Monday, March 19, 2012

To Kindle Or Not to Kindle? That Is (No Longer) The Question.

Quick! Peek out the nearest window. Are pigs flying? Are zombies shuffling down the street? Is the apocalypse commencing? 'Cause I'm pretty sure this is the end of the world.

Why?

I bought a Kindle. And not just any Kindle, but a Kindle Fire. Yes. I. Did. Me—the one who's so anti e-reader that I had never actually touched my husband's Kindle (the one he's owned for nigh on 3 years) until last week. I have always sworn that I would never ever ever contribute to the death of real books in any way, shape or form and now I've gone and done it. Oh, the shame.

Even worse? I like the Kindle Fire. It's a fun little gadget. I'm so not a gadget kind of person and yet, I'm enjoying this one. Not only can I read books on it, but I can also play games (Anyone into Words With Friends? Play me—I'm sjwordnerd), listen to music, watch movies and so much more. I kind of love it.

Here's the real question, though: How does reading on the Kindle Fire compare to reading real books? It doesn't, of course. I still much, much prefer the latter. But, I don't mind reading on the Kindle, which totally surprises me. I don't think I'll ever be a total e-reading convert—I'm not that much of a sell-out—but I'll definitely be using my Kindle reading to supplement my real reading.

You may be wondering about my policy (stated so vehemently on my left sidebar) to not accept e-books for review. That will stand for now since I'm still learning all the ins and outs of e-reading. Rest assured, though, that I'm sloooowlllly making my way into the 21st Century, so maybe I'll allow e-books sometime soon. Maybe.

For now, I'm reading PDFs of some of the Whitney finalists. My first Kindle read was Dan Wells' novella, A Night of Blacker Darkness, which is hysterical and by far my favorite of his books. As for the first full-length novel, that honor goes to The List by Melanie Jacobson. Since the author will be my instructor for the Publication Primer class I'm taking at the upcoming LDS Storymakers conference, I was a little worried about reading her. Turns out, I enjoy her writing style. Her book's lighthearted and fun. It could use a plot, but still, I'm liking it. Look for reviews of both these titles soon (well, sort of soon).

So, what do you think of my Kindle-buying decision? Are you shocked? Outraged? Or just told-you-so smug like my husband? What's your opinion on the Kindle Fire? If you haven't abandoned me yet for being such a hypocrite, I'd really like to know what you think: Real books or e-books? Kindle v. other e-readers? Susan's a sell-out or just a practical person facing the inevitable? Discuss.

18 comments:

  1. Woot!!! Well, this makes me very happy since my book is going to be an e-book only for now. I was so anti e-reader too, and now I've had to swallow my words. My husband let me get an iPad for my birthday so I wouldn't have to read my own book on my phone.

    Melanie is a really good friend of mine. We hung out in college and then reconnected on FB a couple of years ago. I've learned probably a quarter of what I know about writing from her. The List is good, (did you see my name in the acknowledgments?) but Not My Type is better. Try that one next. She's super fun. And nice. You'll learn lots from her.

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    1. I thought you didn't want me to read your book?? I'm going to get it from DB, anyway, as soon as it comes out—or is it out already?

      My husband already has an iPad that he and the kids use all the time, so I wanted something different, something all my own :)

      I'm going to read NOT MY TYPE soon, probably this week. I'm really enjoying Melanie's writing style, so I'm anxious to meet and learn from her. And yes, I did see your name in the Acknowledgments, although I wasn't sure it was you until now. Very cool!

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    2. I definitely want you to read my book but I don't know if I want you to review it. :-) That said, I can't stop you, and I won't be mad if you do. I'll just cry and hide my head under the pillow all day.

      No, it's not out. I'll let you know.

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    3. You make me laugh, Susan :) I don't usually give authors a read-but-don't-review option, but maybe I'll do it just for you ...

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  2. I still can't do it. I just can't. If I got anything it would be an iPad since I have an iPhone and all the apps I have for the kiddos can transfer. I just don't think I'd read on it though.

    Plus I lend so many of my books out that an e-reader isn't viable for that reason.

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    1. LOL - I totally understand!

      My husband has an iPad and he and the kids LOVE it. I haven't played with it much at all, but it can do a whole lot, so it's probably well worth the purchase. I've never tried to read on it, though, so I don't know about that ...

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  3. I'm gonna write a post on ereaders soon myself, but just as a note...

    I don't think that they are the end of the printed book. I only know a handful of people who have ditched real books in favor of ebooks. I own a kindle and I love it, but I still prefer printed books.

    I don't like the Fire because it's a tablet and not an ereader. But to each his own! I really enjoy your blog. :D

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    1. So, what's the difference between a tablet and an e-reader? Is it just that the former has more bells and whistles? My husband loves his Kindle precisely because it doesn't have any distractions. When he uses it, he can focus on just reading. Since it's pretty tough to distract me from reading, this doesn't bother me in the least :)

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  4. You are allowed to change your mind. it's really ok. How many of us said we would never need a call phone, and now can't live without one (me).

    Enjoy!

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    1. Totally true. I'm not nearly as attached to my cell phone as a lot of people are, but I still don't know how I used to function without one.

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  5. Don't worry, no judging here. I just have the kindle app on my phone and I don't mind it but I still like paper books.

    I really want to read Dan Wells ebook, btw!

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    1. I have the Kindle app on my phone, too, which is convenient when I'm stuck waiting somewhere with nothing to read. I don't mind it, but I can't imagine reading a whole book on my phone—I think that would kill my eyes.

      Dan Wells' ebook is really fun. I got a PDF of it because I'm on the judging committee for the Whitneys. I'm not sure the book is available right now otherwise, which is a real bummer.

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  6. I had a chance to look at a Kindle Fire and I really didn't like it much (but I was looking at more of a tablet function than just an e-reader). I think the thing that annoyed me the most was that there is only one button to navigate everything! But, my regular kindle has only a few buttons and isn't touch screen either, so I imagine it's great for reading books. Welcome to a new century :)

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    1. Hm, I'm not sure what you mean exactly, but I love the touch screen. It makes navigating really easy for me. I do not, however, like the typing keyboard. My sausage fingers have trouble hitting the correct keys!

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  7. I feel like the only hold out. I will be like one of those people from a Dystopian book that trade the rare "paper books" on the black market.

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    1. LOL - I really thought I would be the last hold out! Mark my words, though, e-reading will never replace real reading for me. Never!

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  8. While I don't have a Kindle, my husband does and I just loaded about forty (free!) classic books onto it. My reason for holding out is that I get dozens of free print books a year at an annual conference I attend and I can't justify spending money on an ereader when I have so many print books in line to read. But, I've made a plan to read more classics and those are free digitally, so that's how I'll read them.

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    1. You have way more self-control than I do. Between the 1000+ review books on my desk and the hundreds of books already on my shelves, I've got enough reading material to last me TWO lifetimes. And yet, I got a Kindle Fire so I could read MORE. I might be a tad bit obsessed ...

      I do love that there are so many classics available for free on the Kindle. I've been reading PRIDE & PREJUDICE on my phone whenever I'm caught somewhere without a book. I love the convenience of always having it with me, even if I have to read in on my teensy phone screen.

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