Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Rekindling of Desire

Let me introduce you to my favorite holiday toy:

Yes, it's true; I have succumbed to the electronic lure of the Kindle.

I've been a Kindle skeptic for a long time. There's the creepy Big Brother thing about dependency upon one company for e-books (a company that is constantly collecting personal information about customers and that has in the past deleted customer purchases, with a refund but with no cogent explanation); there's the angst about increasing the digital and informational divide even further between the technology haves and have-nots (most of the people in my church, for instance, regardless of age, have no access to the Internet or even a decent personal computer). There's the issue of longevity -- what happens to my books if I break my Kindle, or if Amazon ever decides to change its technology? And there's the issue of tactile pleasure -- sometimes there's just nothing like turning the pages of a book.

Yeah; I know. But my new Kindle is

I mean -- I've already downloaded a couple dozen freebies; everything from the Iliad to The Voyage of the Beagle to a short tome on Amish gardening tips. My Kindle is wi-fi enabled, so I just book-shop right on it, 24/7, click the "buy" button (even for the freebies) and -- ka-ching! -- my book is suddenly there, ready to read. Wow.

For the past several years I've listed "reading more" as a New Year's resolution; and for the past several years that hasn't really happened. But now I find that I've already made it through one of my e-books (and learned that baking soda is a cheap and easy amendment to acid garden soil). And I'm headed for one of the Great Books now...perhaps the Epic of Gilgamesh, or the Analects.

Ooh -- shiny.


Brenda W. said...

I've had my Kindle for about 6 months or so now, and have not regretted the purchase once. Just love it (although I don't have any of the Big Brother concerns you do ... gosh ... never even THOUGHT of those!!)

Do check out this site ... great, great resource for free Kindle Books. And be sure to check out the free, open source Calibre software she mentioned. Most useful tool I've found for the Kindle. It converts other eBook formats to the Kindle Format. It automatically fetches and downloads newspapers of your choosing (I'm using it to get the NYTimes every day ... I was paying Amazon $14.99/month for that). Superbly useful software.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Wondering how the Kindle compares in weight to a regular book. I'm thinking it might be a good thing for my disabled sis in law. But she says, well She LOVES holding a book itself, you know the sentiment. But she is becoming weaker.