Loving my Kindle: Why Everyone Should Have One

I will stand up now and say I used to have no time for the Kindle.

It went against every bone in my body not to hold a real book, feel the texture of the paper and inhale the woody, musky scent when you turned the pages.

Reading has always been an emotional and sensory pastime for me – anticipated, cherished, almost spiritual. From being small it was wonderful to escape to worlds of imagination outside anything I knew in my normal life. To read was/ is to live – it nourishes the soul, revives the spirit, makes you question, debate and analyse. It takes you to places and introduces you to characters who enrich your mind, stretch your ideas.

A few years ago I discovered I had cataracts – it was a shock. I’m too young, obviously, but the facts couldn’t be changed and for the first time I realised how bleak life would be if I couldn’t read.

I’d spent the previous winter unable to read unless I had the brightest of lights to illuminate the pages, and then only for a short time before they were strained so much I couldn’t see a thing. It was agony to have to choose between books because my eyes could only cope with so much. It was a humbling experience.

I have alluded to the operation elsewhere, but I never said what an incredible feeling it was to take off the bandages and see clearly. I will never take my sight for granted again.

Reading once more became a pleasure to be immersed in, a joy. There was no way I would switch to a cold, hard, tablet of technology to get my nourishment.

Until last summer.

I’d just started Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, a huge tome of a book the size and weight of several house bricks. I wanted to take it on vacation with me, along with a couple of beach books for the nine-hour flight. I didn’t finish the book on the vacation, or on the flight home. I toted that darn thing half way round the world and back and I determined not to make the same mistake again.

I investigated the Kindle and talked over my change of heart with the Captain, who was appalled and mystified at my about-turn. Wouldn’t I rather have an iPad? Something more useful?

No, I wanted a Kindle and the Captain, with grave misgivings I’d made a really bad decision, bought me one for Christmas. I’ve never looked back. It’s small, compact, ergonomically perfect and I can download a book in seconds. Do I miss browsing in bookshops? No, that’s a pleasure I’ll never give up, but when you live in a place where buying books in your native language is difficult, and waiting for a delivery from Amazon frustrating, then the Kindle is perfect.

Even more exciting, the screen is gentle on the eyes and I can read  in less light than I did reading a regular book, and for twice as long. If I’m into the story and want to keep on reading with tired eyes, I can increase the font size. It’s reached the point I’m having difficulty reading normal books, they feel wrong in my hands.

There are some books I will, and do, read in paper format, but if I want a book to read now, then I download it and voilà.

If I’m honest, and I try to be, there is one benefit to owning a Kindle I didn’t appreciate until I owned one. No, it’s not that it can hold 3,500 books or connect to the internet to pick up emails.

I have a guilty secret. Whilst I love and appreciate books of depth, knowledge and great wisdom, I love trashy beach books too, especially in airports, on planes or in traffic jams. The beauty of the Kindle is no-one can see what you’re reading, it could be War and Peace or it could be trash, and no one knows.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to find some delicious light reading for the Easter break.

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family used to live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It has been a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get us through were a sense of humour and the amazing people met along the way. . . This year everything changed with a move for us from the Netherlands, – and a move along with us for our son and his wife from the UK – to Houston, Texas, the same city as our daughter. With our youngest in Vancouver, Canada, we are now all living on the same continent. How this happened, and more importantly why, will be the subject of this ongoing blog...
This entry was posted in Expat Related Book Reviews, Inspiration and Reflection, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Loving my Kindle: Why Everyone Should Have One

  1. sheila eaton says:

    Interesting you were not in favour at first.

    I wasn’t, but this has made me think about it.

    Larger print, easy for travel and you an access emails!

  2. Jane says:

    Large font size and discretion…. sounds perfect!

    PS I started Wolf Hall on audio, and even in that format it is heavy!

  3. I’m ordering one for me and one for my Dad. This post will be a great way to introduce him (and my mom) to it when they visit next month, thanks!

    • wordgeyser says:

      I’ve no regrets at all. Even the Captain agreed he was wrong and I was right to buy the Kindle over the IPad. First time since we’ve been married I’ve been right about anything!

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