Saturday, March 19, 2011

Questioning My Principles

Wax tablet book

Would it really be that bad to change? Times are different, after all. And even if I adopted a more modern approach, I'd never abandon my old truth: I love reading books.

Bronze book

Maybe if I break that sentence into two phrases I could discover a new truth. I love reading, and I love books.

As far as reading: I'll read the minuscule writing explaining my new prescription's side-effects; I read cereal boxes and instruction manuals for things I don't own any more. So loving to read can be separate from loving books. After all, if this bronze-covered book was sitting on my desk, I'd try to read it. But I wouldn't be tucking it in my purse to peruse during a pedicure.

The Book of Darius

The rough stone box would disqualify this as a coffee-table book, although I'd be dying to find comparisons to The Book of Mormon.

Ancient Greek Scroll

And this one might be trouble when I'm sitting in the window seat of my Delta flight.

I guess I've already adapted to modern technology. But can take the next step?
A friend of mine asked:

To Kindle or Not to Kindle?

And that's my question to you.

You know me and mine:
  1. We love bookstores.
  2. Dee repairs old books.
  3. We write and design books.

Could we hold our bookish heads high and still carry a Kindle?

I'm anxious for your advice.
Answer any or all questions, or just a yay or nay for getting one.

Is it hard to learn to use one?
Is it worth the price?
Which is the best kind? Why?
Can you use them on an airplane?
Do you need free wi-fi to make a connection everywhere you want to read?
About how much does it cost?
Does it cost to use it?
Would an iPad be a better purchase?
Pros? Con?

What do you know that I don't know?



kenju said...

I have no answers since I have no experience with a kindle.

I love books too and I will never give them up; however, it seems more and more obvious to me that keeping a kindle with you on your travels (even to get a pedicure) is the way to go (less weight and bulk, ease of operation, etc.) I may put one of them on my gift list.

Shelley said...

I do not have a Kindle so I'm not sure either way. My mom wanted to get me one for my birthday and I said no because I can't imagine reading anything other than a real book. However, I think a Kindle would be great for traveling and sitting on the beach etc.

Chiska said...

I'm afraid I'll always be in the low tech camp when it comes to books. I enjoy using the internet to read some things, but reading for me is as much a tactile experience for me and holding a screen and reading it wouldn't work for me. I like the smell and feel of the pages. I also saw an advertisment for an electronic device with which to read newspapers (I can't remember what it was) and the guy reading it tried to swat a fly with it and it shattered. I don't know why I always think of that when I consider the kindle.

rlrho said...

Go for it!

First let me say I love books. One of my favorite places to relax is an old library with that musty, old book smell and the spines all ligned up. AHHHH.

I have an iPad which I love and I began reading on it when we went on a trip. Eventually I was reading on it all the time. But my eyes began to really bother me (I'm 44 and the eye-thing is just beginning). The backlight on the iPad is hard on the eyes. Tired of hearing me complain, my husband bought me a Kindle and lighted cover for Christmas. I didn't need it. I had it all packaged to return when I decided to take a second look. . . I kept it.

I still buy some old-style books but I buy almost all of my fiction on my Kindle. I've also started to re-read many classics I just skimmed or Cliff Noted in college. Most of these are free.

Get the Kindle. It's amazingly small and lightweight. You can get a wi-fi only or 3G version. You only need to be connected when you download a book. So if you have we-fi at home and plan ahead, you don't really need the 3G version.

If you read in bed at night check out the lighted case. The case itself is heavier than the Kindle but the convenience of the light is great. Check out the reviews on Amazon for people who have different opinions.

Best Buy has Kindles and Nooks that you can touch and play with. I think the Kindle has better screen resolution than the Nook. It's also easier to navigate and use the dictionary.

Let me know if you have other questions.

~Kristina said...

I haven't converted, and cautiously add, yet. Perhaps the conversion to electronic is inevitable given today's demand. I can't bring myself to converting from the freshly opened pages or the opportunity to crack the spine.
Besides, how does an author sign inside the cover in ink if there is no page to sign?

Grandma Cebe said...

I have a Nook. In answer to your questions:

*It isn't hard to learn to use.
*Yes, particularly since you can get an entry level Nook or Kindle for under $200. Totally worth the price.
*Opinions vary, I'm sure, on which is the best. I love my Nook and basically choose it because I could take it to a B&A store if there was a problem.
*Yes, you can definitely use them on an airplane. The Nook has an "airplane" mode. Also, I didn't take my Nook out of my purse when going through security. There wasn't any problem.
*No - at least with my Nook, I don't. Once a book is downloaded, it's stored on the device and you can access it anytime.
*Prices from $150 up depending on how fancy you want to go. My Nook is basically entry level and I'm happy with it since I don't use it to access the internet. I just read with it.
*No cost to use once a book is downloaded.
*I'm not sure about this. I'm hankering for an iPad. Even if I get an iPad, I don't think I'd abandon my Nook. A Kindle or Nook is cheaper than an iPad - something to consider.
*Can't think of any con's. Some Pros: Often new hard cover releases are available for an e-reader @ a great price. No waiting around for a paperback version of your favorite author. Portability - a 3" book and a 5" book are all the same size on an e-reader. You'll never loose your place or need a bookmark. The Nook opens up to the page where you left off. I'm sure the Kindle does that as well.

