I like paper.
The smell and feel of books.
You know those used bookstores filled with yellowed pages and an inventory of random where you have to treasure hunt for something great? And there’s that weird smell to it? Not like a thrift store…but kinda?
I get giddy inside.
In college, I was the girl sitting on the floor of the library at 1 a.m. surrounded by a stack of books…while my classmates read articles online and used that new thing called Google.
So the fact that I now own a Kindle Touch, and LOVE it…is not more shocking to anyone but me.
I would have never, in a million years thought that I would ever own a digital reader. Ever. I’m not that girl. No, siree. Give me a book. Forevah.
Okay, until a few months ago. I’m fickle. What can I say?
Either way, I thought I’d tell you why I ended up crossing over into the land of digital books…and why I’m really glad I did.
-Instant Gratification. I live in the suburbs with a Target, a Walmart, and a Home Depot. I’m for want of nothing from a consumer standpoint…except that there are NO BOOKSTORES in my town (or an Anthropologie, but I’ll let that slide). In fact, if I want a real life book store with cozy chairs and couches, I have to drive 30 miles. My usual go-to for books has been ordering them off of Amazon…but you see, that means I have to wait a few days for the book to get there. And sometimes, when the kids are all napping and my chores are done (or ignored) I really just want to read NOW. Bratty? yes. But it’s my life right now. It can be unpredictable…and some days I have a couple of quiet hours that I didn’t expect or plan for. Hours when a book I’ve been hearing about would be perfect. Like, this second.
-Ordering new books is no longer on my “to-do” list. You see, my brain is mashed potatoes. I’ll think “oh, I really want to read Emily’s book…I need to order it…” But I always seem to have this thought bubble in the middle of the night, or when I’m in the shower, or have my hands covered in onion juice. Remembering to actually place an order somehow eludes me whenever I’m sitting down at the computer. And so begins the cycle of “dangit! I need to order that book…TODAY.” And three days later realizing I didn’t do it, promising myself I’d do it during nap…and repeat. I have enough of these things floating around in my head…being able to do it all with a couple of clicks while I’m lying in bed…when I actually WANT to read…and having it magically show up in just a few seconds…is priceless.
-You can read outside. My kids love riding bikes and whatnot outside. We live in a cul-de-sac so I often find myself wishing I had a book to read \while they go round and round in circles. Even if I don’t have a book to read right at that moment, two clicks and ten seconds later, I have whatever book I want at my fingertips (it’s actually a little scary how easy/fast it is to order Kindle books…it comes preloaded with your Amazon account info…which is tied to your payment options so you don’t have to enter in anything besides a quick password). The Pearl-E screen makes it so that I can read in bright sunlight (just like, you know, a regular book). We have an iPad with the Kindle app on it…but you get more than two rays of light on that screen and you can’t see a thing (which is why it just doesn’t work as a reader for me). If you’ve ever tried to work outside on a laptop, you know what I mean.
-I’m not distracted. I have the Kindle Touch which is just a basic reader. I can’t check my email, I don’t hear the ding of Twitter, I can’t “just look this up real quick”…I can only read. That’s it. I’m easily distracted. My simple, single use Kindle helps me stay focused. Well, that is, until the kids start crying or fighting or whatevering.
-Free lending library with Prime. We’ve had Amazon Prime membership for a few years now and it’s been well worth the yearly price. So when I was waffling about whether or not to buy a Kindle, the fact that I can borrow select titles for FREE (one per month) made it a lot more appealing. (This is how I’ve read the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy and Water for Elephants, btw.)
-Free lending through local library. Did you know that with your regular library membership, you can download/borrow digital books directly to your Kindle for free…from HOME (or anywhere for that matter)???!!! I realize you can borrow real books with your library membership for free too, but library trips are not in our repertoire right now. By the time I load everyone up, park in the parking structure, rig up the double stroller and navigate my three littles through the quiet aisles of the library, while threatening their very lives if they don’t pipe down…well, let’s just say whatever book I was hoping to check out is no longer worth the “free-ness”. Lazy? Maybe. But it’s a season of my life right now. One that doesn’t include the library. Judge all you want.
-Lightweight. My Kindle only weighs a few ounces and is about the size of a small paperback. I can toss it in my purse and hoist it around with little issue. On the other hand, I just bought the print version of Heaven(our local Christian bookstore was going out of business and it was 50% off) and at 533 pages, it’s not the kind of thing I’m going to tote around in my purse “just in case”. Along with diapers, wipes, one shoe, a licorice, and a half eaten lollipop covered in lint. (I have a Knitty Bitties cover for mine…and I think I need one of these too for extra protection).
-Less clutter. This one is a double edged sword. There is still a very real part of me that cringes when I buy a “fake” book. It’s still weird to spend money on something that you can’t hold in your hand (well, besides the Kindle itself, but you know what I mean). BUT, it’s also really nice to not have one more thing to clutter up your house. One more book to add to the shelf. One more thing to haul the next time you move. And let’s face it: one less thing to dust. Besides, there really are only a handful of extra good books that I would actually even want in print anyway. And those, I’ll buy the old fashioned way. The rest that I don’t really need to have on the shelf…well, I can download those and enjoy them without mussing up my house. Besides, Kindle books are always at least a few dollars cheaper, so that’s good, right?
-Sharing copies. Some books can be shared from one Kindle user to the other…which is awesome. Yet, somehow none of the books I’ve purchased have lending capabilities (shocker). I do think that this will change with time though. The more that this whole digital thing takes off, the easier I think it will be. I could be wrong I suppose, but humor me.
-Good Deals. Oftentimes, the Kindle version of a book will be offered at a deeply discounted rate. For example, one of my favorites, There Is No Me Without You is $10.32 in paperback…but only $2.99 on Kindle! Last month, I was able to download Organized Simplicity for FREE. So, I feel like I can get around that weird “buying fake books with real money” feeling by taking advantage of the good deals, the Prime lending library (we pay for Prime anyway, so it’s not an added expense), and local library downloads.
Why did I share all of this? Because honestly, if you had told me last year that I’d be buying a Kindle with my birthday money, I would have looked at you all crazy-eyed. So, I thought I’d share what I’ve discovered and maybe convince some of you print paper diehards that the rest of us aren’t just out to kill the library system.
What do you think of Digital Readers? Do you have one? Have you been considering one? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Disclaimer: I realize this whole post sounded like a giant commercial, but this was not a sponsored post, nor was I asked by anyone to write it. I just genuinely thought it might be good food for thought for those of you on the e-reader fence. I did, however, use affiliate links…because you know, if I actually convince you to buy a Kindle, I might as well make the $0.07 from Amazon. Watch out, I’m gonna be rich.