Saturday, June 2, 2012


When Kindle was being touted as the latest/greatest electronic gadget, I couldn't have cared less. Janet Reid couldn't stop gushing about hers and listed 10 Things I Love About My New Kindle, all of which make sense -- for Janet Reid. And, of course, her suck-up squad gushed right along with her. Personally, I just couldn't imagine snuggling up with an electronic device to read. 

I like books. I like the feel of books, the artwork, even the pages. I like flipping through books to find something. I've idled away hours browsing through bookstores. 

My process of picking a book is as follows: 
  1. If the title catches my attention, then
  2. I check the cover. If I like the cover, then
  3. I read the first page. If I like what I read, then
  4. I buy the book.

The cover artwork is more important to me than the title. One time in 2006, I bought a book just for its cover, The Right Madness, by James Crumley. It's a very evocative picture. Unfortunately, the cover had raised my expectations too high, because I just couldn't get into the story. So I donated the book to our library but kept the cover, which I still have. 

Amid all the Kindle hoopla, my husband asked me what I thought. Do you think you'd like a Kindle? To which I gave him my stock reply: No, because I can't imagine snuggling up with an electronic device to read.

Obviously he paid no attention to what I said because he gave me a Kindle for Christmas in 2010. I spent the rest of the day figuring out how to use it. Not that it was all that difficult; it's just that I find any written directions to be extremely 'challenging.' And I do mean extremely. 

The cost of Kindle books seemed a bit pricey to me, and let's face it, the freebies are old and boring. But I had to buy something, so I ended up with a cozy for $0.88. I don't really care for cozies so I've yet to read it. Several days later, I broke down and bought A Long Stone's Throw, by Alphie McCourt, and it was worth every penny of its $7.99 price. I can buy from my Kindle or from the Amazon site. It's quick and easy. A bit too easy. Just click! and the book is there in my Kindle. Just like that.

The novelty of Kindle was tarnished by my January VISA bill. A click! here and a click! there and pretty soon we're talking real money. I still prefer books, real books. Most of my real books are used copies, the majority of which were under $1. Many were just $0.01. Besides the cost, there are disadvantages to the Kindle.
  1. I can't thumb through a Kindle. As many times as I've used my Kindle, I keep trying to place a bookmark in the thing.
  2. Which reminds me: Locating a certain phrase or passage is not easy.
  3. I can't pass a good book on to a friend after I've enjoyed it.
  4. Sometimes I forget the title of what I'm reading. Normally, I'd just close the book and check the cover, but that's not easy. Don't laugh, but I've lost my place doing that.
  5. I miss looking at the book cover.

The one really good advantage about the Kindle is its speed in delivering your book. It's the one feature which causes me to click! In fact, it's addictive.