Come on over.I'll be glad to show you my Nook in it's red, leather cover.

Grandma Cebe said...

One advantage to an iPad is that you can get the complete LDS Gospel library on it - all of the lessons manuals, scriptures, hymns, etc. etc. That's one reason why I want an iPad is so that I don't have to haul my Quad to church on Sunday. With your current calling, an iPad may be the way to go since you'd have access to docs/info and stuff you need for the newsletter. Plus you have computer capability to make notes etc. on the spot. I bet you could even access your novel from an iPad. Yea - we'd all think that you're dutifully following along in Matthew when you are actually editing your novel/s.

However, if you got an iPad, you might find that your lovely blue bag would have to be retired.

Kari said...

I swore to myself that I would never get an e reader. I love the crisp smell of a new book when you open it for the first time and the creek of the binder. I love the dusty familiar smell of an old book and the familiar weight in my hands.

Then... my husband got a nook for me for Christmas and now I love it!

One of the things that I have enjoyed the most is getting the classics inexpensively. I bought a "book" with 50 of the classics in it for 4.99. The entire L. M. Montgomery set was 3.99 and the Jane Austen collection was 3.99 also. Awesome!

Now I can carry my old friends with me wherever I go!

Grandma Cebe said...

Me again - with a Nook, your kids and grandkids will always know what to get you for Christmas, Mother's Day, Birthday - a B&N gift card.

Anonymous said...

I do not have Kindle and cannot advise.

However, your post brings to mind a quote from Thomsas Jefferson -- I cannot live without books.

I can relate to your comments related to reading everything - prescription information, cereal boxes - everything.

As a youngster I read the dictionary and encyclopedia.

Susan Adcox said...

I love books and will never give up the real thing. HOWEVER, I love to read while I'm eating, and the Kindle is marvelous for that. After years of using clips, weights, etc., to hold the pages back so that I could read hands-free, the Kindle comes along. You can read without fighting the pages. Just a light touch on the edge, and the next page magically appears. I love it! It's also great for travel as you can carry a dozen or more books without added weight.

Polly said...

I too love the look and feel of books,but as I get older and my hands hurt I think a lighter weight way of reading might be handy. I am using my son in laws iPad right now and I love it. I would get one of these in a minute, because you can use it as computer and read from it and even load games for your grandkids. I see people reading from both iPad and kindle on airplanes.

Polly said...

I too love the look and feel of books,but as I get older and my hands hurt I think a lighter weight way of reading might be handy. I am using my son in laws iPad right now and I love it. I would get one of these in a minute, because you can use it as computer and read from it and even load games for your grandkids. I see people reading from both iPad and kindle on airplanes.

allison said...

you are so wonderful! i can't wait to take into account all of these thoughts. xo!!

Alana said...

I don't know if I could ever convert to a kindle or the like. Only because I like to see the progress I'm making on the book. How much have I read? How much is left? I like to see it and feel it. Then again, I was reluctant around 2003 to switch to a digital camera and dragged my feet the whole way. Now it just seems silly that I didn't want to give up film.

Grandma Cebe said...

Alana - My Nook has a bar indicator at the bottom of the screen, plus a page count so you always know how much you've read and how many pages are left. It also gives me the time at the top of the screen.

Nina said...

I thought that I would share my experience . . .

I have a Kindle. My husband has an iPad. I love both.

But, and this is a big but, I am cheap with a capital C!!! The books for the Kindle that I want to buy range anywhere from $8-16. I can buy a paperback version of the book for lots cheaper -- even with the shipping price.

However, when I travel, a Kindle sure is lots lighter than having a bundle of books in my carry on and luggage!!

Heather P said...

I have a gen 2 Kindle and I love it. I won't re-post all the stuff about how easy it is, but it's pretty easy. For Christmas my grandfather (mid-70's) got one and I've been helping him get set up. There is a learning curve but you would have no problem since you use the computer so much.

I am an English teacher. I can't ever imagine a world without tangible books. BUT I have to say I love the Kindle for travel and for the convenience of being able to get my grubby little hands on almost anything instantaneously. I've read more since I got it because once I finish a book I just move on to the next one. I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet but anything that's in the public domain is a free download. So nearly any of the "classics" are FREE. FREEEEEEEEEEEE. I love that.

I still go to see live dance performances but I will watch dance on TV. I will still go to a concert but I love my iPod. I don't think you're cheating on books if you use an electronic device. :) I think you're just broadening your selection and using more tools. I just reread Jane Eyre and I did it in a combo of audiobook, Kindle book, and actual book--whatever was around was what I picked up.

I agree about it being easy on the eyes. I can't read on a computer screen (or iPad) for a long time because of the backlighting. Kindle and Nook are easier on the eyes. I never have any problems. Kindle just did an update to actual page numbers so you can see what "page" you're reading if it was an actual book. It also has the progress bar.

