Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Traitorous thoughts

I am passionate about books, paper, stationery… I am the kind of woman who whilst looking through a glossy magazine will get utterly distracted by the notebook on the desk in the photographs and wonder where it’s from, missing the point that the article is about a fabulous loft-conversion.
I have a drawer full of notebooks. I love to write by hand, using fountain pens and high quality paper. I adore books – I own far too many and relish the sight of their serried rows in a room I (genuinely!) call The Library.
So why am I thinking about getting a Kindle? Those who know me have heard me say that I didn’t think I would ever go for an eBook in comparison with holding The Real Thing in my hand. But, for the last few days, not only have I been reading about the relative virtues of the different eReaders, but I have been cruising the Kindle store, noting down books I could get, deciding which cover I might buy and looking forward to ordering it all (just waiting, in the slim hope they will be reduced in the January sales).

I am a traitor.

Well, I might be a traitor but I am also a reader who already has arthritis in her thumbs, a point which has been driven home to me this week as I have been reading a paperback that weighs 500g! Which has led me towards wondering whether when it comes to some of the mightier tomes, an eReader would be more manageable. Also, when I am travelling, it would be lighter to take with me than the several books I would normally pack.

Buying an eReader wouldn’t make me replace the books I have, nor prevent me from buying more, but then, who said it had to be either/or? After all, possessing a laptop has not stopped me in any way from handwriting anything.

Comments? Advice?


  1. Do it. I've been a Kindle user for a little over a year, having always believed the rituals and sensations of owning and reading real dead tree books were too important to me. The last straw for me was when I went on a 6-week business trip and had to take an extra suitcase filled with books. On my return, I bought a Kindle and haven't suffered a moment of regret.

    Since I've had it, I've read about 160 books, including only a dozen or so dead tree editions. It's good not to have to carry around a spare book all the time. It's good to read every book in the font and point size that's best for me, not the one arbitrarily chosen by the publisher. It's good to be able to access virtually any book at any time without waiting for the post or trudging around the increasingly rare and unfriendly high street book chains.

    I wouln't dream of getting rid of all my dead tree books, and I still buy some as well (particularly nonfiction), but I wouldn't be without my Kindle.

  2. I've been just like you dithering over whether I would use it/justify it but with a 2 week holiday looming where I wanted to take at least 3 books and a strict baggage limit I ordered mine and it arrived today. It is super dinky and cute and while I no doubt like Ray will continue to buy and read paper books I can't wait to get home and give it a try and load it up with lots of books to read!! It so so light as well much better for your thumbs :)


  3. Do it! I got my Kindle third-hand, and like you, highly resisted getting it at all, even if it was free! But now, I guarantee I'll be buying another one if/when this one ever dies!

    I commute by train, with a one-mile walk to and from the station to my office. I hate carrying anything unnecessary, especially a heavy book! Plus, now if I finish a book five minutes into my commute, I have another at my fingertips :)

    But, like others wrote, I definitely still read and enjoy "real" books too!

    I wrote a review/my reaction to the Kindle a while ago on my blog- maybe it'll help you decide :)

  4. I think I might be convinced...! Maybe in a few weeks, the blog will change name to Paper, Pens, Ink and Electrons...

  5. Me 4... we use the Kindle app on our iPad (not the actual Kindle, sorry), and we love it. We travel a great deal, and I am an avid reader, but we just don't have room for all of the books I tend to lug around. It is easier on your hands (and your eyes) as well.

  6. I got a kindle from my husband and never really liked it. First, I prefer real books which I can pass on to my mom or friends. Second, I am annoyed by the price difference (I think that - at least in the German Kindle Store - the e-book-prices are too close to the real book prices) and third, I always thought if I already carry around such a tablet-like thing, it should at least have some tablet features. I would have loved to order the kindle fire but it seems it won't be available here anytime soon. So finally, I bought an IPad and downloaded the Kindle App for it. And this works fine for me.
    And I loooooooooooooove that you can download several chapters of a book you are interested in for free and then decide if you would like to buy the rest.

  7. Go for it Amanda! It's not an either / or decision anyway - inevitably there'll be many books published in coming years which won't suit the Kindle or won't be published in Kindle editions at all, particularly non-fiction books or illustrated editions. Bizarrely, there's no poetry genre on the Kindle store :(

    In the meantime, there's a a world of classics out there free of charge, as well as all of the current publications.

    I also agree with everything Ray said.

  8. Do it, do it, do it!!! I love mine - I still love real books, and wandering round in bookstores, but my Kindle is my fave gadget. If I had to choose between giving up the iPad or giving up the Kindle I would have to keep the Kindle :o)

  9. Something along these lines is probably a sensible purchase. Kindle or iPad (or something else), that's the question...

    Do you want a dedicated eBook reader or something more versatile? That choice may come down to economics, of course, but it is worth considering whether a more capable device is the better long-run purchase.

    I would try to spend some time auditioning each of the devices - Lisa was convinced she had no use for an iPad until about 24 hours after starting to use one!

  10. Hello Mark! You've discovered me...
    Well, the order is in. A combination of "I just want an eReader" and economics led me to that. Yes, I probably could use an iPad (a lot) but I can't afford one and I just want something small and light that will stop my thumbs hurting when I read (and that I can get a load of the classics for for free/next to nothing)! I road-tested Jen's Kindle for a bit and liked it.

  11. I got a Kindle 3G + Wifi Keyboard for Christmas, love it. We are a 3 Kindle family now... one each.

    I've put the Philofaxy year books on to mine as well... what more reason do you need...;-)

  12. I don't regret mine. I still buy paper books as well, but I love how easy it is to ad anywhere with my kindle :)

  13. Just do it! You'll love it :D