I loved my paper books, but I just knew there must be a better solution. I thought about a device shaped like a normal hardbound book, but with flimsy plastic pages. To read a book, one would load a file into the device, and all of the pages would change to static pages of that book until a new book’s file was loaded. Since books come in different lengths, though, that wasn’t really the best idea. What if someone wanted to read War and Peace?
Eventually, somebody figured it out. I didn’t buy one right away, but I watched closely to see how the new ereaders would fare. By 2009, I couldn’t wait any longer. My bookshelves were full. I needed help.
Since I was a longtime Amazon customer, I chose the Kindle. I still remember the excitement of opening the box and downloading my first books (shout out to Ilona Andrews’ Magic Strikes and Kim Harrison’s White Witch, Black Curse!). It took me about two minutes to get used to it, and I’ve never looked back. I now have three Kindles and my suitcases and shelves are no longer overflowing with stacks of books.
- Portability – I can carry as many books as I need on one thin device
- Comfort – I no longer have to hold the book open
- Search functionality – when did that character say that important thing? And what exactly did he say?
- Highlighting – something I would never do in a real book
- Font control – size and sometimes even the actual style
- Page spacing – line spacing and margins are up to me
- No more turning pages – did I mention what a drag it is to turn pages?
- Electronic ink is just like reading a paper book
- I don’t have to buy any more bookshelves!
- I really miss color cover art and dust jackets
- Digital rights management is weird. I can’t give any of the ebooks I’ve bought to other people. I can do that with a paper book. I can’t even transfer the files between my ereaders – they’re all tailored to each device. It bothers me that I am dependent upon Amazon for access to the files of the many ebooks I have purchased.
- Sometimes there are glitches, but that happens with any technology