To eBook or not?

Bookish Stuff / Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

I’ve been an avid reader since I can remember.  I loved the summer because I could spend hours exploring the rooms and shelves and smelling the odor of old used books in an old-fashioned, cozy, cool library.  As I grew older, this feeling accentuated with the love I going to bookstores.  It didn’t matter if it was a big chain or a small independent bookstore, as long as it was filled with books to explore I could pass hours inside.  So when eBooks arrived on the scene I was very critical of them. Actually I swore I’d never read on one and surely never spend my hard-earned money on one either.  Never say never.

I decided three weeks ago to buy myself a Kindle.  OMG!!!  What was I thinking ?  How could I have done it?  Well I took a good look around my cramped house one day and realized that my book consumption was consuming me, my family, and the house; so much so that I’ve resorted to storing some of them in the garage.  Yes, I’m a woman with a bad habit that I can’t break and it’s never going to get better.  So, I decided to invest in a Kindle.  I figured like this I could really control my book acquisitions, by not necessarily having to always have a physical book.  That way I could concentrate on buying the ones that I really want to own.  All of this was decided before I’d even bought one and tested out reading on it.  What a risk!  I kept telling myself it’s the 21st century for God sake and this may become the next wave of the future.  You don’t want to be one of those old people who can’t and won’t work an eBook.  Although, deep down inside I was feeling like a traitor to literary buffs like myself who adore bookstores and the ever sacred beautiful books.

When the Kindle arrived and I read my first book, I was amazed how comfortable it was reading on it.  Since the Kindle has the E Ink display function, it’s as if you’re really reading a book, which means you can read for hours and in sunlight.  Not to mention, it’s lightweight, so comfy no matter where you hold it to read and it fits inside your purse like any paperback because it’s small.  It’s also easy to get access to the built-in dictionary while reading and you can highlight, make notes, and bookmark pages as well.  However, there are some disadvantages to keep in mind, especially for those that love holding a book: 1. missing physically seeing how far I am into the book.  That was a slight psychological battle for me (still not over it yet).  Kindle has marked the percentage read in the bottom right hand side of the page, even though, I think it’s possible to regulate it so it counts pages too,  2. buying books on Amazon is as easy as a click, but the prices are sometimes the same as paperbacks and hardbacks or are only just 30% less than the orignal physical copy.  Luckily, there are some free books (usually classics) and some inexpensive ones (around $2) but, you’ll have to search for them, unless you load up the new Kindle Free Apps(don’t know its validity).  Just be careful for sites that want you to pay a flat fee for so-called free access to books, magazines, and newspapers for life because there are some major scams going on with them.  I just learned about that yesterday.  I’ve already done some browsing on Amazon and bought  a few books on my Kindle.  My first buy was The Complete Works of Jane Austen.  I bought it for $1.09. You can’t beat that price.  I then started to load up on a few more classics that either I’ve read and want to reread or haven’t read yet and want to.  All in all I’ve only spent about $20.00 and I have 24 books on my Kindle.

In my opinion using an eBook is just a convenience, but I’ll never switch over to primarily reading on my Kindle.  I love books much too much for that!   I rate my Kindle a thumbs up, but at the same time will always promote the small independent bookstores when and wherever  I am on holiday in the States and in Paris when I go to get cultured and to do some retail therapy.  Don’t knock eBooks before you try them.  My Kindle is going to save me loads of room in my suitcase on holiday next week.  Drop me a line below and tell me what you think.  Kindle, Nook, iPad, Cybook, BeBook,PocketBook, Skiff Reader, Papyrus, Zebook, Libré,…. Which do you prefer?  If you do, why?  Comment below and happy reading….

20 Replies to “To eBook or not?”

  1. Didi…I feel the same way. I’ve been having my Kindle for almost a year and there are some books I refuse to buy electronically because it’s not the same as having a physical book there. Yesterday, I was struggling with buying a book called Etouffee by Charles Jolivette on the Kindle because the book seemed so dear to me, I wanted the actual physical copy. LOL. I really enjoy my Kindle though. I’ve filled it up pretty fast, but there is something about a real book… I cannot wait to hear about your holiday! I have to admit, on my last vacation, the Kindle was a lifesaver–not too bulky, I had all the books and magazines I wanted and everything was so easy to read and enjoy.

