Monday, March 23, 2015
Converting to Kindle? Not Quite.
However, we did so because Kindle gave us access to so many books we either couldn’t afford or that we couldn’t get at all because they were out of print. Now, through Kindle's own catalog and by converting works to the device that are available through public domain sites, we have acquired an amazing collection that otherwise would have beyond our reach
Examples? How about buying over 50 works of H.G. Wells for $2.99? Or 23 Zane Grey novels for $1.99? Or the entire works of Robert Louis Stevenson and William Shakespeare for 99 cents? And there’s a whole lot more besides those. Indeed, our Kindles (we have two of them now) contain the texts of hundreds of books. That’s more than thrifty. It's magically handy too.
Having a Kindle means that you can check out certain books from the library too... even if it’s midnight and you’re sitting snugly in your bedroom. Also, copying a lengthy passage from an actual book takes forever but using a Kindle, one can do it in a matter of seconds. You then have a typed copy ready to upload, e-mail, or store away. All of these things make Claire and I unapologetic Kindle users.
Well, to a degree.
I must be honest. Claire has adjusted to the little screen very well. But I have not. Indeed, for me, reading an electronic text is still uncomfortable and I doubt that it will ever compare with the familiarity, the focus, and the sheer joy that I find in reading an actual book. A book I can hold. A book that has pages I can physically turn. A book that allows me to keep my place with a toothpick. A book that has bulk, texture, color, and sometimes user history.
Imagining Jean reading this heroic and hopeful story while the bombs fell upon England certainly added to the power of my experience reading the book (the very same book) 73 years later.
That kind of thing doesn’t happen with a Kindle text.
So, have we converted to Kindle? There are, as I stated above, many practical advantages and we are truly grateful for the technology, availability, ease, and savings the Kindle brings.
But a thorough conversion? No. We love books, both for what they contain and for what they are, too much.