Why I am Loving My Kindle: And a Request for Readers to Report on Their Own E-book Experiences

A few weeks ago I posted a list of 18 books I had blogged about in the last six months. At the end of the list I included two books I have not yet read, pictured here.

Today I got out my six-month-old Kindle and spent 20 seconds ordering the two books–Mary Karr’s Lit and Ben Yagoda’s Memoir: A History. These are books #5 and #6 I have ordered.  I now have a library of about 15 titles, including some free ones, on my Kindle.

This Christmas season Amazon announced that electronic books have outsold hard copy books for the first time.  I am beginning to understand why. While I still love to hold a single book in my hand and write my comments in the margins, I am warming to the idea of electronic books, now that I have had time to play with the Kindle a bit more and have ordered books for different purposes.

My first e-books were book club selections. I ordered electronically because I had only a month to read the book and little or no time to go to libraries and book stores. I wrote a blog post comparing Kindle to the Nook when the new reader, the Nook, came out and explained some of my early forays into the electronic book world here.

The two books pictured above are the first books I would previously have gone out of my way to order as hard copies. Thus, I felt a little unfaithful to the old form  book when I ordered them today. Previously, I probably would have ordered them as used books online. However, in this case, I saved money by placing a Kindle edition order, because the books were recently published and therefore not available cheaply as used books.  I even paid more ($14.27) than the usual price for an e-book to get the Yagoda book, but it would have cost more to order it new or used, and it would have taken days for it to arrive. In both cases, the digital price was the cheapest price and obviously the only one that could put the book in my lap in seconds. 

I will attempt to underline the books as I read them–something that is supposedly possible but sounds like it might be cumbersome.

What experiences have you had with e-books and e-book readers? Will you pledge to remain faithful to paper books, or will you ditch them easily and eagerly for digital books?

 

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About Shirley Hershey Showalter

Author of memoir Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World. Blogging about Magical Memoir Moments and Jubilación -- vocation in the second half of life.
This entry was posted in Books About Memoir, My Reviews, Personal Reflections and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Why I am Loving My Kindle: And a Request for Readers to Report on Their Own E-book Experiences

  1. Regina Shands Stoltzfus says:

    Shirley – I LOVE my Kindle. I am missing it right now because I left it in Chicago last week (at a friend's house, so I'll have it back soon). I have fun reading and more serious stuff on it. Just a couple of weeks ago I put a book on my Kindle that I'll be using in a class I'm teaching next semester. I haven't done that before and I know I'll have to have my hands on a hard copy as well, so that I can work with page numbers instead of location. I have done some underlining and note taking in some of my books and I don't find it cumbersome at all. I know that some people have complained that it doesn't have a backlight, but neither do regular books, and I find the Kindle very easy on my eyes – I also appreciate being able to increase the font size. Oh, and I like being able to get a sample before I commit to buying a book.Downside – citations are difficult. As I follow up on blogs and message boards, there is no clear cut solution to this. But I'm thinking eventually there will have to be – I don't see e-readers going away, and I think this is a fabulous option for students and educators. I also don't like that I can loan books out – I love to share what I'm reading. Yet, I love being able to fit a ton of reading material in my bag. I've been waiting for something like this for years – was an early adaptor back in the days when I had a Palm Pilot. Cheers!-Regina Shands Stoltzfus

  2. susanallstetterneufeldt says:

    Shirley–I am so glad you are enjoying your Kindle. I love mine and find it useful not only in my usual reading chair or in bed at night, but also on airplanes (with enough books loaded before takeoff) where I can take several books for the plane or the trip as a whole without carrying or packing all those books and then wondering what to do with them when I finish. I also use it in my eye doctor's office. I go to my retinal specialist every three or four months and get my eyes dilated each time. All I need to do after that is dilate the size of my print to keep reading–very helpful!When I find a new author, particularly a mystery writer–my relaxation–I can download a whole set of books and read them in order. Such a pleasure to know that the next one is there. The only drawback is that I order more books than ever and my credit card account lets me know, but it doesn't involve that much money on the whole. If I were more patient, I would go to the library, and look for what I could find and order missing ones to come for pickup on another day.Sometimes there is a book I love and I want to keep it on my shelf for rereading and lending to my family members. My autographed copy of Karen Armstrong's The Case for God is one of those treasured hard backs.Enjoy!

  3. I forgot to add that I worked with a writing group all last year and I could download each person's manuscript, thus avoiding printing out hundreds of pages from my 5 colleagues. I highlighted passages and made comments on the kindle and then searched the manuscript online to add the comments in editing mode. Then I could send back the manuscript to the author in short order.

    • shirley says:

      Susan, thanks for sharing this experience with me and others. You make me eager to try to underlining function and also to use the downloading of manuscripts. Could be great for that, too.

  4. shirleyhs says:

    Cool! This is a function I have not yet tried.

  5. susanallstetterneufeldt says:

    Shirley–I am so glad you are enjoying your Kindle. I love mine and find it useful not only in my usual reading chair or in bed at night, but also on airplanes (with enough books loaded before takeoff) where I can take several books for the plane or the trip as a whole without carrying or packing all those books and then wondering what to do with them when I finish. I also use it in my eye doctor's office. I go to my retinal specialist every three or four months and get my eyes dilated each time. All I need to do after that is dilate the size of my print to keep reading–very helpful!When I find a new author, particularly a mystery writer–my relaxation–I can download a whole set of books and read them in order. Such a pleasure to know that the next one is there. The only drawback is that I order more books than ever and my credit card account lets me know, but it doesn't involve that much money on the whole. If I were more patient, I would go to the library, and look for what I could find and order missing ones to come for pickup on another day.Sometimes there is a book I love and I want to keep it on my shelf for rereading and lending to my family members. My autographed copy of Karen Armstrong's The Case for God is one of those treasured hard backs.Enjoy!

  6. I forgot to add that I worked with a writing group all last year and I could download each person's manuscript, thus avoiding printing out hundreds of pages from my 5 colleagues. I highlighted passages and made comments on the kindle and then searched the manuscript online to add the comments in editing mode. Then I could send back the manuscript to the author in short order.

  7. shirleyhs says:

    Cool! This is a function I have not yet tried.

  8. kathleenfriesen says:

    I enjoyed listening to Eric Weiner's reflections on e-Books today on NPR:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?st

  9. shirleyhs says:

    Thanks so much for adding this excellent radio essay about the Kindle. Eric Weiner brings down the volume of the conversation, but adds some new reasons for writers to be concerned about e-books. I think his idea of narrative bias in technology is really interesting. Thanks for the comment!

  10. shirleyhs says:

    I downloaded Kindle for my laptop today. Think I'll like this feature!

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