    1. I really never thought I would speak so kindly about the Kindle, but it’s all good! have you heard the controversy over Gabby Douglas’s hair? I can’t believe it!! I don’t see what’s wrong with it. She’s relaxed and she slicks it back in a pony tail. How insulting for African-Americans to insult the only black in the competition. I really don’t understand that. You should make a post about that. She’s really FAB!

      1. I just finished reading that story. That is sad. You have inspired me again Didi because why are we worried about her hair!? I am just happy she is being successful and successful for so young.

        1. Not to mention she’s the only black one there. I’m sorry but I don’t see anything wrong with her hair anyway. She’s a beautiful young woman making all us Americans proud! Wow we as black women reallly need to do better and stop being so jealous and hateful on eachother when we succeed. do a post!

  2. For years I kept hoping someone would come up with a device that meant i could read books electronically – well they did but the first versions were horrendously expensive and very clunky. Eventually I succumbed to a Sony E reader because it was cheaper than the Kindle. it was ok though the process of uploading books was very awkward and then I took it to the states on a trip and found I couldn’t charge it Then the whole screen developed splodges so it had to go back for repair. I wasn’t using it very much so it didn’t both me. I was given a Kindle for a Christmas present and loved it from day 1 – I can put it in a handbag which means I am never without a book. Nor do I run the risk that i start one book and don’t like it but haven’t got anything else to read. What I don’t like is the progress bar – just doesn’t feel the same as turning a real page and seeing where I am. Plus you can’t read it during take off and landing on a flight. But I wouldn’t be without it

  3. Congrats! on your Kindle Didi!! I was totally against e-readers but last year I gave in and purchased a Kindle Fire and I love it! I noticed that I read faster on it. Have you noticed an increase in your reading speed? I soon found out that my book addiction spilled over onto my kindle! Happy e-reading!

      1. Hey Didi! I was scanning your blog again and saw you asked me this! I should have an email alert set to my phone or something. I am reading The House on Coliseum Street by Shirley Ann Grau. I hated the last book I read by her The Keeper’s of the House but this one is better.

  4. My jaws are dropping because I wanted to make a comment regarding e-books and then I find out people are dissing my newest heroine—Gabby Douglas! What?! INSANITY! DiDi-I’m so tickled about your e-book discussion because my guy gave me a Kindle 2 months ago and I’ve made so many excuses NOT to use it! It’s nuts. I just love the tactile experience of reading a physical book so much, and, like you, I enjoy browsing in physical bookstores and libraries…. I move like a neanderthal into the 21st century…The truth is that I WANT TO USE the Kindle, especially when I travel because I’ve been know to carry 2-3 books with me and then have the nerve to buy more reading materials while I’m away!

  5. Great news and so sensible, it should help that spill over of books into the garage, but having had a kindle for six months I can vouch for the fact that it doesn’t stop me buying real books. The percentage thing is a bit different and its not so easy to flick back in the book, but highlighting passages is fantastic.

    Now that you have the kindle Did, you’ll have to register on, that’s one of the best advantages I have found from having a kindle and a blog!

    1. Thanks for the advice! I’ll check it out! Off on holiday on Monday so my goal is to read the maximum quantity in books. I’ll try to write posts and upload them if I can get to a cybercafé or access to wifi. Happy reading….

  6. You’ve convinced me! I’ve been procrastinating purchasing a kindle for the same reasons. Nothing can take the place of touching & reading smelly old books packed with wisdom & satisfying recreation, walking softly on creaky wooden floors, holding on for life as you climb uneven & too- narrow stairs, chatting with the shopkeeper about authors, places, history…heaven! But lack of space has forced me to sell or give away numerous readsl What a shame…

  7. After reading this, I may be another Kindle convert. It’s not just the lack of space, it’s being able to access multiple books and newspapers on one device.

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