Thoughts on Owning a Kindle
My birthday is coming up at the end of the week, but my husband couldn’t wait to give me my present. Okay, so I couldn’t wait to get my present. But really, if someone asked you when you wanted your present, would you seriously tell them to wait until your actual birthday to give it to you? If given the choice wouldn’t you say, “well now is a good time.” So I made him chose and he chose Monday. Specifically Monday morning before he went to work so that we could set it all up before he went to work. He got me a Kindle.
I’m a book person. Let’s get that out there right now. I love books and I never want them to go away, ever. I love the smell of books, the feel of books, that sound they make when you turn the page or flip through them real quick. I love being able to flip back and forth between pages to remind myself of who someone is or of some minor detail that may be referenced. I love being able to count the pages until the next chapter or to math my way to the end of the book. I love being able to pick up the book and see I’m half way there; to feel the pages shift in concentration from the back of the book to the front as I work my way through. I love physical books.
That being said, there is also a large collection of books on my computer that I can’t read without an e-reader and a great number of books that my husband owns in digital form that I would like to read and it’s more practical to read them on the Kindle. It eliminates the excuse that I don’t have access to these books in order to read them. Plus I can get books from the library without actually going to the library and since we have yet to find a library near us that isn’t a hassle to get to, that’s very appealing. Is it my ideal way of reading? No, but it’s practical and convenient and I like reading, so I’m willing to give it a shot.
And you know what? I’m kind of liking it. I mean, sure it’s not a book and I love books, but it makes up for not being a book in little quirky ways. My paper white tells me how many minutes are left in a chapter in the bottom left corner, which is a weird way to gauge how much more I have to read. I would have thought pages would be a more accurate measuring unit, but apparently, since the font size changes the number of pages, they can’t really do that, but they can calculate based on how often I turn the page how long it will take me to get to the end of the chapter. Yeah, explain that one. I haven’t played around with the settings to know if I can change that, but for now it’s kind of nice being able to glance down and see I have like five minutes left in this chapter, and think, “yeah, that’s about two pages, probably.” It’s not the physical sensation of flipping to the end and glancing at spoilers along the way to make myself feel better about what’s happening, but it’s still nice. It also lets me look up names and things as I’m reading by highlighting them on the page, so I don’t have to type it out and google it on a different device. That’s pretty handy.
The thing I’m most excited about, though, and the main reason I wanted a Kindle to begin with is the ability to read in the dark. My Kindle is back-lit so I can read without turning on a light or straining my eyes to see. It’s so handy! I’ve been reading in the dark since the forth grade, usually by flashlight or plastic lantern under the covers. It wasn’t until I was fifteen that I had a room of my own in which I could turn on the light to read at night. I’ve read in cars by flash light, in hotel rooms, by a camp fire, on the couch during thunderstorms that knocked the power out. I’ve done a lot of flash light reading, but now, when the lights are not an option, I can read with ease on my Kindle. No more awkward flashlight reading for me! I’m mostly excited because I can read in bed now. When I’m having trouble sleeping nowadays and want to read, I don’t want to turn on the light and risk waking my husband and I don’t want to use the light on my phone to read because that’s all shiny and unwieldy and might wake him up and reading under the covers is much less fun as an adult. But with the Kindle now I can read with a soft light that’s pointed at me. It can be real low and easily hidden and I won’t have to worry about waking my husband at all. Not that I’m looking forward to my next bout of insomnia, but I am looking forward to being able to read myself to sleep again.
I’m enjoying my new Kindle. I’m excited about all the books I can read now and all the places I can read them in. I’m excited that I can throw it in my bag without worrying about the pages getting crinkled or the cover getting bent. I’m excited to rent library books without the stress of trying to return them on time. There are many things I’m excited about with my Kindle. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up physical books. I will always be a book lover, I just won’t always read them in paper form.