Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Paper or Plastic?


No, I'm not talking about the grocery store- I'm talking about the Kindle 2! It's the new electronic reading device from Amazon.com. This isn't the first electronic reader- Sony also has one and was the first one I ever saw at my local Borders store. But the Sony e-reader seemed bulky and clumsy to me. (It still does!) Now enter the Kindle 2 - a sleek, wireless, family friendly device that puts the fun back in reading. Maybe fun isn't quite the right word- maybe easier is the proper word... The front of the Kindle 2 is about the size of a trade paperback cover. And it is about as thin as a CD jewel case. On the front sides are the "next page bars" and a "previous page button". Turning the page of your downloaded book is as easy as pressing the bar that your thumb is already resting comfortably against as it is holding the kindle. There are some other neat features too- you can look up words you don't know instantly with another button and if you are reading a newspaper you can "clip" an article to save for later. You can make the text larger if you need to... you can listen to your favorite music while you read... and if you buy 2 kindles and give one to your spouse you can both read the same book at the same time by buying only 1 copy of the book. (both kindles need to be registered under the same name) Amazon.com has over 240,000 Kindle books available for download, usually at quite a discount from the hardcover price. Not to mention there are free e-books also available. And downloading a book is as easy as a click of a button- done wireless virtually anywhere you can bring your kindle. The wireless part of the kindle works on 3G technology, which is 3rd generation cellular technology, so you don't have to be looking for a WiFi connection. And do you think 1500 books is enough to carry around with you? Because that is what the Kindle 2 is capable of holding.
But all that aside is plastic nicer that paper? Does the feel of the Kindle in your hands match the beauty of the paper of a real book? Isn't it special to walk into a bookstore and pick up a book you've never seen before and open it up for a peek? The heft of a hardcover in your hand makes it undeniably real. The beauty of the typeface the publisher chooses to use, the type of paper- is it all just window dressing for the actual printed work? I don't think I will ever give up buying books altogether, but I do like my Kindle. And being able to buy new books at a substantial discount isn't so bad either!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

imagine the ease of bringing it along in it's water proof case when you're on one of your paddling adventures.
Nothing better than a nice quiet lunch with your book on the water.

Dave said...

Suzy, good post on the Kindle. The two of us who write The Baltimore Sun's book blog have had a running debate about it. Nancy is in love with it; I'm more old school. (In fact, I posted "10 Reasons to Hate the Kindles" including: I can't use my collection of random bookmarks: a ticket from the Paris metro, an Orioles game stub or a museum pass.
p.s. Welcome to Book Blogs; hope you enjoy the site.

Suzanne said...

Hi Dave, thanks for the nice comment! Yes, I'm not totally there yet with the Kindle either- I wish that I had a ticket from the Paris metro for one of my bookmarks! I don't think I'd ever give up books then!

Beth said...

I love to read, but I don't have the appreciation of the book itself that you do. Getting immersed in a "good book" is all about the story, not the vehicle with which it's delivered. As my eyes got older, I had a difficult time reading in anything but perfect light, even with glasses. So I had stop reading for several years. But I'm happy to say, no pun intended, the Kindle has re-kindled my love for reading. Now I can read in less than perfect light. I find the Kindle text much sharper than books. And, that's without increasing the font! So if any of you have given up reading because of your eyes, give Kindle a try!

Yvette Kelly said...

I am thinking of buying one and this post definitely helps with my decision.I am very old school but dont want to be left behind techwise.

Yvette Kelly said...

oh yes I forgot to add I would love to re "tweet" your post but no link below and I am not so "twittered up" that I know how to do it with just your link but I am going to give it a try.

Yvette Kelly said...

Sorry for the multiple comments but I just had to come tell you that I did it.It links directly to this page and I named it Kindle Or not?I learnt something new Hah!

Suzanne said...

Hi Yvette! Thank you so much for the re-tweet! Ok, now I guess I'll have to learn to tweet! ;-) Can you send me a link? And BTW, my hubby has never read so much in his life since he's gotten his Kindle! He is totally addicted! I'm old school like you, but I have to admit that I do like it. And I've been able to carry around some books I'm reviewing that were sent to me in PDF form- so I don't have to read them off the computer. You can send PDF files to your Kindle (another nice touch)... Take care!

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