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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Thoughts on E-Readers ... Now That I Own One

Before I had my Kindle, I was sure I wouldn't like the feel of an ebook. That my eyes would get more strained from the computerized device than from a regular book and that I would end up losing the thing, and/or dropping it so much, I'd end up with NO books. (Shivers).

Well, I've owned one now for a good while and I've found that some of my hesitations were uneccesary while others have arisen.

What I LOVE about my Kindle.

1. I purchased the leather cover that allows the kindle to snap in and you open and close it just like a book. This makes it feel very book-like. A BIG plus. A bonus is that it has a little reading light that requires no batteries that allows me to read in bed without disturbing my husband with a bigger light.

2. It has a text-to-speech option. This one is listed under the "experimental" menu but in my opinion is the best feature Kindle offers. Kindle allows you to plug in ear buds and listen to your book. I get MUCH more reading done since I can read and walk at the same time (yes, AND chew gum). I can see this also saving audio book lovers a lot of money if they don't mind the monotonous voice that may be the same ones on their GPS.

3. I can carry hundreds of book within one little cover. I like to read five books at a time and get bored easy, so this is perfect.

4. Not all the e-readers have this and I didn't think I'd like this feature, but Kindle's screen ins't backlit which means to your eyes, it reads like a regular book page. HUGE plus.

5. I can send documents, and read manuscripts as if they were ebooks. This is a relatively easy feature to figure out. You just have to register the person's email on your kindle account to allow them to send you emails. It's also a good idea to register yourself while you're there. It's a great way to read through your own manuscript, or better yet, let Kindle read it to you.

With all that said, I'm still buying paper books. Why?

1. I remember the 8-track tape. This technology is going to change and morph and what's going to happen to all those books I purchased?

2. You can loan out Kindle books but it's not the same. When you loan out one of your Kindle books to another user, it shows up on your Kindle as unavailable/on loan. This is fine. You wouldn't be able to read a paper book you loaned out. What I don't like is that the person can only borrow it for 2 weeks and there's a limit to how many people you can loan it to.

There are books that I want to be passed on dozens and dozens of times. I don't want them back. They've ministered to me and I'm hoping they minister to others. Most likely people I've never met. This is harder to do with an e-reader.

3. I keep dropping my Kindle. I'm a klutz and I'm sure I'm just a few drops away from ruining a 150.00 piece of equipment, but more importantly, losing access to my books at least temporarily. Sure, I could read them on my computer until I can afford to buy another Kindle, but I'd rather read a bathroom wall. It's much easier on the eyes.

4. Remember that nifty little cover that I love so much (and I wouldn't recommend buying a Kindle without one) well, because I'm all thumbs, I've dropped it so many times my Kindle doesn't quite fit in there right. That wouldn't matter except now my handy-dandy reading light keeps flickering on and off. So now instead of the light keeping my husband awake, he's having seizures from the strobe lights. (Not really but it IS making me crazy... well, crazier.)

In summary, I love my Kindle. Love love love it. But I still buy nearly all my fiction books in paper form and will for as long as I can. I want my grandchildren to be able to read them long after I'm gone and have more success at enjoying them than I had with all those Beatles 8-tracks my parents left me.

Gina Holmes is the author of the best-selling novel & ChristyAward finaling, Crossing Oceans. Her newest novel, Dry as Rain releases September 2011.


  1. Makes sense to me, Gina. I'm thinkin' Kindle for Christmas . . .

  2. I am not quite as up-to-date on the latest technology as my he made the decision for me and bought me an IPAD. I absolutely love it!

    I have found some of the same pros and cons - just slightly heavier than a ereader...but I definitely can't imagine being without it now.

  3. I don't own a Kindle. I am not sure I can do it. I'm a librarian, a writer, a bibliophile, and a person who does't handle change well. Plus I LOVE the smell of books. I love the feel of a book in my hands. When I write, I still scribble with my Jetstream and a spiral. I need a connection to what I'm holding in my hands - whether reading or writing. The Kindle just feels too technical to me. I know that words are words whether on paper or screen, but I'm still pouting over the idea of e-Readers becoming the new norm for reading.

  4. Heather - I was the same way, or so I thought. And then I got my nook. I love it! It's easy to read with one hand, anywhere, fits easily in my purse, and holds tons of books. My favorite part though is that the 1000+ page books I read are the same size as the 200 page books. It's perfect!

  5. Great job on all the reasons to love a Kindle as well as the down sides. I've had one for two years, and just recently I've noticed I'm choosing it over paper books more and more often. I love that I can change the font size, and have it read to me if I'm feeling sleepy.

    I did crack the screen on my old one though. We recently replaced it, and all my books downloaded to it right away. I just got a new cover with the light, which is awesome and let's me read in bed late at night without disturbing my husband. And this new cover has a strap to keep it closed. Hopefully that will better protect my kindle.

    But...if I really like a book, I'll buy it in print also so I can have it on my shelf and lend it to friends.

  6. Thanks for the feedback/review.

  7. Gina said: It has a text-to-speech option.

    Thanks for alerting me to WHERE this feature is. My friend in the nursing home keeps TELLING me that our Kindles (we share an account) has this feature and I keep telling her it doesn't because I couldn't find it!

    I think if she could, she'd slap me from the looks she gives me! lol

    I'll have to try again now that I know where to look.

    And, Dina, you're right. If I love, love a book, I'll buy the paper version as a keeper.

  8. I'm glad Kindle exists (and Nook and other E-Readers). My wife bought the first one, I think. It's as heavy as a bag of dog food and it's one inch thick. She loves it completely.

    I'm still buying paper and, when I can afford it, hardbacks. I just have this hunch this thing is going to peak, then start to slide. Might take a few more years. But I don't see books going away.

    What you said, Gina, about 8 tracks. It just rings true. Of course, time will tell.

    First time I heard rap music was in 1984, I think. I said, "That'll never catch on. They're not even singing."

    So don't quote me.


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