I am now the proud owner of a Kindle e-reader.
I can remember the time when I scorned electronic books. How can a mere machine deliver the same experience as an actual book? The heft of the book, the flurry of the pages, the smell of paper and ink. Reading is a full sensory experience, not just words on a page (or a screen). I’ll never give up my paper books! I proclaimed.
And I never will. But…
Ever since forming the book club with my sister and niece, I’m finding that an e-reader could be a handy thing to have. Once we decide on a book to read, I need to get my hands on a copy so I can start reading. The first place I go is the library in my town. Sometimes I can get a copy of the book. Sometimes I can’t. If I can’t, my next stop is the local used book store. This store has piles and piles of books on every subject you can possibly think of-but it doesn’t always have the book I’m looking for.
My next stop after this is the local independent bookstore to buy new. Now, I like to do my part and support not only independent bookstores, but the writers themselves, and buying new is the best way to do that. But it’s not something I can do all the time. Our latest book, The Bookman’s Tale, cost me $17.99 for a paperback. Ouch.
An e-reader suddenly became much more desirable.
So although most of our tax refund money is going to much-needed car repairs, I carved out a little bit for a Kindle, in the name of furthering my writer’s toolbox (reading is important, after all). And the basic model, without all the bells and whistles, is fairly reasonable at $80, so I felt justified in also purchasing a warranty and a nice leather case for it. It came in yesterday, and I’m just starting to delve into its wonders. Instant books at my fingertips, with less expensive price tags-how could I not have seen how wonderful this is?
Having said that, I’m by no means near giving up reading actual books. Just yesterday, the local used bookstore mentioned above had a “We’re off our meds” sale-50% off every book in the store. How could I resist? I came out clutching an armful of books for $15:
- The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson. This book is on our book club list, so I bought it just in case.
- A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway. I’m a little enamored of the whole Lost Generation writer and artist set.
- One Writer’s Beginnings, by Eudora Welty. I haven’t read any of her novels, but I’m always interested in how writers are formed.
- Small Wonder, essays by Barbara Kingsolver. I loved her novel The Bean Trees.
- The Best American Essays, circa 2004. I’m trying to read more personal essays and creative nonfiction.
All in all, it’s been a very good week for this book lover.