Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kindle-ing Interest

I can't decide if I want a Kindle. Of course, I can't decide if I want any e-reading device for that matter. Do I love gadgets? Yes. Do I love books? Yes. Do I want to pay $359 just to be able to keep buying the books I want? I honestly don't know. The up-front price is prohibitive but the new Kindle 2 is certainly tempting! It can supposedly hold over 1500 books -- if you were to be able to keep up with that large of a library. Of course, I don't know what size book they are considering. Those of us who like our "chunksters" might find it to be a smaller number. And the Kindle now has 16 shades of gray for a more book-like experience. We all know how hard it is to read page after page of computer text. The most tempting thing is getting magazines without all of the paper waste each month. I really don't like reading something once and then recycling it. It still seems wasteful.

I am actually having the same sort of dilemma in switching to digital music. I like the tactile experience of books and liner notes and all other sorts of paper with words on it. Do I buy the random song on itunes? Of course. Am I still buying new CDs? Yes, I am. I don't want to give them up but then again, I may just have to if I want to be a responsible steward of the earth. Books are a precious resource and maybe we have to let go of our notion that they are tied to another resource -- paper. You can read here about the environmental impact of e-books. And March 8-14 is apparently Read an E-Book week.

Or maybe the Kindle is just annoying and will freak out and delete my hundreds of books ...

What do you think about e-books and reading devices?

Unsure of my position on this issue,


  1. I am not interested in reading anything electronic for fun. It seems like work. Sitting with a real book is the only way I can really relax.

  2. I hadn't thought of it in those terms but I would have to agree that a paper book is more relaxing than a backlit tablet.

  3. I am in the same boat at you... I want it but I'm not sure. I actually wrote a post about it. You might want to check it out to see what some others had to say!!

  4. When it comes to music I love my iPod and downloading music from is a breeze. No clutter from discs kicking around taking up space.

    Books are a whole different story. I write this while looking at my bookshelves and find a certain satisfaction in looking at the various titles and different colors of books. I'm not a gret collector of books and usually pass a book on after reading it, but those that I own hold meaning. The many books stored on my iPod don't convey that same feeling of warmth and coziness to my room. Although I greatly appreciate listening to those books especially when traveling, I miss seeing them and holding them. I am still too old fashion for a Kindle. There was a time I was too old fashion for an iPod, so things may change.

  5. T made a good point and that was that it will be a much more interesting device, especially for magazines and such, once they make it color instead of greyscale. That might make me feel better too -- being able to see the book covers in color. Then it would feel more real.

    As is, I'm not going to be running out to get a Kindle just yet.

  6. So, I'm just catching up with my blog reading and saw your post. Jim gave me a Kindle 1 for my birthday in October (so it's already outdated technology and is bigger than the new one--oh well). Anyway, I LOVE it! It is so nice to have several books available to me at a time and all with me and be able to download a new one without going to a store or waiting for shipping from Amazon or half[dot]com. The price for older classic books is pretty good too. I recently downloaded Bleak House for 99 cents. To me it is no different than reading a book with paper and pages and acutally it allows me to multi-task (like feeding a baby for example) while I read since it stays open (unlike most paper books). I also like that I can search the text of books and highlight and make notes for later.

    The biggest disadvantages I would say are the lack of color and no built-in light. (Unlike an earlier commenter said, it is NOT a back-lit computer device and there is no glare, etc.) If you are thinking about getting one, but can wait, I would see if the Kindle 3 comes out with color and a light. If not, I would get one. Since I mostly just use it for reading novels for fun and don't want to look at magazine pictures, etc., these issues haven't been big for me.