I had all intentions of posting yesterday, but time just got away from me. I really liked the “musing monday” prompt, however, so I thought perhaps a day late won’t matter too much.
The prompt reads:
I always like to have a book with me at all times – call it a nerdy grown-up security blanket – and rarely do I leave the house without slipping one into my bag (even if I KNOW I’m not going to have a chance to read it). Do you take a book with you? Do you take whatever book you’re currently reading, or do you have a special on-the-go book? And do you have a preference for a these types of book (paperback, hardback; short stories; poetry etc)?
I really wanted to respond to this question so that I could brag about my birthday present. Yesterday was my birthday — the big 49 (as my husband informed me — this is my last official birthday; all others will just be the anniversary of my 49th) — and I was one of the very fortunate souls to receive an Amazon Kindle (they are currently on backorder with an 11-13 week wait!). I have had my eye on these since they were first introduced in November, 2007. While I was intrigued, I simply could not justify the $399 price tag.
Over the past few months I have followed several discussion groups devoted to the Kindle. Most posts were quite positive and Kindle devotees are very persuasive. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. Last summer I even met a total stranger with whom I had only conversed on one of the discussion boards for the expressed purpose of touching and feeling a Kindle for myself. She simply could not praise her Kindle enough and had intentions of replacing her entire library with kindle editions. She sold me. I came home and immediately put the Kindle on my wish list. As luck would have it, Oprah showcased the Kindle on her show one month later and Amazon offered a special $50 off to celebrate the endorsement. My husband took advantage of the discount and that is how I have come to have this very special birthday gift.
While I have only had the Kindle for a couple of weeks (we celebrated my birthday at Thanksgiving when all the kids were home), I have truly come to love it. I am not at the place where I prefer eBooks to the paper version, but I am very comfortable reading on this device. The features I like best are: I can download public domain books (which the british classics tend to be my preferred genre) for FREE!! and in under one minute; I can download samples (at least the first chapter, sometimes more) at Amazon for FREE to see if I truly want to purchase the book (I can’t tell you how many samples I currently have on my homepage); I can purchase some Kindle version books for a fraction of the paper back price (for example, I downloaded Of Mice and Men for about $1.50); I can change the font size with a touch of the button – which is very useful at night when my eyes are tired; and I can easily highlight and annotate passages that are then automatically saved and organized (this will be very helpful in my teaching and my Master’s program.
However, one of the best features of the Kindle (and why I wrote about this amazing device in response to today’s musing prompt) is that I can carry virtually thousands of books in my purse at one time – and it weighs less than one pound!! I can have instant access to any book at any time — so my ever changing moods can be appeased with just a touch of a button. Kindle automatically bookmarks where I stop reading – so I have no problem reading several books simultaneously (which I do on a regular basis). If I hear of a new book when I am out and about, I can instantly access the Amazon store through Whispernet and download a sample in about 30 seconds. I even find that I now make time to read when I am on the go — and I am therefore reading more — than I did when I would carry a paperback with me.
So, in answer to today’s prompt – YES – I do carry a book with me at all times. In fact, I carry hundreds with me of all different genres. And I definitely prefer the electronic version — at least for my books on the go.