Let me start this with an admission. As little as a month ago, I was telling a friend, “I’d never want one of those Kindle e-books! Never! I like a book to feel like a book.” Well, I’m eating those words now.
I’ve always been a reader, from a very young age. I read over one hundred books a year and my bookcases are full of my favorite authors, arranged in alphabetical order. I’m one of those people who carry a book wherever I go because you just never know when you’re going to have to wait. My point here is that I am a lover of books. So when my friend, Charles, told me he was getting his daughter a Kindle for Christmas, I scoffed. But it just so happens that at that very moment, I was deep into Stephen King’s latest book, Under the Dome, which is 1,074 pages and weighs in at a hefty 3 pounds! I know, because after hauling that Big Boy around awhile, I actually weighed it! And I remember one time thinking, “Boy, this would have been a good book to read on the Kindle!”
That started my research into the Kindle, which is sold by Amazon. This e-book reader is 1/3 inch thick and weighs 10.2 ounces. It has a lovely screen which has no glare and the Kindle can hold up to 1,500 books! Amazon has a Kindle store which has more than 400,000 books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Newspapers are delivered to your machine before you wake up. And all the New York Times bestsellers sell for $9.99! You can shop for books right from the Kindle, choose one, and it’s downloaded to you in 60 seconds! It’s true. I’ve done it. The Kindle Store also has free books – new novels and old classics. And there are also many sites on the Web that have free Kindle books that you download on your computer, and then transfer using the USB cord that comes with the Kindle. I’ve tried that, too, downloading some Austen, Hardy and Thackeray. (Always good to carry some classics with you!)
But, what intrigued me most were the features of this little machine. You have six choices of font sizes and can change them instantly. If you don’t know a word, you can place the cursor in front of it, and the dictionary definition appears at the bottom of the page! Cool, huh? It also has a text-to-speech feature, which means that, if the author has enabled it, you can have the book read itself out loud to you in either a male or female voice. When you pick it up after putting it to sleep, it will take you to the exact place you were when you stopped reading! And you can read a full week before you need to charge the battery! It has a lot more features, but these were the ones that pushed me over the edge and therefore I decided to order one.
I received it last Thursday afternoon and we’ve been inseparable ever since! When I started reading my first book, I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to this new technology. To turn the page, you simply press a button, and there’s one on both sides so that you can do it easily, no matter which hand you’re using to hold it. To me, the screen is very easy on the eyes and a joy to look at. And it’s so comfortable holding something this light! (Especially after the Stephen King book, which, by the way can be downloaded on the Kindle!) Since my bookcases are full, it’s nice to know that I can get the latest hardback bestsellers without having to worry about where to put them. And it’s also nice to not have to worry about finding my place if a bookmark falls out. I find myself reading even more than usual and, odd as it may seem, faster.
At $259.00 the Kindle is far from cheap, and I thought long and hard about spending this much money. But, I’m really glad I did. Since I am such a devoted reader, it seems like a good investment and I’ll save a lot of money on hardbacks. To be able to carry an entire library with me wherever I go is amazing. If I hear about a book I want to read, I can download it anywhere, anytime, in 60 seconds. In the past I have bought things that I later regretted. But I’m pretty sure that, in this case, the love affair, will only become more passionate.
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