I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


When my mom suggested a Kindle as a possible Christmas gift, I was somewhat uncertain. Paper books have certain disadvantages which the Kindle quite neatly solves, and there are almost no concrete, rational drawbacks to eReaders. They have batteries, so yes, your book may run out at the good bit, but otherwise, they are lighter, smaller, don't require holding open* and have such a huge capacity for both books and battery to make the complaints seem insignificant in comparison.

For all that though, I had reservations. There's just something undefinable about a bound book. Paper is the right medium for words. It fades, it is easily damaged, it is bulky and fairly dense, and feels entirely right. Turning pages is one of the simplest joys of reading. This romanticized love affair with bound books ended up losing to the rational in me, and I have a kindle sitting next to me.

Christmas morning, I went through the Amazon top 100 free and loaded up on stuff. At the moment, I have loaded 21 assorted Shakespeare plays, Mark Twain novels, and a couple other random works. Even in a leather case, it is small enough to slip into a pocket and forget about, and about half the weight of the Discworld** book it's resting on. In full printed form, 21 books takes up about 2/3 of one of my shelves. I haven't come close to filling this thing.

Reading is easy on the eyes and mind. 12 pages into The Three Musketeers, I realized that I barely noticed that I wasn't reading a paper book anymore. In short, I could get used to this. I haven't messed around much with the bookmarking or highlighting functions, but the scroll over dictionary has the potential to spoil me very quickly.

Overall, I am pleased with the thing. I don't think it can ever replace paper entirely, if only for the reason that I am cheap and like libraries. For on the go reading, I will say it is likely unmatched, and it's a fine piece for normal daily reading as well. Which method of reading will win out over time, I can't say. I can say I am not going to be buying anywhere near as many dead tree books. It's plain not worth it, as the kindle store is usually cheaper, and I can read from anywhere. Libraries though... they will be hard to displace.

Final verdict, worthy addition, not a replacement.

*This has been a major irritant for me with paper books for my entire life. I read a lot, and having to constantly have one hand holding the pages open was a drag. Also, I am referring in all this to the newest, little kindle without touch, keyboard, or Fire.

**If you haven't read any of Terry Pratchett's Discworld, shame on you.


  1. My local libraries offer books for downloading.


    And we use it a lot. Very cool.

  2. Many libraries are now set up to let you down load e-books.

    Piddlin' city like Arlington is, so I imagine big city Dallas has it also.


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