I have a confession to make. I’ve been keeping a secret from you. No, not the exciting kind of “I’ve got a book deal!” or “I’ve won the lottery!” secret. How I wish! No, this secret is a little more mundane. Nevertheless, since I’m always honest with you on this blog, it’s time to ‘fess up.
I got a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas.
I know. You’re thinking, “Ummm….Claudia? Haven’t you written many posts about books – the three-dimensional kind – and the need for libraries and bookstores? I seem to remember you saying that you don’t like eReaders. You were very clear on the subject.”
And you would be right.
Let me assure you. A book that I can hold in my hands, where I can turn the actual page, not a virtual page, will always be my preference. I love the look and feel of three-dimensional books. I love them too much to abandon them. I will always support my local independent bookstore and my local library.
Let me give you the back story. When I had just returned from Hartford at the end of September, Don said that he thought he would like a Kindle Paperwhite. I was surprised, as Don isn’t a habitual reader like I am. But we talked about it and I filed it away as a Christmas idea. As Christmas grew near, I started a little research on the Paperwhite and liked what I read about it. I asked Don about it once more. Did he really want one? (I did this because Don is known for going hot and then cold on gift ideas.) Together, we read all about the Kindle and in the end, he said yes. It would be perfect for him, not only at home, but especially on the road. Since we both travel for our jobs, lugging a lot of books along isn’t an option.
Much to my surprise, I started to think I would like one. I pondered. I felt a bit guilty. Then I took a deep breath and told Don that I would like one as my Christmas present. He was delighted.
So we gave each other Kindles.
I have to say that I really love mine. The idea behind the Paperwhite is that it is simply an e-Reader. It’s not a device that allows you to go online or surf the web or anything like that (although you do use Wi-Fi to connect with Amazon in order to download your purchase.) We weren’t interested in that. We both have laptops. I have a Nook that my dear sister gave me about 5 years ago, so that I could have the accessibility of books to read available to me when I was on the road, but it wasn’t easy to read and I never really embraced it. However, the technology has greatly improved since my Nook came out. The Paperwhite is so clear and readable and it’s much more lightweight and easily held in your hand.
Don is crazy about his. More often than not lately, he is reading his Kindle. I’ve never seen him read this much and that makes me very happy. His taste runs to non-fiction; biographies, memoirs and history. He loves the dictionary option, where he can touch a word and the definition for that word will pop up on the screen. I cannot tell you how many times he has said, “This was the best present ever.”
As for me, I have stacks and stacks of books around here. I have them stored away in the shed. I just donated over 50 books to my local library. I only have so much space in this little cottage. And as you know, I sometimes have to work in another city for a chunk of time. I also review a lot of books. Almost always there is an option to get the book in the mail or on an eReader. I’ve always chosen the mail, but that means a lot of books stack up around here and I have nowhere to put them.
The fact is, there are just certain books that I would love to read on the Kindle but not necessarily buy in the bookstore. It gives me options. For example, I’m reading the new biography of one of my favorite actresses, Barbara Stanwyck. It’s over 900 pages long. It retails for well over $30. I can’t spend that kind of money, it’s not in my budget. If I got on the waiting list at the library and was finally able to check it out, I would be under pressure to read it all in a certain amount of time. Did I say that it’s 900 pages long? Since my taste runs to fiction, biographies are a rarer read for me and having it on the Kindle gives me the freedom to read bits and pieces of it whenever I want to. And I got it for $11.99.
I also just read the next book I am going to review on the Kindle. It is only available as an eBook. I wouldn’t have been able to experience it – and I liked it very much – if I didn’t have the Kindle. I’ve also been able to get some books for $1.99 – one by Mary Kay Andrews and another by Dennis Lehane. Can’t beat it.
So, an old dog can indeed learn new tricks. My name is Claudia and I actually like my Kindle. Who would have thought?
But to keep this in perspective, I’ve got an idea for the bookshelves I’ve been wanting in the den. I think I can do it myself; in fact, I know I can. And I will love nothing more than being able to have more of my non-virtual books here in the house instead of in the shed, to hold, to thumb through, to re-read, to treasure. Nothing will ever be better or more powerful than that.
I’m already plotting how to save up for some of Penguin’s editions of Jane Austen with their beautiful covers and lovely typefaces.
We’ve got a winter storm on the way. Oh boy. Batten down the hatches!
(By the way, this isn’t a promotion of any kind for Kindle or Amazon and I receive no compensation from Amazon.)