Wednesday, March 5, 2014

On the Kindle

There are ways in which my Kindle is better than a dead-tree book (I imagine some of these ways are universal to e-readers, and some are not, but the Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Fire are what I am familiar with).

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...
Cover via Amazon
It's smaller than most books, but contains a library.

It sometimes can read the book to you, if you have to put it down and cook dinner.

Mine isn't backlit, but Chris's is, so I can read it in the car at night.

And since both Kindles are registered to my Amazon Prime account, we can buy the book once and both read it simultaneously, so long as we're careful not to sync it.

The Kindle edition is usually cheaper than the dead-tree version, at least new, although a used copy is frequently cheaper than the Kindle edition.

And the NYPL has a lot of books available for "free rental", which cuts the price even more, although that's a wash with the dead-tree edition, I suppose.

Chris prefers the Kindle because it's easier to read on the subway. He's not wrong, although I don't mind reading paperbacks on the train anyway.

The Kindle does fit better into my purse if I'm going somewhere that space matters. Whether I'm taking the train to a fancy restaurant or just waiting in line at Six Flags, it's good to have something to read that I can tuck away.

And I can always catch up on my phone if need be, I just have to remember to sync up afterwards so I don't lose my place.

Sometimes, if I want to read an especially epic work of fanfiction, I can upload it to my Kindle. No one knows, or cares, if I'm reading War and Peace or Harry Potter and the Cartographer's Craft.

I even have a waterproof case, so I can read in the bath or the hot tub.

But lending e-books is tricky at best, and giving them away is almost impossible. You can't sell or trade used e-books, much less buy them.

I think, despite all the great points of e-readers, I won't ever give up on dead-tree books. The Kindle is a great supplement, but never a replacement.

Even Captain Picard took a dead-tree copy of Ulysses to read on his rare vacation. And if it's good enough for Sir Patrick, well...

Where do you come down on the e-reader vs dead-tree debate?

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