|Of course I had to add this novel, what with the new Breaking Dawn trailer that's out.|
I've written this article expecting stones to be thrown from every angle. As a bibliophile, the purchase of a Kindle could seem a kind of betrayal. After all, I've been voracious in the fight to keep the printed word on the shelves, tagged my websites, and engaged in many a testy dialogue on how E-Readers are blasphemous to the written word! And then I moved to the UK, and realized I purchased more books than I could possibly bring home with me. The solution? A spanking new Kindle 3G, or Kippa Middleton as I affectionately dubbed her.
I couldn't stop the exhilaration flowing through me, as new gadgets are always fun! I purchased it right before making a London trip, thinking I could test it out, and see how it fared against beautiful binding.
3G Network/Memory: The thing that truly boggles my mind is knowing that I have close to 60 books tucked into my purse...but in a neat little slab. I think every bibliophile would agree that they've tried to fit entire libraries into their bags, and as awesome as it is to have them all, it's hefty and hard on the shoulders. Adding more to the obsession, Kindle 3G is connected to a network which allows perpetual access to the Amazon marketplace. If it's a novel you simply cannot wait for, especially if you were going to order it online, the Kindle satisfies the impatience!
Glare-Free Screen/Seamless Page Turning: Before I purchased a Kindle, I believed that the screen would have the glare of a computer screen. I normally have no problem reading on the computer, yet over time, it can tend to pull a whammy on your eyesight. The invention off E-Ink has changed me. Once you get over the discomforting thought that comes with not reading a physical book, you sink right into the Kindle. Its' page turning buttons are placed at a comforting reach on each side. Before you realize it, you've fully immersed yourself into the world of the novel, rather than being taken up with binding. I, for one, was surprised at how easy it was to transition.
Notes: One of the greatest features on Kindle 3G is Notes/Highlighting. I'm one of those people who not only underlines every line that sparks an emotion, but fills any white spaces with notes and jottings. Originally, I was put off by the Kindle, believing I wouldn't have the same luxury. But Amazon went and added a note taking feature, which allows you to Highlight whole passages. For those of us who love to share, it allows you to share your recent notes and highlights via Twitter and Facebook. Even more fascinating is the nifty feature which allows you to view the most popular highlighted passages of any book that other's have noted. Of course, if you're a reader who hates little notes left in by past graffiti artists, then it can be turned off!
Experimental Prototypes (Music, Internet, Text to Speech): It was awesome to discover that the Kindle allows you to surf the net. Is it the smoothest running browser? No, but just the fact that it's included makes me feel like I'm getting more for the dollar. Do you like to listen to music while reading? Kindle also has a feature which allows you to download MP3's and listen while you read, surf, or browse the Amazon Marketplace. Text to Speech allows you to rest your eyes, and listen to an automated voice read passages. That feature definitely came in handy during my 5,000 word essay on Wuthering Heights.
Battery Life: With the 3G network turned on you can read for as many as ten days. With it turned off, you can read for as long as a month. Sounds pretty good to me!
Skins/Covers: Kindle has some of the coolest covers and skins! If you love to beautify your gadgets, one can get lost on Etsy or Amazon searching for slip covers! It helps you to personify your portable library!
Eau de Novel: I believe most bibliophiles read books for the entire experience: its binding, the kind of paper it's printed on, its smell (be it new or old) and its overall allure. I, for one, love used novels because it seems entire lives are imprinted on to them, especially worn paperbacks! Unfortunately, with a computer device, one cannot appreciate these little additions. Amazon sees it as becoming immersed in the words themselves instead of aesthetics. What's you're take on that?
Battery Power: It's very weird to think your novel could lose power, and you'll have to race to an outlet/usb port to continue reading. Although, I've never allowed mine to lose power, but I'm currently testing it out.
Book Shops: If you make too much of a home with your Kindle, it could easily stop you from venturing out to bookshops, having a cuppa, and sharing in the beauty of a wonderful marketplace full of books. I couldn't really imagine not making trips to bookstores and taking in the ambience of literary excitement.
Kindle Book Prices: As a standard, most books are $9.99, but it can go as high as $15 depending upon the publishers set price. Can you see my face, eying them with disdain? I'm paying nine dollars and ninety-nine cents for a novel that has neither binding, nor glue, nor fanciful pages to bend or highlight. What am I paying for exactly? A file sent by Whispernet (Amazon's wireless network). Files should be no more than $5 dollars. And then the publishing world wonders why so many would rather pilfer the file from google than to overspend...on a file! In one particular occasion, I wanted to purchase Young Hearts Crying by Richard Yates, but was put off by the astounding price of $11.99. I still haven't purchased it to this day. To spend this much, it must come with all the fixings (perhaps like the Barnes & Noble Nook): Full color screens, video footage, and writer interviews on their processes...something that reminds me it's not just a mobile file.
I've discovered that I love my Kindle about as much as I love lugging books around. However, I wouldn't go as far as to say it replaces books. There is no replacement to a lovely book cover, binding, and enchantment of browning pages or musty fragrances. But this causes me to choose certain books wisely. There are some books that unfortunately aren't worth having in solid forms (This doesn't mean they aren't good!). Some are completely fine to download and keep in your awesome slab collection. While others, must be collected, savored, read again and again without the fear of a dwindling battery.
What say you Bibliophiles? Kindle or no?