Entry #17 — Electronic: Do you e-book it up on a Kindle or Nook? Read on your phone? How you get your reading fix when paper volumes aren’t involved.
When I first saw advertisements for Nooks, Kindles, and other e-readers, I was skeptical. Why would someone give up turning pages and perusing the bookshelves of a library or bookstore? I didn’t think I wanted an e-reader and tried my best to stay away.
But when I saw the Kindle Fire, my thinking started to change. It lights up, so I could read in the dark and on car trips while my husband drives, I could take multiple books on vacation without sacrificing space in my bag, I could decrease the number of heavy books I’ll inevitably have to move someday! Suddenly, it made a lot of sense. I’d been a loyal Barnes & Noble customer for years, but the Kindle Fire was more appealing to me than a Nook. When I opened my Kindle Fire on Christmas Eve a few years ago, I plugged it in right away and haven’t stopped using it since!
My parents have a Kindle Fire and I don’t think it hardly ever gets used, but I use mine every single day. It has some useful apps, I can check my e-mail quickly, I can easily view facebook, I can download music and video, and I can download books from my local library on it. When I wake up, I check my e-mail and facebook for updates. While I shower, I have music blasting from Pandora, I heart radio, or music I’ve downloaded, I listen to a TV show or book on CD while I do my make-up, and I read a book on it while I eat breakfast—you would not believe how much use I get out of my Kindle!
The only downfalls of the Kindle are
1) It doesn’t function well in bright light, like the beach. I can’t see the screen at all when I wear my sunglasses.
2) I’d love to be able to print from it, but I don’t think it’s possible (please correct me if I’m wrong!).
3) I use it so much that I have to charge it just about every day.
Other than that, I’m in love with my Kindle Fire. I was joking around with my husband and said that if something happened to my Kindle, I would cry and would immediately have to buy a new one. But that’s not really much of a joke, because that’s exactly how I would react!
Books are easy to download from Amazon’s website. I create a wish list of books that I want and keep track of the prices. When there’s a good deal (or I have a gift card) I make some purchases. The prices on Kindle editions are a lot better than printed books. I’ve also downloaded some of the free Kindle books—but those are hit or miss. Sometimes I stumble upon a good book, and sometimes it’s a book that is full of grammatical errors. I give up on those pretty quickly.
The best way to get e-books is through my local library. My library is part of the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium and uses Overdrive for downloadable material such as books, audiobooks, and music. By signing in with your library card, you can search a large library of material. You can create a wish list and set up holds. Sometimes there will be many copies of a book, and at other times there may only be one or two copies of a book. I read Gone Girl, Dark Places, Sharp Objects, Shanghai Girls, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, The Madman’s Daughter, and several other great books on my Kindle recently. Unlike the library where you typically have about three weeks to read and return a book, the online library gives you either 7 or 14 days (you decide at the time of your download). If you don’t read the book within the time frame, it disappears from your device and you have to check it out again if you want to finish it (on a better note—all of your bookmarks, notes, and highlights are saved if you ever check it out again or purchase it from Amazon). If you have a Kindle, definitely check with your library to see if they have something like Overdrive for downloading e-books. I read a lot, so purchasing books can get really expensive. Free is always wonderful!
For those of you who have e-readers, how do you get your e-books?