you KNOW they will as the competition grows.

    I do however think that one day, almost ALL books will be in electronic form. We are quickly becoming a paperless society.

  8. Joy says:

    You know, the other thing is I wonder what Stephen King was thinking publishing a book so large. Wasn’t he thinking about how hard it would be to hold? He published The Green Mile in chapter like books 4 weeks apart. Both Toby and I couldn’t wait for them to come out. I wish he’d done that with this Under The Dome. Now I have the stupid book but it’s just not comfortable for me to read.

  9. pammywammy says:

    I have never heard of this before you mentioned it the other day on facebook.I had no idea what you were talking about.Now reading your blog I understand.
    I personally like to read a book in bed before I fall asleep.But hey,you never no 🙂

  10. mad hatter tosha... says:

    I dont know anyone who has one. I download alot of stuff to my pc to read and also put it on my blackberry but I find myself often wishing I had a hard copy..

  11. Just a Mom says:

    My older daughter, who is just 17 years old, reads all the time. I asked her if she wanted a Reader for Christmas and I got a very quick “NO!” She said part of the experience of reading for her is being able to turn the pages, dog ear a page she likes or has a question about and when she reads used books she likes how certain pages are worn from the previous owner.

  12. Sue says:

    They sound really neat, but I honestly can’t see you loving one of these! You love books so much and you get so excited when one comes out, to get a copy and hold it in your hands, that I think you’d miss that experience. On the other hand, it might be really nice to have all your books at your fingertips, read multiple books at a time, and take all those books with you where ever you go. I hadn’t heard about these things until you brought it up the other day. Good luck on deciding!

  13. Laura says:

    the tub thing still makes me nervous.

  14. Okay Joy, because I wuv ya and all, I’ll pipe up on this . . .

    I once sat in a waiting room with a woman who had one. First off, it’s pretty slick–I’ll give it that. Backlight, download magazines, aritcles, your e-mail, books a’plenty, etc. Beats carrying around a big book like King’s, or several in a book bag.

    I’m all for technology. It has taken us to places our parents (and some of us) never dreamed of.

    Having said that, I’m too old school to see myself using one. I need the tactile sensation of holding the book and turning the pages. The words themselves will, indeed, still read the same. But there is an indelible physiological aspect to reading from a book that adds to the whole reading ‘experience’.

    Thousands of teens in Japan read stories specifically written and formatted for, of all things, cell phones. Their popularity is mind-boggling. I used to work with a guy who loved downloading books to his phone.

    It isn’t for me, but the woman in the waiting room adored hers. One piece of advice I’d leave you with though: There are multiple entities working on e-readers of their own. As of right now there is no common standard e-books are produced to; that is in the works, from what I understand. Kindle is currently the 800-pound gorilla. If demand explodes then you can bet the price will come down to under $100 pretty quick.

    I love the feeling of standing in an old library, stacks and rows of books surrounding me, all different sizes and colors. A Kindle could likely hold half that library, but the pages would never smell as sweet.

    • Joy says:

      I know JW. I LOVE books. That’s why I’m so torn. It would be really convenient for me for in a lot of ways.

    • Joy says:

      I really appreciate you giving me your 2 cents as an author.

      • If it was $50 I’d say “try it!” But the thing ain’t inexpensive. It will allow you to read just about anywhere (I wouldn’t recommend the tub ;^) ), and the ‘books’ are less costly. My hunch is that you would be so conflicted if you had one you might not truly enjoy it. You’re a dyed-in-the-wool reader–if only there were more like you!

        Bottom line is, do what you feel is best for you. Kindle (and the others) offer a tremendous amount of convenience, but they lack the warmth of holding the real thing.

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