I have had a few requests for a review of the Kindle.
The biggest question is, “How is it in comparison to holding a REAL book?”
First, let me say, I am convinced no one, on this entire planet, has the need for the feel, smell, and weight of a real book more than me. I have major sensory issues, as my husband likes to say. I love the smell of books. I love the way they feel in my hands. Often, when I am reading, my fingers are feeling the cover and rubbing on the pages. I love the weight of them. I love writing in them. I love dog-eared pages. I love they way that they get creased and worn when I read them more than once. A well read book is soft and supple, reading it can be like having a conversation with a beloved friend. I love that when I am moved by a passage, be-it in my Bible or another book, the pages become stained with my tears. When I come across them again, I rub that tear-stained spot, close my eyes, and remember the moment those words first pierced my heart. I love taking them in the bathtub and in the sauna. I love reading in the car, poolside, at the beach, in my bed, on my couch, and in the rocking chair.
I don’t read books, I experience them.
Weird, I know.
When a friend told as around Christmas time that he had purchased one for his wife, I recoiled and gasped in disgust. I shrilly exclaimed, “They are an abomination!” I quickly listed the multitude of reasons why Kindle could never be an acceptable replacement in my mind. He then, proceeded to outline all the many benefits of owning a Kindle. Yes, he agreed, it could never be the same as a real book, but encouraged me to see that they do have many wonderful benefits.
He sold me.
After a week of ownership, this is what I have found:
I love my Kindle and it does have many benefits. I love that it has a dictionary, and when I don’t know what a word means, I just scroll over to the word and instantly pops up, at the bottom of the screen, the definition. I LOVE THAT. Especially when I am reading a classic book filled with archaic words. It is a very helpful feature. I love that there is a world of books that I can download for free. Already I have $250 in books on my Kindle, that I did not pay a dime for. Even though I would have never purchased those books, I now have them. It has saved me actual cash on school books. In just one nine week period, I saved $79 because I was able to download books for free that the children were going to need. I love the fact that when I travel, I can bring several (a thousand actually) books with me, all contained on one tiny little contraption. I love the note taking and highlighting features. It’s not quite the same to highlight on the Kindle as in a real book. After all, you don’t have the smell of the highlighter to keep you awake. Then again, you don’t have to search for a pen or get irritated when it falls in between the cushions either. I adore the note taking. If I want to place a note in a particular spot in a book, I just click and type. Then, the Kindle places a small number in the passage, that can then be clicked on, so the added note appears at the bottom of the page. This is probably one of my favorite features. Let’s face it, publishers don’t give you a whole lot of room to write in books. This has unlimited room. Kaleb gave me a red silicon cover for my Kindle, and it has quite a nice feel to it. Just last night, Richard commented on how I was feeling and rubbing the cover like I normally do the pages and covers of real books. An acceptable compromise to be sure. It also has a great battery life. More than one week in, and it still has half a battery.
With all that wonderfulness, I have found some serious draw backs.
1. The Bible on my Kindle, (which by the way is a $50 Bible in print, purchased for $9.99 on Kindle) is lovely. However, it just does not cut it. If I am going to sit down and spend some time with Jesus, I need the book. The Kindle does not have that intimate feel. Don’t get me wrong, I like having the Bible on there, and use it. Again, I love the note taking feature. I just find myself longing for my underlined, highlighted, tear-stained Bible. There is just something about the weight of it on my lap, the feel of the pages and the faint rustling sound as I search for a passage. I need that. Perhaps I will get over it, and find the same joy in the Bible on my Kindle one day…but I’m not counting on it. Besides, it is quite cumbersome to get to books and passages. It takes too long, in my opinion. I find myself thinking about how much time it is taking to get somewhere, and forgetting my train of thought in study.
2. I can’t take it in the bath tub. Nothing more relaxing than a hot bath and a good book.
3. Can’t take it in the sauna. I sit in the sauna nearly everyday, reading the entire time.
4. When I am reading a book I don’t EVER contemplate on it getting damaged. I just don’t. I know that as rough as I am on books, they still hold up quite well. Should one finally fall apart from overuse, I simply find another copy. Not so with the Kindle. It is small, and very light weight. It feels like I might break it in two, just by gripping it too hard during a suspenseful part of a story. I worry about water damage. I worry about dropping it. Yuck. I hate that. This is by far the biggest draw back. When I stuffed it in my purse, I quickly realized that I was going to have to purchase a good heavy cover for it, so that it would be protected form all the jostling about. I just simply have to be more careful with it, than I ever would with a book.
Overall, I love my Kindle. I am so thankful for it, and it will be well used and loved. I’m afraid it just won’t have the same proof as my books. The benefits, far out number the downfalls. As far as it bringing the same pleasure as a real book, with the exception of scripture(purely because of an overwhelming attachment to my Bible), I have found that the words on those pages bring the pleasure, not the pages they’re printed on.