On this day in 2007, Amazon released the first Kindle e-reader, allowing users to download, browse, and read ebooks, newspapers, magazines, and other digital media.How has the e-reader affected the way that you read books?
|From the Writer's Relief facebook page|
I saw this post in my facebook feed this morning and stared at the picture for a while. The first kindle I ever held looked exactly like this one, only instead of gray it was white. It had belonged to my husband’s best friend, and he had cracked one corner of the screen (a small crack). So he offered it to us after he ordered a new one. It was still attached to his amazon account, though, and he had all the Dresden Files novels. Since I had already borrowed another friend’s collection of paperbacks to read them the first time, I read them again, and didn’t mind the screen’s cracked corner one bit. I enjoyed highlighting things, getting the definition of a word immediately, and adding notes (the full keyboard was very helpful for this). I’m sure JR enjoys his Tricia-annotated kindle versions of those books now.
Eventually, my husband and I went ahead and purchased our own kindles, to buy ebooks on our own amazon account. We got the cheapest versions, sans-keyboard, and I immediately re-read everything we owned by Jim Butcher so that our versions would have all my highlights and notes. It’s definitely harder to get my thoughts down when I only have an arrow key and “enter,” but the keyboardless version is more compact, and therefore less apt to get its screen cracked if you forgot it was in your back pocket. They’re still pretty delicate, and back-pocket storage is definitely not recommended. I can proudly say that I’m still using my first kindle, while my husband is on his third (admittedly, I was the one who cracked the screen of his first one. The second was all him).
These days, I use my kindle every single day. I reread old favorites and new favorites. I find free versions of classic books and enjoy those for the first time. My favorite thing to do is read a stack of books all at once, a chapter at a time. This is something I definitely can’t do with a hardback; there’s a copy of the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy next to my bed, but I’d never think of thumbing through it to find the next bit, reading only one chapter, and then putting it down so that I could read a chapter of something else. A tome that heavy has to stay in your lap.
I don’t think I would trade my kindle out for a newer version, unless it was going to be the paperwhite, or something that came with a light attached to the top so I could read it in the dark and not bother my light sensitive husband if I wanted to enjoy books late into the night. I don’t think I’ll ever need a device with a touch screen; buttons suit me just fine. And while it might be nice to have something small to watch movies on while I crochet from the comfort of my own bed, I really enjoy the way I use my kindle now: for books, and only for books.