Monday, January 7, 2013

The Kindle Conundrum

Our story today starts with Judy and her kindle. When kindles first got popular - when they released the Kindle 2 - Lorin and I got Judy one for some gift-giving holiday (I'm thinking Mother's day 2009). So Judy started reading on her kindle, and like many people she really loved it. She's actually gotten a little addicted to it. The other day, she was reading a real book (because someone gave it to her as a present) and she was complaining to me that "I can't change the font size and the pages are too hard to turn and it's too heavy and you have to hold it open." (Later that day, she bought the same book for her kindle).

Promptly after getting her kindle, Judy started bugging me to buy a kindle. Mostly because it would save money. My parents do generously fund my book-buying addictions, and it's true that it'd be way cheaper to buy books on a kindle. But I like real books, damnit. So for the last 3 years, I've been insisting that I don't want a kindle, which is not entirely accurate.

The truth is, though I love real books and would never give them up, there are some parts of having a kindle that appeal to me. But there are two inherent pitfalls to me having a kindle. 1) I will buy real books anyway 2) Without the physical presence of books reminding me that I bought them, I will download thousands of books more than I could possibly consider reading to my kindle.

So since Judy's been using her kindle for the last 3 1/2 years, it's gotten a little beat up, to say the least. So for Christmas, I got her a fancy new one. She loves it a whole lot. And she gave me her old one.

So now I own a kindle. Under somewhat favorable circumstances, because given that my parents didn't buy it for me, I can continue to buy real books guilt-free. However, I've already downloaded 11 books to it, so I'm going to have to get some control there.

The larger, possibly more confusing problem is that I really like having a kindle. I like that it's smaller and lighter than a book, and I like that I can organize all my books in one place. I also like adjusting the font, because with a big font, I can read while I run on the treadmill and not loose my place! I like that it will show me all the passages I underlined and notes I took in one place in sequential order. It's not a satanic evil.

But I also hate reading on a kindle. I miss having pages to flip through, and writing in the margins. I miss book covers! And I miss big pages. The kindle screen is small and it feels like I'm turning the page ever other paragraph. I feel removed from the books, in this funny way. The kindle is sort of impersonal.

So that's my conundrum. I don't know what I'll do. I'll probably just keep buying and reading real books and buying and reading kindle books. Maybe eventually I'll figure it out.
Submitted my essay to 4 lit mags so far. Almost halfway there. Yay for simultaneous submissions.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Kindle, but there are certain books I have to mark up in a way i can't do with the Kindle. So I think having that choice is great.

    I'm glad you're submitting your essay and, yes, simultaneous submissions are so much better than the old days of sending it to one publisher at a time. Too much waiting.