Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Kindle Experience

My new favorite thing...

The Kindle.  I love, love, love mine!  I am so ecstatically happy that I finally bought one.  I'd hemmed and hawed about it quite a while.  I thought I probably only wanted one because everyone else had one.  I'm an old fashioned kind of girl and I like old fashioned ways.  I still keep my schedule on a paper DayTimer calendar which lives in a 3 inch notebook that I carry around with me obsessively.  If I like paper enough to suffer that nightmare on a daily basis, why on earth would I want a paperless mechanical book?  As I said, probably only because everyone else has one.

I obsessively Googled Kindles, which, by the way doesn't really take all that long to do.  I read every single thing I could find to read about them.  I drove my favorite Best Buy salesman absolutely insane with my questions.  And the poor guy - he probably thinks I have a crush on him or something because I visited him about eight different times in order to ask all those questions.  I asked my real life friends what they thought about theirs.  Then I asked my Facebook friends.  And then, I asked my sister.  She was the deciding factor.  No one else had ever mentioned that you could play games on the Kindle.  

I immediately rushed out to Best Buy to visit my favorite salesman once again.  But common sense took over.  Momentarily, at least.  I mean, it is a lot of money to plunk down on another device that allows me to play Solitaire.  And that money could be spent in so many other more important ways.  So I once again left Best Buy without making a purchase.

I went home and made a list of the pros and cons.   Basically, the only cons were the cost and the fact that I'm old fashioned and enjoy the feel of a book.  Well, some books.  A book printed on good paper is SO much more enjoyable than a book printed on icky feeling paper.   The pros list, however, was ever growing.  E-books are cheaper than printed books.  There are many, many free e-books.  There's that whole 'another chance to play Solitaire' thing.  There's the fact that you can make the font bigger so if your eyes are tired and you are struggling to see, you can make the words really, Really, Really big.  I'd also thought that it might bother my wrists to hold the Kindle but my sister had reported that she is much more comfortable holding the Kindle than a real book.  The Kindle is lighter.  Another pro - you can get a case that comes with a light so you can read in the dark without bothering others.  And as it turns out, you can use that light as a flashlight in an emergency.

So, the pros far outweighed the cons.  I decided what the heck.  I may as well plunk down the money, and stop stressing about it.  I was going to be near Best Buy the next day so I was forcing myself to wait.  Besides being old fashioned, I'm also impatient.  I did have to go to BJ's, our local warehouse club, that day and low and behold - they had Kindles!   At a reduced rate!  The covers were reduced too.  It was a sign.  I HAD to buy a Kindle.

And so I did.

And I am SO freaking glad.  I really do love the thing.  All of the reported pros really are pros.  There are a few more things that no one had mentioned, or at least I hadn't considered.  First, I keep it in my purse so when I'm standing in a long line at the grocery store, instead of getting irritated at the other customers' whiney, loudly crying children, I can whip out my Kindle and soothe my nerves & pass the time playing a game.  So far, I've gotten five games, all of which are free.  And sometimes, the kids and I play the word games instead of doing spelling.  It's a great way to pass the time with them when we are stuck in a traffic jam.  Which seems to happen frequently.  I love my Kindle!

The other thing I'm absolutely crazy about is the dictionary.  Ok, I'm going to show my ignorance here, but....  I either never read the classics or I never understood the ones I did read.  So much of the vocabulary was over my head that I didn't get the gist of what the author was saying.  And sorry, but I am way too lazy to get up to look up a word in the dictionary every five minutes.  But with the Kindle, at the press of a button, the meaning of the word pops up on the screen.  And you know what's even better?  Most of those old classics are free!  In the last few months, since being a Kindle owner, I have gotten a better education than I ever did in high school!  I just love my Kindle!

Oh, and one other pro that was rarely mentioned.  The Kindle will read to you!  Not every book has that capability, but most do.  I can "read" and knit at the same time now!  Ok, granted, the reader's voice is a little flat and they don't read with any inflection.  It's just a computerized voice saying the words.  And that computer doesn't always pause at the periods & commas.  Sometimes it's a little hard to follow because of the lack of punctuation acknowledgement.  But still.  I can "read" while I knit!  Oh, and you know what else I can do?  When I'm trapped in the car with Hubby and he starts yammering on about all things political and I start contemplating jumping out the window, I can plug the earphones into my Kindle and "read."   I can't read a normal book in the car - makes me instantly, horribly car sick.  But I can "read" with my Kindle.  Have I mentioned how much I love my Kindle?

Another thing I'd stressed over was the cost of buying the e-books.  I already own SO many books that I've never gotten around to reading.  And I can get books for free from the library.  Did I really want another device to use to spend money on books?  Yes!  As it turns out, I'm actually saving money using my Kindle instead of the library.  Now, granted, this won't be true for everyone, but we live about 30 minutes from our library.  So by the time I've paid for the gas to drive to & from the library to pick up a book and then to and from the library to return it, I can easily have just bought the book on the Kindle. And once I own the book, I don't have to worry about due dates or worse, loosing a library book.  And did I mention how many great books are free with the Kindle?  I've already read and thoroughly enjoyed several freebie books that I'd never have chosen from the library.  But because they were free, I gave them a try.  I love my Kindle.

Oh, and that thing about the Kindle's battery lasting a month - well, it actually does!  Who'd have ever thought that marketing ploy was true!   And you know what else it does?  If you fall asleep reading or you set it down for a moment and forget to come back to it, it shuts itself off after a while.  That's a great feature for me!

And one final feature to mention.  The page turning button.  In the advertising, the Kindle had been touted as having a faster page turning feature than the Nook.  At the time, I didn't give it any thought.  Actually, I did, and I thought it was a sort of silly thing to brag about.  But as I thought more about it and how frustrating it can be to read something on our slow internet when you have to wait and wait for the new page to appear, I realized that the page turning feature probably is important.  And the Kindle's is fast.  Almost too fast.  When reading a paper book, it's my  habit to start turning the page as soon as I start to read the last line on the page.  That's a hard habit to break with the Kindle.  I start to read that last line, hit the page turner button and instantly, I'm on a new page.  It doesn't give me time to finish reading that last line.  Good thing it's got a back up button that works just as quickly!

I really, really LOVE my Kindle!

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