Why I love my Kindle

I used to be an English grad student. I like books. A lot. And although there’s something to be said about the feel of a bound book, the smell of paper and the cracking of spines, there’s no denying that the digital revolution is now in full swing when it comes to reading.

I got my Kindle mainly as a way to avoid having to print all the PDFs that come with studying little-known Victorian stuff. If it’s on Archive.org or Gutenberg.org, you can put it on your Kindle.

I might have left my PhD, but I still love my Kindle. Here’s why:

1. It’s tiny

My Kindle fits in my smallest purse. Imagine reading, let’s say, Ulysses, and having to carry it around in your bag. Even in paperback, Ulysses is a mammoth. My Kindle is a tiny mouse. It’s great for going on vacation too: instead of having a separate suitcase just for your books (and I’ve seen that happen…), you just need one thing, your tiny Kindle.

2. It carries more books than you can read

You can put something like 3000 books in your Kindle. Getting bored with your read? Just choose another one in your list. It’s quite awesome. It also reads text files like .doc, .txt and even PDFs, so you’ll never be out of reading material. You can never, ever be bored if you have a Kindle with you.

Kindle and Ulysses

Kindle vs. Ulysses. Who wins?

3. It’s customizable and shareable

Organize your books in categories, keep an eye on your progress, take notes and share your favourite quotes on Facebook and Twitter. I chose the Kindle over the Kobo mainly because you can write up short notes that are linked to passages and either keep them on your device or upload them to your computer.

4. You get instant access to Amazon

You may not be a fan of Amazon, but I am. I once ordered all my books for a semester at Concordia and saved a boatload of money. But with the Kindle, no need to wait for UPS anymore. Choose a book, pay for it, get it instantly on your Kindle. It’s instant gratification for nerds, and I’m totally addicted. (And given the current weakness of the American dollar, totally financially worth it.)

Some people might have issues with Kindle’s proprietary format and the fact that it can’t read books formatted in Epub. However, most books in Epub are also available in Mobi format, and the Kindle does read Mobi. Or you can get a program like Calibre and transfer format if there’s really no other way (be careful about copyright infringement).

I know a lot of hardcore literatis who don’t want to give up their paper habit, and I will never completely stop reading paper copies, either. But as a literary person, I like the idea of having a wider access to texts, especially scanned stuff in the public domain. And as a techy person, well, I get a kick out of having people oooh and aaah when I take it out :) It’s a great conversation starter!

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3 Comments

Filed under Gadgets and apps, Reviews

3 responses to “Why I love my Kindle

  1. I agree. I don’t have an ebook reader yet, but I’ve read a few books on my iPhone. The folks in my book club seem to think that it’s an either/or scenario, that you’re either on Team Paper or Team Digital and the are all firmly in the paper camp. I don’t foresee ever giving up paper books altogether (partly because I have about 400 of them on my shelf waiting to be read), but I embrace the potential of ebooks as well. They must be a godsend for university students! Texbooks are so big and expensive, and they become outdated quickly. Even Goodwill won’t accept them! Happy reading.

    • Anabelle

      I don’t know much about textbooks, although yes, it should definitely be an option for students. The problem is graphics–Kindle doesn’t render graphics that well since it’s not necessarily a PDF reader. However, the iPad does that very well (and a review on iPad for reading is definitely in the works). I was a lit student, and so I read novels and poetry and plays, not textbooks. Textbook outdating is a ploy by academic presses to make a shitload (excuse my expression) of money off students… most “updates” are usually one or two graphics and adding some facts–nothing that couldn’t be managed through a good blog, for example.

      I gave up most of my paper books in my last move because I’m tired of lugging them around, but I did keep a few that mattered to me, like my Joyce and my complete Shakespeare. I’ll choose electronic over paper since it’s cheaper and more practical, but sometimes you don’t have a choice and have to go with paper.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment and I hope you stick around!

  2. Pingback: Review of Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman « Anabelle's Blog

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