About four years ago, the purchase of a Kindle e-reader began a whole new adventure in reading. Yes, my bookshelves were stuffed despite regular donations to the Friends of the Library. Inventive shelving had come to an end. It was either change my ways or be overtaken by piles of books. Reluctant to go to an e-reader, I finally broke down and ordered a basic Kindle. This past Christmas my husband upgraded me to a Kindle Paperwhite with a touch screen. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE books. The smell of paper, the feel of it, the turning of the page, gilt-edges on old volumes...all of it...is loved. However, the pragmatic side of me has come to appreciate my Kindle. So here are some pros and cons for your consideration.
1. Instant gratification - download your book now. No waiting for the post office.
2. Cheaper - Most e-books, even those by the big authors are usually a bit cheaper than paperbacks. No shipping charges either.
3. The Kindle is lightweight and slips into a purse easily. I always have something to read when waiting in the doctor's office or sitting on a plane.
4. No worries about shelf space. My Kindle will hold over a 1,000 books.
5. I can bookmark, underline, and make notes in any book.
6. I never lose my place. The device always syncs to the last page read.
7. I can also play some games on it too.
8. You can change the font size easily which is a bonus for aging eyes.
1. It must be charged. The Kindle battery is very good and depending on how much you read and have it connected to the Internet, the device will go several weeks on one charge.
2. It doesn't smell like a book.
3. Pages are turned electronically.
4. Doesn't fill bookshelf space.
Libraries are now stocking e-books for patrons to borrow, and Amazon allows borrowing as well. If you're a Prime member at Amazon, you can currently borrow By the Book for free. I can also let a friend borrow a book from my Kindle for a couple of weeks. The flexibility along with the savings have sold me, although there are still plenty of books on my shelves.
If you're looking for a more technical comparison of e-readers, try this link at GizMag. The future of books remains bright, although e-books sales are skyrocketing. Whatever you choose to do, in the end it's about reading. A book takes us back in time, or makes our hearts pound as we turn the next page, or wipe a few tears from our eyes at a sad ending. Instead of checking your email or watching another run-of-the-mill TV show, curl up with a good book.