My ONLY complaint about the Kindle is that I can't take it in the bath to read. That's a pretty small complaint. Otherwise it's amazing. :)

VickiC said...

My daughter recently gave me a Pandigital--like a Kindle. Took me a good hour to figure out how to load a book onto the thing. Actually gave up at that point and asked my husband to do it. I'll figure it out eventually. I did, after all, manage to master my cell phone.

I love a couple of things about this technology. For one thing, it is gentle with the eyes. None of this squinting to try and read the 8 point font found in paperbacks. The backlighting on the "page" makes reading more soothing--whatever.
The other great point is I can (eventually) download books and audiobooks from the library. I love to be read to when I'm doing housework, gardening, folding laundry....

Diane said...

I'm so sad. I just left a long, detailed comment, and it didn't go through. Maybe that's lucky for you!

Suffice it to say I have a Kindle, and love it. I'd buy another in a heartbeat. If you have questions, feel free to ask me. I have lots of opinions about covers, lights, etc.

By the way, the scriptures and several LDS basics are available on the Kindle for a total price of about $2.

Christie said...

I don't have a kindle, but I am head over heels in love with my iPad. I would recommend that instead. You can browse the internet, read books, make lists, and pretty much anything you could think of. They are so user-friendly it's insane. Get the iPad!

missy said...

I haven't read through all of your comments so I risk repeating what has already been said. I have a nook. The reason my husband bought me the nook instead of the kindle is because our library belongs to a website called where I can check-out and download books onto my nook, rather than buy them. It is not compatible with the kindle. I'm a cheapskate and get most of my reading from the library anyway so it's nice to be able to check out and download books from home.

My husband won and iPad and he has downloaded the nook app which allows him to read whatever I'm reading or whatever other books we've purchased or downloaded on my nook. However, on the iPad you can download other apps that allow you to get free or purchased books downloaded to your iPad without a nook or kindle.

One thing I love about the nook is the battery life. Once I download books, I put the nook in airplane mode (basically turning off the wifi) and the battery lasts well over a week. Another big plus with any of the readers is the portability. It's great to take a whole stack of great books on a vacation in one slim little device.

The Grandmother Here said...

I'm too cheap to try a kindle.

Heffalump said...

My husband's boss gave him a Kindle. We have the scriptures on it, as well as a lot of books we got for free (Jane Austen, Edgar Rice Bouroughs, etc).
I like it for the ease of travel. You can take hundreds of books with you, and the batteries last a long time before you have to recharge it.
I don't ever want to give up real books either. There's something about a hardcover book that I just love.
That said, the kindle is great for taking a lot in a little bit of space. I see most of your questions have already been answered.
Another thing I like about the kindle is that many books let you download a sample. That way, if you don't like what you read to start out with, you aren't stuck with the book.
I have heard that some of the libraries are letting people "check out" books on their kindles. You have it for a couple of weeks, and then when your time is up, it gets automatically erased. I have also heard that they will eventually let people lend their book downloads to friends. In that case it would be much easier to get back since it would be something they would have for a certain period of time and then it would be back on your kindle.
Another thing I love is that the Kindle keeps your spot when you turn it off or switch books, so no looking for where you last left off.

marta said...

mom, this is a great discussion! thanks for 'outing' yourself about your difficult decision. i saw a dozen people carrying kindles on my last flight. i definitely think you may LOVE one. i don't think it makes you any less of a book lover to read via e-reader. it's the smart thing to do! i always pack way too many books and never get to them.. this would be perfect for you and Dad.

i have heard awesome things about the ipad, especially for reading magazines.. however i think i'd stop reading books and just browse the internet, but like you say.. there's nothing much wrong with that. if you want it purely for reading, go with an e-reader.. if you want more go with the ipad.

please let us know what you choose and how you like it!! xo.

allison said...

jeff sent me this quote today. it's from a pcmag editorial.

"The reason no one mentioned, but I still consider the biggest one is, to return to Locker's comments, the Amazon Kindle is built for reading. The Apple iPad is not. The latter is still too heavy to hold for long periods of time. Even when I attach a light to my Kindle, it's still lighter than the iPad. I still find reading easier on the Kindle. Yes, it's true, I do wish my Kindle 2nd Generation offered as bright a screen as the new third-generation one, but reading a glowing screen of text for long periods of time simply doesn't work for me.

And yet, you would have to pull the iPad from my cold, dead fingers to get it from me. The other white-knuckled hand would still be grasping my Amazon Kindle. I do very different things with both of them. Asking me to choose between them, is like asking me to choose between my car and my HDTV. Just because both the TV and car can play music, does not mean that I should either start trying to drive my HDTV, or sit myself down in front of my car waiting for the next episode of Mad Men. It's obviously an absurd choice, as false a choice as choosing between the Kindle or the iPad, and the sooner we all stop asking people to make it, the better."

He really wants an iPad, and I really want a Kindle. Now I know that our reasons are totally different.