Sunday, August 11, 2013


I never thought I'd say this:

I love my Kindle.

My dislike for ereaders never even made it into a blog post. I just didn't care enough about the technology to bother ranting about the death of paper books. It was a tragedy. It was repulsive.

Now, I love my Kindle Touch.

Got it cheap. Through a family member of a friend selling a "used" one, though it hadn't even been registered with Amazon yet. I hadn't even taken the idea of getting one seriously until I was debating book purchase at Glen Workshop (Image Journal). Christy came up behind me, "You know you shouldn't buy any books. You need to be buying ebooks now." Right. I'm moving to Bulgaria for a year. But I can still pack books right?

Wrong. When it came down to the weight limitations of dragging a years worth of clothes and other paraphernalia across the ocean, books weren't priority.

(Wow, it hurt me to write that sentence, "Books weren't priority.")

After the learning curve of working the kindle machine, I have to say it serves its purpose very well. Easy to read. Nice to hold. Long battery life. A whole library with a touch. I'm flying through "Anna Karenina" right now and I can pack my kindle in a very full back pack. Something not possible with a normal 600+ page Russian novel. And there is really nothing like a Russian novel on long trips.

Perhaps this says more about what I've learned about packing. What I've come to see about how painful it is when you pack too much. How easy it is even when you don't quite pack enough. It's a huge relief to see me put a weeks worth of things in a daypack and GO. No more of this massive suitcase lugging nightmare.

It also says something about being able to access books in English. I can read the same novel as RF and talk about it when we skype. I can get some classics for free (like G. K. Chesterton mysteries and Tolstoy and Jane Austen). My obnoxious issue with just picking something is quieted by the choices presented, rather than actually dragging all 6 of the books I want to be reading at once with me.

(smacks face with hand)

Oh my. I just wrote a whole post on convenience. Don't tell Wendell Berry. Please.


Denise said...

Hi Dana! The folks at the Englewood Review of Books regularly post BOOKS WE WOULD LIKE which are discounted for Kindle. Even (God forbid) Wendell Berry books on Kindle.

I don't have a Kindle. But I think it needs to happen for me, sometime soon.

Elizabeth Estell said...

I can completely sympathize with your dilemma! I'm sure we have talked about our mutual love of paper books and I have seriously been dragging my feet on the eReaders too. There's just something amazing about holding that book in your hands and turning pages...and the smell. *Sigh* And when I live in State College with the amazing AAUW book sale every year (where I can buy enough books to last me a year for about $20), why would I want to buy an eReader and give that up?? However, as I have started traveling more in the last few years...not to Bulgaria, but travel convenience is travel convenience. And as I'm going to have to move in less than a year, I sometimes look at my book collection and want to cry knowing that I will have to either pack them all up and move them with me or give them up. It feels kinda like Sophie's Choice. Score another point for the eReader. LOL.

P.S. I miss you!

Arjun said...

I had a similar revelation standing in the airport last year while talking to a friend about the Sony e-reader he held in the palm of his hand and comparing that to the >30 lb backpack I'd brought to keep me literary company for my trip.

I'm slowly transitioning to ebooks, but I do miss the scent of the tangible article, especially worn, well-read copies. Apparently missing the smell is many people's personal caveat against e-readers, for which the following remedy exists:

Hope all goes well for you in Bulgaria. Say hi to Viktor Krum for me.