Well, I must admit that I tend to want the newest geeky high-tech toys. However, generally speaking I’ve never wanted an e-book reader.
I am an authentic book lover. When I say I love books, I picture one day that I’ll have an entire room filled with books (picture the scene from Beauty and the Beast), and yes, I would marry the Beast if I could have a Library like that :0). I love the feel and the smell of books (apparently I’m not alone, there was a scene with Rory Gilmore sniffing a book).
Therefore, the idea of having electronic copies of books disturbed me. The idea that more and more of these electronic copies would become more convenient, and would eventually replace books was horrifying! Let alone, the fact that I’d still want physical books, so I’d have to pay to replicate my current collection electronically, as well as get physical and electronic copies of all future books. However, recently, my dad began asking me what I’d want for my birthday/Christmas. We usually talk about this the week around Thanksgiving, as the best sales for cool tech gadgets are this week. I said that I wanted books, thinking of all the Bible commentaries that I’ve been jonesing for. He says, “you mean like an e-reader?” And I decided to research them, since I hadn’t for awhile.
I found out that they are much better priced than they used to be. I downloaded an awesome program called Calibre (it may only be for Linux), and began to add books I found for free online. When I had a 100 books stored on that, and was no where near being a gig, I was convinced. The idea of being able to have all of my favorite books with me, on my person, whenever, was compelling! So then, I begin looking for sales. I had pretty much picked out the Kindle Keyboard wifi, as it has 4gigs versus 2, and I actually like taking notes for my book review blog at www.belleslibrary.net. In waiting, the version that I wanted from Amazon was not on sale anymore, or did not have the special discounted price for the ads. The wifi version was now the same price as the 3g version with special offers. However, this was outside of my budget for now.
Then, I saw this amazing add on bestbuy.com. It was a pre-Thanksgiving sale. The Kindle 3g with special offers (regularly $139) was now on sale for $89.99. I felt like this was what I was waiting for. We hurried to the local best buy, and I was in disbelief as I was hugging the giant plastic theft proof container to my chest. I was convinced that it was going to ring up as its regular price at the register. When I got it home I could not wait to play with it! Basically, this whole week has involved me finding new free online books, adding them to Calibre, converting them to proper formats (.mobi for Kindle), adding them to the Kindle, and organizing them on the Kindle (this can take a lot of time).
I LOVE MY KINDLE! Things that pleasantly surprised me: the mp3 music player, the speakers, the web browser, and the ability to automatically add notes to my twitter and facebook accounts. Now, if you are mostly interested in web browsing, I’d recommend a tablet. However, I enjoy having a dedicated e-reader, with the added bonus of being able to check for an important email. I think one of the best ways that this has improved my reading so far is that if there is a word, or reference I do not understand, I can quickly google/wikipedia it. Things that I’m much too lazy to do while reading a physical book.
The coolest thing about this so far have been all of the Bibles in other languages that I’ve been able to find. The fact that I can have tons of Bibles in this one teeny device is just awesome. I even have a copy of the Gospel of Matthew in Friuli, the language of the unreached people group in Italy that we worked with last summer. (For which, as far as I understand, a complete Bible has not even been written in that language, though they do mostly all speak Italian).
Here are some tips for the Kindle:
-Download Calibre and manage your books through that program. It will allow you to convert all file types that do not have a DRM.
Free e-book sites: