Finally: my Kindle

Finally. After months of thinking about it, thinking about it more and then waiting for it to finally get to Manila, it’s here. I have it. My Kindle is with me.

Now, this is not meant to be a review of the Kindle Touch. I’m not qualified to write anything like that and I’m not even going to try. So this post won’t really be a review, it’ll just be me raving about the Kindle. Because it is fantastic.

I won’t lie, I still miss books sometimes. I miss the feel of turning a page, the weight of a book in my hands. But the convenience and portability of a Kindle cannot be denied. The Kindle Touch, in particular, is small, so much smaller than I or anyone expected it to be. Everyone I’ve shown my Kindle to were surprised at how small it was. At 6.8 in. x 4.5 in. (according to Amazon), it’s small enough that I can hold and operate it with one hand.

I was worried about the touch screen being problematic, I haven’t had any problems so far. Sure, I accidentally turn the page forward instead of back sometimes (the first third of the screen on the left side is to turn it back, the remaining 2/3 is to go forward), but I think that’s more my fault than Amazon’s. I also end up missing the first or last few words of a passage I want to highlight (a feature I love, by the way, because I could never bear to write on the pages of my books) but again, that’s more my fault for not checking what’s actually highlighted than Amazon’s.

And it’s so damn easy to use. Really. I think within 10 minutes of ripping it out of its packaging, I was already connected to the Kindle store and downloading books. And I am no techie by any stretch of the imagination (I actually made a point to read the full user’s guide before reading anything else), so it really was THAT simple.

And of course, this was my first download of them all

So, yes, obviously, I am loving my Kindle. I bring it with me almost everywhere. I read it in the car, while waiting in line to pay for something or for friends to arrive and basically any other time I think I have a couple of minutes to read. And I couldn’t have done that with an actual book/s, unless of course I was willing to risk back and shoulder pain and lug my current book in my handbag with me everywhere I went. With my Kindle, I can carry thousands of books with me and read them with even getting eye or wrist strain (I’m looking at you, iPad).

I am now, unabashedly, a Kindle fan and would encourage any avid reader to get one. I don’t know why I was so reluctant about it in the first place. Some people will argue (and I once did) that reading e-books is a betrayal of the written word, that it takes away from the experience of leafing through a book and all the romantic associations that come with it. But isn’t the point of books (paper or electronic), well, reading? I read more often now than I did before my Kindle, and isn’t that the more important thing? I used to not buy and consequently not read certain books for fear of the waste if I ended up not reading the book more than once. And by waste I don’t just mean the money, but also of the paper, the space on my bookshelf. And now, with the Kindle, the latter two constraints no longer exist (unfortunately the budgetary constraint will always be there). I can now buy books I’m not entirely sure I’ll love and not feel any guilt that trees were felled to provide me with a book that may end end up just rotting away in my bookshelf. And that just opens up an entirely new world of reading material for me.

So, yeah. I want to slap my ridiculous old self, the one who used to think that reading from e-books is not “real” reading. God, what a condescending bitch I was. If anything, what I’m doing now with my Kindle, buying and reading books outside my comfort zone and waiting to see where they’ll take me, THAT’s “real” reading, right?

The Kindle Dilemma, part 2

Well, that was fast.

Less than a week since my post where I contemplate buying a Kindle, I’ve made my decision.  All the input from my friends and the lovely commenters on that post made me realize that it is the most logical, practical, convenient and environment-friendly way to enjoy the written word. Anyone who thinks otherwise really is fooling themselves. So I’m buying a Kindle. And the timing couldn’t be any better. Amazon just released four new Kindle models, most notably the new Kindle touch (since the Fire is more of a tablet, I’m not really considering it).

So it’s now a choice between the Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle Touch. I’ve read reviews and they’re mostly mixed. Some give the Touch a slight edge because of the bigger screen and the ease of use, but some still find the keyboard more useful for browsing and it’s page-turn buttons more convenient for reading. I, however, am considering less, ummm, conventional factors: how cute the cases are.

Given that the Kindle Keyboard has been around for a while now, it has more options in terms of protective cases. The Amazon product list for this runs 15 pages, I think. On the other hand, the brand new Kindle Touch has only 2 or 3 pages dedicated to its cases. And unfortunately, those pages don’t include these:

Kate Spade New York Kindle Cases

Yes, I am ashamedly admitting that I am considering getting the Kindle Keyboard because its cases are cuter. But I mean, look at these! I am currently reading Great Expectations so that one is my favorite of the lot, but the bright yellow of The Great Gatsby seems like a fun option as well. There is a price for all this adorableness, though. At $85, these cases cost more than half the ad-free Kindle.

But they’re so DAMN. CUTE. Uggggggh.

PS: Obviously, I’m going with the Kindle Touch and a much, much more reasonably-priced case. I still had to write about these though, because of the aforementioned adorableness.

The Kindle dilemma

My friends and I had a discussion over Facebook earlier today. One of them just got a Kindle and found herself missing the feel of a holding an actual book while reading. And so we, along with another bookworm friend got into a discussion.

I love to read and, obviously, I love books. But not just the material in itself, but the actual physical thing. I love the weight of a book in my hands (not so much when I’m lugging it through an airport), the thrill you get when your bookmark’s nearer to the back of the book than the to front, the feel of really, really good book paper on your fingers. And the smell. Oh, the smell of new books. I’m a little ashamed to admit that one of my favorite things to do with a book is to riffle through the pages with the book right in front of my nose and just breathe in that lovely paper smell. And I’d like to think I’m not the only one who does that (or am I? Did I just make a slightly creepy admission?).

There’s also something about shelves and shelves of books that makes me feel at home. I don’t know what it is, maybe it was the hours I spent in our school library sitting on the cold linoleum tiles, taking my sweet, sweet time in choosing which Sweet Valley books to borrow, but I immediately feel a sense of calm and comfort when I walk into a bookstore. I get the same feeling when I look at my very modest collection of books, one I am slowly but surely adding to, in the hopes that someday I could call it even a mini library.

But my conscience is nagging me. Books mean paper. And paper means trees. If you think about the carbon footprint of getting that book into your hands (printing, binding, shipping, packing, etc.) then you’re really left with one option: the Kindle (although technically, there’s the Nook, too). Not only is it the infinitely greener alternative, it’s also the more convenient. No need to risk shoulder pain from carrying a hardbound book in your handbag, no need to put up shelves in your bedroom, no more hassle when moving homes.  All you need is that tiny, thin gadget and you’re set for half a lifetime of reading.

This just won't feel the same

All good sense and logic tells me that I should get the Kindle already. It’s probably just a matter of time anyway, before printed books become a thing of the past. But stubborn as I am, I don’t want to accept that. Because that means that my dream of a library, full of books that feel heavy in my hands, smooth under my fingers, is an even more distant reality than it already is.  It’s not like I can fill my shelves with hundreds of Kindles. I don’t think that would look this good.

Kindle photo from