2 reasons I like the Kindle( and 2 reasons I don't)

After a whole year of virtuous denouncement, I fell for my husband’s Kindle barely 2 weeks after gifting it to him for his birthday. I had admired a friend’s older version for its clarity and cool looks, but just didn’t see the value in a 300-dollar book when I could get one for free at the local library.

But then I got the brilliant idea of taking it to the gym with me and I was hooked. I had been assiduously working towards financing some chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon’s new boat, holding one hand on the spine of my book while working out on the elliptical trainer. The awkward posture would only be relieved at the very center of the book, when the even balance made the page stay still, and that too only in a hardcover version. Paperbacks were a real pain, both literally and figuratively, as I teetered on the machine while turning the pages.

The other unexpected benefit I found was that at a slightly bigger than normal font, I could only see about a third to a half of a normal page at one time, which meant that the likelihood of my reading the entire page became much higher. Like many bookworms, I have a bad speedreading habit and can finish thrillers in mere hours by the simple expedient of skipping all the descriptive stuff. Not only was I doing a disservice to the fine writers( yes, thriller writers are humans too) but as a writer and editor myself, I was missing out on structure and characterization in a race to get to the bottom of the mystery. Now I find myself more appreciative of the finer nuances in a good book and more selective of what I chose to spend my $9.99 on.

Which brings me to my biggest crib with the elegant Kindle..it does not allow for rentals. My average library checkout list numbers in the late 20s, so there is no way the Kindle can be my sole source of reading material. What it panders to is impulse purchasing instincts, but the free public library can rest assured of my support and late fees for the foreseeable future, unless Amazon mends its ways and allows for rentals at a nominal fee.

And there is the price, of course. One Kindle itself was a shock to the recession-battered wallet( honey, you don’t know just how much you mean to me), 2 are unthinkable.

4 thoughts on “2 reasons I like the Kindle( and 2 reasons I don't)

  1. Seshu

    Hi Vidya,

    After having read your blogs every now and then and kind of withholding myself from commenting, I had to write a comment on “The Kindle”. We currently own Kindle2, after having tried out the original version. It was a birthday gift to me, much against my wishes (as I prefer the feel of paper any day, to the screen of any type). However, I have fallen for it myself, rather instantaneously. The original kindle is so portable and oh so cute, it is adorable. Kindle2 is very handy, but looses the portability, however, it is good to read pdf articles and scientific papers (should you need to). I believe that one kindle is not enough for any family and I can easily foresee families buying at least a couple of them if not more. As for the price, it doesn’t seem to bother me much, given that Ipods, PS3s, ITouches, digital cameras etc are all in the several hundreds of dollars, range. As per my hubby, he thinks amazon has hit a gold mine with this (of course time will tell how it shall fare).

    I also love the voice option, although some people I know hate it. For working moms, having the voice options is perfect. The variable font size is certainly good for people with any kind of vision issues. I am glad your hubby means a lot to you!! I guess I could say the same about my hubby too… (ie, I sure must know how much I mean to him!!))

    Seshu.

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  2. Seshu

    So, correction, we own the Kindle DX and what I wrote about Kindle, should apply to Kindle 2, as I have not tried out the original Kindle.

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