I normally embrace new technology with arms spread wide. But that wasn’t the case with the Kindle. Maybe because the very first Kindle I saw, the original one, had lousy contrast.
In the many years since that first unveiling, Kindle has gone through some major overhauls. But I still held firm in my decision not to buy one. That isn’t to say we don’t have eReaders in my house. My daughter has a Nook and I have a Sony eReader and an iPad. But Amazon has me right by the tonsils. Many, many friends are now exclusively uploading to Kindle. The guilt started to set in.
I like supporting my friends, even if it’s a book I have no intention of reading – not because it’s a bad book but because it just isn’t my cup of tea – no heavy paranormal, horror or erotic anything gets past my personal gatekeeper. Okay, so I lied. If it’s erotica I actually won’t buy it. Sorry erotica writing friends. But I know I’m in the minority so fear not.
But can a Kindle really take the place of my traditional reading experience? Um, Hell no. I still like the smell of a book. I like the tactile involvement of turning pages. I just like the feel of having a book in my hands, balanced in my lap or pages fluttering as I sit at the beach.
Like my other digital readers, it does have a very practical feature. When travelling you can’t beat the convenience of an eReader. Gone are the days of packing a week’s worth of reading material in a suitcase that can cost almost as much as the ticket if you exceed the weight limit.
The Kindle Fire (yes, go big or don’t bother) has more than one feature, which is what finally threw me over the edge. Wi-Fi, Netflix and Hulu. Not to mention all the other features. Now that’s technology I can wrap my arms around.
But will I give up my books? No. There are some authors that for me are an auto-buy and I want those books on my shelf, not in some machine. My auto-buy authors are almost exclusively hardcover authors, so even though I can save money on a download, their work is too special to skimp on. I have high hopes that I’ll discover more new-to-me authors with my as-yet-to-arrive Kindle. Free or 99 cents scares me. I guess that can be a way to attract readers but I get stuck on the notion that you get what you pay for. I’m also a little leery of reprints. I don’t like buying a book twice and with new covers and occasionally a new name, things can get muddled.
Will it change my writing habits? I think so. I’m kicking around the idea of doing some original material just for upload. I’ve got a few ideas in my head that I don’t think will be attractive to traditional publishers. Of course this brings with it a whole new set of techno problems. There’s formatting, editing, ISBN purchasing, cover design and my least favorite part of being a writer – promo. However, in 10 days or so, I’ll be loading up my Kindle for my solo cruise at the end of May.
Yes, you heard that correctly. My 30th anniversary gift from my hubby was a cruise all by myself for seven glorious days hidden away from the world. I’m visiting all ports I’ve seen in the past, so my goal is to never leave the ship. People can find me poolside with Kindle/iPad or some other gadget relaxing away.