Over the holidays I got a second-hand Kindle DX from my sister. As I have been doing some serious reading these last couple of years, an EBook reader was something that both excited and scared me at the same time. Let me explain.
Being able to carry several books, often pretty thick and heavy, in one simple and light device has its advantages. Add to that the massive number of free EBooks and regular plain text books available on web sites such as the Internet Archive, Open Library, Project Gutenberg, and all of a sudden we’re talking about having your own private and portable library on the go! Even Amazon.com has several classic books completely FREE of charge for those who have a Kindle!
The “scary” part, however, is that I actually like the “feel” of paper between my fingers as I flip the pages of a good book or while I peruse a newspaper. Call me old fashioned, but I’ve been reading the “old way” for too long and certain habits are hard to change. There’s also the fact that, (I wonder if other EBook Readers vendors do the same?) if Amazon decides to recall a book that is already legally paid for and downloaded in your Kindle, they can “reach out” and remove it whenever they feel like it. That alone prevented me from buying a Kindle and the only reason I now have one is because it was a gift. Talk about a conflict of interests!
So as I drove home after the holidays and spent the night at a hotel somewhere in Northern Virginia, I proceeded to fill up my device with books and explore its features. The first thing I did was install Calibre in my netbook. Since I’m running bleeding edge Foresight Linux I was able to get a fairly new version installed (and later on that same week the latest version was available) and off I went to manage the Kindle. Also, as I keep most of my EBooks in a Dropbox directory, adding them was piece of cake!
I must say that the built in New Oxford American Dictionary and the possibility of getting the definition of the words from the page you’re reading in one second is very, very handy! There’s also an experimental Text to Speech feature that I haven’t tried yet but could totally take advantage of one of these days. Oh, the battery lasts forever and even though this is not the super small and light Kindle 3, it still weighs close to nothing!
Almost 2 weeks later and I have already read 2 books and am currently working on my third for 2011, a bit ahead of my goal of reading 52 total books for the year! I feel that I am reading a bit faster now and not straining my eyes as much as before. I still miss holding a real book every afternoon when I take 1 hour to read. I also haven’t been to the Public Library this year yet but that aspect is not going to change as it has become sort of a Sunday ritual for our family.
I figure that I may start blogging about the books I read from now on and provide a small review for anyone interested out there, so expect my first book review for “The Hunger Games (Part 1)" fairly soon!