Thursday, March 10, 2011

Amazon Kindle

I love my Kindle! I have to admit that this trip would have been a lot different without my Kindle. It is quite probably the best purchase I have ever made. As I have noted previously, I have done a lot of reading on this trip. That has been helped considerably by my Kindle. I don't think I could possible have carried as many books down here as I have read during my stay. There is a public library here in Punta Gorda, which I have visited many times (especially since realizing it has free wi-fi), but I do most of my reading on my Kindle.

I love a good book. I love the feel, the heft, the smell, the dust that makes me sneeze, the riffling feeling as I let the pages slip through my fingers, but when it comes down to it, what I love the most about books is what they contain. I love the story, or the information, the ideas of the author, writ large in fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose. What I love the most about books is all there in the Kindle version, every time, and . . . when it comes right down to it, I find books intimidating.

I have a decent library of a thousand volumes or so, many of which I have read, but most of which I have not. They were acquired in various ways, yard sales, thrift stores, book shops, library sales, many of them originally purchased with the intention of reselling online. Many I have never had an interest in reading, but most I have told myself that someday I would read them. At some point, in the distant future. Right. . .

When I would look over those shelves for something to read, I would stare dolefully for a few minutes, completely overwhelmed, and finally settle for something comfortable. Something familiar, something I have read before, some slim volume, or maybe even something required for a class; less intimidating, because essential. Rarely would I opt for the classics I've been putting off forever, because that fat volume of Homer or Dickens or Proust or Dostoevsky or even Twain is . . . just . . . so . . . formal looking!

On my Kindle I can sort everything into collections: Business, sci-fi, (quaintly labeled Syfy on my Kindle, because hey, it's MY Kindle, I can call my collections whatever I want), Classic Lit, Modern Lit, Folklore, Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Religious, Chess, anything! Then I can fill a collection with everything I might read, and pick just one to work on. When I'm bored with something, I can decide if there is something specific I want to read, or grab the collection I have read the least recently, and tackle whatever I'm correctly reading in that category. The Kindle conveniently allows me to sort by most recently read, so it is very easy to see what collection it has been the longest since I have read.

Instead of staring at my full library of Kindle books, and dolefully thinking about which book is currently the most interesting or the least intimidating, I can pick a collection, or pick a title, or tackle the least recent collection, and make a little progress in one book. Then a page or two or twenty or a hundred at a time, I make progress in all the great books I might have actually read . . . some day. And instead of staring dolefully at my bookshelves for a while and then giving up and turning to my computer or television, I actually read. Throughout my stay in Belize, I have finished, on average, one book every day or two. Now, many have been short little books on various subjects, but not all. I have finished several Sherlock Holmes novels, some Mark Twain, some Marcel Proust, some Jules Verne, and many others.

In summary, without equivocation, I love my Kindle! I love the door it opens for me, to actual reading, instead of just collecting books and dreaming about someday reading. I still love books, and will always keep a library, but it may just be physical copies of books that I'm actually reading, or have read, on my Kindle.


  1. Good for you. Reading can be so fulfilling, entertaining and educational.

  2. Thank you. Yes, I have been finding it rather enjoyable.

  3. I love my Nook for the same reasons! I had to get mine since my shoulder doesn't let me have heavy books in my bag. Best toy ever.

  4. Do you have the Nook or the Nook Color? I gave serious consideration to the Nook, and tried one out before I bought my Kindle. The main distinction for me was the controls. I do not like touch-screen controls.

    I bought my Kindle before the Nook Color came out, but I have seen Dominic's, and I think for his needs the Nook Color is very nice, but for my needs the Kindle is still preferable.



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