I am a recent convert to the world of ebooks. I bought a Kindle of my own just 8 months ago and, most surprisingly, converted completely and instantaneously to e-reading. I’ve only read two paper books since the start of the year!
Why, I wondered, have I taken so wholly to ebooks? I had such a fondness for paperbacks that, for years, I wouldn’t even consider owning an e-reader. I think the Kindle won my heart by coming at me from various directions at once…
I am something of a sci-fi geek. The fact that my kindle looks almost exactly like something Captain Janeway used on Voyager still tickles me a little every day. I chose a very basic model. Although I did consider a tablet devise, the fact the kindle’s only function is to show me books seems simultaneously futuristic and old fashioned.
I have pretty eclectic tastes but I do tend to go for books published 100 or more years ago, given the choice. My passion for old stuff is fed, to bursting point and often for free, by Project Gutenberg as well as the kindle store. In the last 8 months I’ve read, among other things, the legends of Finn MacCoul, one of John Muir’s journeys, several works by my beloved RLS and a book of Highland fairy stories. I’m currently reading a Scottish history published in 1901 and my next book might be Snorrie’s tales of Norse gods and heroes.
I never used to buy many new books. I read a lot and it felt like a waste of precious resources to buy a book I’d only read once, and might not even like. I borrowed from libraries a lot (obviously) and only tended to buy what I’d already read and enjoyed. I also have quite a collection of second hand books (that’s the old book thing again). The kindle allows me to read new fiction without any need for trees to be felled. This removes any green-guilt I might feel and enables me to buy more new works than before.
Books on tap
The kindle is tiny and slim. I can take it everywhere, almost literally. So far its been to Poland, skiing at Glencoe and walking the West Highland Way. It also comes to work with me everyday, commuting by bus, train and bike.
I have a supply of ‘books to be read’ that will last me months so, as soon as one book is finished, the next one can be chosen and opened. I’m seamlessly chain-reading! I’ve already read more books in 8 months than I did in all of last year. Not that quantity is important, it’s just that I no longer have any delay before starting a new book.
…I think that’s about it. Other than a tiny, sneaking fear that Amazon might be evil, and a problem with kindle books being more ‘licensed’ to me than my actual property, other than that e-reading rocks!