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I’ve mentioned before that I own a Kindle and was going to post a review. I haven’t posted it yet because, despite owning my Kindle for over a year, it’s taken me until now to really decide how I feel about it. I’ve also owned a Sony Reader so will review that as well. But first I thought I should explain why I made the switch from paper books to ebooks.
I am a book lover. I love the smell of a new book. I love the feel of a book. I love the weight and the texture. I like to play with the pages as I’m reading. You can’t get that with an electronic book. I’ll keep my tree killing, space taking, paper books thank-you-very-much. This is probably the biggest objection I hear to ebook readers. “You can’t get the same experience from a cold, unfeeling piece of plastic” and it’s true.
Did you know you can put thousands of books on an ebook reader? That’s a whole library full. A LIBRARY! And you can take them ALL with you. Everywhere.
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At any given time I have 20-30 books checked out of the library. Business books, craft books, writing books, organizing books, cook books, fiction books… I never know what I’m going to be in the mood to read. Anytime we go out of town, even just for a few days, I have to decide which books to bring, and which to leave home. What if this story is lame? What if it’s so good I can’t put it down and I finish it before the trip’s over? What if I’m I the mood to work on my writing, or what if I get motivated and want to learn how to improve my business? I will be so bummed if I don’t have the right book with me! So I used to pack a bag with the top 10 (or 15, I’m not a very good decision maker) and will probably need shoulder surgery some day because of it. (I couldn’t even go to my daughter’s soccer games without at least two books because, what if?) And that’s why I made the switch from paper to electronic books.
Most ebook readers use e-ink. It’s really amazing stuff. The words are so crisp and clear, very much like words on paper. When I turned my Kindle on for the first time I looked at the screen from every angle for at least half an hour trying to figure out how it worked. (Ok, maybe only 3 or 4 minutes but it felt like a long time. And no, I never did figure out how it worked.) There’s no backlight or anything so it’s just… amazing! How do they do that? Go to Best Buy or Target or Barnes and Noble, anywhere that has ebooks on display, and check them out. Even after a year I am still amazed.
Photo by Horia Varlan
There are some things that I miss about paper books, though. You know how you can flip through the pages to find a diagram or a phrase that you know is on the right side towards the middle of the book? You can’t do that with an ebook. Well, you can, but it’s slow. This is the one time I really miss my paper books.
I just remembered that there’s a search function so you can search for a particular word within a book. I haven’t used it but will see if that helps and report back.
Another thing I miss about paper books is… um… color pictures?
So color, smell and flipability. That’s what paper books have on ebooks.
Oh, and about 5,000 pounds.