Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Kindle has landed

Thank you for all the enabling positive comments while I was umming and awing over whether to get a Kindle! I went ahead and got one and it arrived on Monday.

So far, so good.

Good Points:
1. Size and weight
I got it because I have arthritis in my thumbs and holding a heavy book makes them ache like billy-o. I also wanted to be able to carry a number of things on a long journey without making my bag too heavy (my filofax, weighing in at 650g is taking care of that job…). At 170g (currently without a cover but more on that in a moment…) it is certainly lighter than almost any paperback I have on my shelves and doesn’t make my thumbs ache. As it doesn’t have a cover yet, I haven’t carried it around in my bag but even with a cover I doubt it will be as heavy as some of the paperbacks I have.

2. Being able to change the text size, font and spacing
What I am really enjoying at the moment, is downloading lots of freebie non-fiction books and flicking through them. By being able to fiddle with the settings and change the text size, font style and line spacing, I’ve found a combination such that I can speed-read much more easily than I would be able to on paper.

3. Cheap Classics
As well as freebie (or very cheap) non-fiction things, I’m enjoying being able to get many of the classics I’ve wanted to read, free, or for very little. Before I bought the Kindle, when I was still justifying getting one (as I have shelves of unread books), I made a small promise to myself to read big books and cheap classics on my Kindle – big books because of the arthritis issue, and cheap classics to justify the outlay (since it would cost a lot of money to buy the classics in paperback, but a fraction of that to get them as e-books, hence saving me at least £89!). At the moment I am reading Little Dorrit, which, if I bought it as a paperback would have >850 pages, so it’s covering both of those! I’ve downloaded a number of classics to it already, all of which were free or less than £1. As long as I do actually read them, I will have ‘paid back’ some of the investment.

Bad Points:
1. It’s not a book
I do love a proper book and although I’m enjoying using my Kindle, I’m not enjoying it the way I would if I were reading a real book where I can leaf back through to remind myself about a character or plot development etc. I think that will take a bit of getting used to. Maybe my memory will need to sharpen up since I can’t rely on being able to easily flick through a book.

2. Cover angst
I’ve bought two covers so far and both have gone back. The first was supposed to be a leather one but when it arrived, it was patently not, nor was it even the same design! The return of that has been extremely straightforward though. Then I ordered a second one which arrived this morning and although it is lovely, the front cover has a big crease in the leather, like the cover has been folded. So that’s going back too, but I will ask for a straight replacement since this one is leather, and fabric lined, not lined with synthetic leather (the smell of which is horrible to me). It’s been hard enough to read and not have either the feel or smell of the paper to enjoy, never mind having the smell and feel of synthetic leather putting me off. Hopefully a replacement cover will arrive soon and I can take the Kindle out and about.

3. Fretting
I know – this sounds like a weird one. But, if I drop a paperback, or it slides off my bed onto the floor because I fell asleep reading it, well, it’s a paperback and easily replaced (and probably not greatly damaged anyway). But if I drop my Kindle… well it’s another £89 if I break it. I’m hoping that with a cover on it I’ll feel less stressed about it getting damaged, but already I’ve almost put my laptop down on it because I didn’t really see it!

4. Time
I am now somewhat addicted to scanning through all the free classics that I’ve not read (and sometimes not heard of) disappearing down the rabbit-hole of ‘other people who bought this…’ then reading reviews and delighting in clicking on ‘buy now’ (when buy is a misnomer as they are free) then watching them download on to my Kindle. I realise I am now doing with my Kindle what I have always done with paperbacks – purchase/obtain more than I will read in a year. Time to turn the Wi Fi on my Kindle off and start actually reading!

All in all
I’m glad I bought it!


  1. Hi Amanda!

    I wanted to thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog, I've posted a reply for you there. I'm so pleased you commented, because I'd probably never have found your blog otherwise, and I'm thrilled I did.

    I read your today's post with interest. I actually got a Kindle for Christmas (pressie from my lovely husband) and love it - although I shared your concerns initially about it not being a "real" book. I seem to have got over that after using it for a couple of weeks though, and every so often now I catch myself trying to turn the page, as I would with a paper book, and then feel daft 'cause I should have pressed the button instead! Like you, I'm loving all the freebies and the fact that I can carry a shedload of books around with me, without the extra weight.

    Thanks again for visiting my blog.



  2. Welcome to the world of Kindle :o) They are wonderful xxx

  3. Whilst I don't want to encourage you to do this, I don't think there's any need to be too precious about your Kindle. I've dropped mine before, and put it under a 1000+ page book and on both occasions it's been fine :) I think Amazon designed it to survive every day life. Just don't drop it in the bath or run it over!

  4. @Becki
    My DH, in the first few seconds of looking at my Kindle tried to 'turn the page' as if it were an iPad, leaving a giant fingerprint on the screen! :-) So far I have managed to remember how to turn the page... only a matter of time though!

    Thank you!

    Thanks for the advice. I think I will feel better once I have got a cover on it - not least because then I wlll see the thing on a cluttered table! (yes, yes... I could tidy the table... I know...)

  5. I also kept trying to turn the page as if it were an iPad, quite a few time, the first evening I used it. I also totally forgot what I was doing (after about a week of using it every day for at least an hour a day) and tried to turn the page as if it was a real book whilst stood at the bus stop, hopefully no one noticed :o)

  6. Hi Amanda
    Now you can have the Philofaxy year books on your Kindle too!

    Covers... I bought one via Amazon from TufLuv it is leather and works a treat.

    Don't go for one that is hinged like a book, because then you are back to the problem of books! Mine has a flap that folds over the top and it's fine. When closed you can still get to the socket to charge it.

    1. @Steve
      I've got a replacement for the marked one on its way. It's leather and by CoverUp.
      It is like a book cover but I like them! As long as it's not 500g I'm better off than with a paperback (as regards not aggravating my arthritis). The cover folds back on itself too though so it can be read single-handed and all the ports are available. Thanks for the link though!

  7. I'm glad you're enjoying your Kindle :)