Saturday, January 7, 2012

#99: Try Reading Someone's Nook or Kindle

I have a lot of books. And when I say I have a lot of books, I mean a LOT of books. They do not currently fit on my bookshelves. We currently live in a studio apartment, and it's pretty much overtaken by books. We have 3 tall bookshelves and 3 short ones.

I remember when I first moved out of my parent's house and into a 4 bedroom house with four friends, including KatieSchmatie. She came into my bedroom as I was unpacking, to find me near to frustration with tears, surrounded by piles of books (I had piled them by author) because I couldn't make them fit on the two book shelves that were available to me. With a small sigh and an infinitely patient look in her eyes, she asked me, "Why don't you just double stack them on the shelf? Put the ones you don't read as often behind your favorites."

I looked up at her with woeful eyes and informed her, "I only brought my favorites!"

At which point she burst out laughing at me. Such is the life of a speed-reading bibliophile.

I can't help it that I read ridiculously fast. Or that I love to read and so need a lot of reading material to satisfy my literary desires. But it does put me in something of a quandary, especially when I tire of re-reading my favorites and start to yearn for something new. It's not so much that books are expensive, because I'm perfectly happy scouring the shelves of the local used bookstore, it's that they take up so much damn space.

When Kindles first came out, I scorned them with all the fury of a passionate book-loving old fogey who doesn't want to change. I couldn't imagine reading one... there is nothing like the smell of a new book or an old book, the feel of pages turning in your hands, the hefty weight that you can throw across the room with a satisfying thunk when a cliff-hanger ending pisses you off. None of which you get with a Kindle. But our small studio apartment doesn't have room for any more bookshelves, and there are so many books I want to read.

More than that, there are books that I want to read and only read once. I try to only buy my favorite books, but that leaves me with books that I've read and re-read over and over, unless I venture out to the library with its annoying late fees and limited selection. Not to mention the trouble of finding new favorite authors (and every time I do that my husband growns because their entire works will invariably end up falling off our shelves within a few months of my new discovery) when I don't want to risk buying a book that I won't like and will take up precious space. And I hate getting rid of books.

Enter... a new curiosity about the Kindle. Could this be the answer to all of my problems? Friends and family members who love to read were giving Kindles great reviews. They loved being able to take them on vacation without adding to their suitcase weight, carry any number of different books, and have such easy access to new books and authors. After having to choose which books, from my gigantic collection, to take along on my Honeymoon (couldn't take more... too much weight in the suitcases), only to not be in the mood to read that genre when we got there, the idea of having a Kindle full of different kinds of books was incredibly appealing. Especially when I found out that you can get free books!

Since I was looking for more things to add to my Day Zero project at the time, I decided that I would try reading on someone else's Kindle. About a month after that, even though I hadn't actually tried it, I was pretty sure I wanted one for the convenience of being able to vet new authors without adding to the piles on my shelves and floor, so I added it to my Wish List. Just a regular old Kindle. I don't need the fancy stuff... all I want to do on it is read! I figured I'd go ahead and get it after I tried out reading a page or two one someone else's.

But fate intervened, and my wonderful Mother-in-Law and Step-Father-in-Law saw the Kindle on my wishlist and sent it to me for Christmas. And I'm so glad they did! I'm not a complete convert - I will still buy the books by my favorite authors because I like to have them ready to hand on my shelves - but it's fantastic to have a Kindle. It's so much lighter! It's so much easier! And did I mention FREE books?! I was able to indulge my recent Sherlock Holmes obsession almost completely for free (I spent a total of $4 buying a couple of the novels that weren't available for free). I was able to download the next book that my book club is reading - for FREE! Not to mention a bunch of classics that I've always wanted to read but never wanted to buy - Moby Dick, Crime and Punishment, War and Peace...

Most of the reading that I've done since Christmas (which is a LOT) has been on my new Kindle. It fits handily and lightly into my purse, making it ideal for the metro and traveling, I've already got a ton of books downloaded onto it, and I find I don't mind the lack of touching paper pages too much. I love being able to read new material without having to add yet another book to my teeming collection.


  1. Hey there! Glad you're enjoying your Kindle. I just wanted to throw something out there- I've been meaning to sign up for a library card and finally got around to it. Ours has a huge selection of ebooks, more than I ever thought. I have now borrowed one and am on a wait list for several others. I just think it's really cool because it's free and gives me the same instant gratification of being downloaded right away.

    P.S. Have you considered selling your books to a used bookstore? Maybe you could make some cash to spend on Kindle books. :)

  2. Yeah I'm planning on downloading some e-books from the library! I'm excited about that too =)

    Unfortunately I only own books that I read and re-read over and over again so selling them isn't really an option for me =/ But I do buy a lot of them from the used bookstore! lol

  3. I WILL NEVER OWN A KINDLE. I REFUSE! Kindles are evil!

    *clutches piles of books possessively*

  4. I felt that way too... and yet here I am!

  5. Gotta say I love this post Muffs. I'm still a book lover but there is something about traveling (hello metro!) with one light little e-reader, knowing you can finish one book and start another on a whim!!