Sunday, April 25, 2010
One the better presents I got lately was an Amazon Kindle 2. What I like about the idea of the Kindle is the fact that I don’t have a stack of books on my bedside table anymore. (Well, fewer books.) Nor do I have to travel with one or two bulky paperbacks anymore. Just a thin electronic pad.
I am one of those that use any opportunity I get to read and I can’t go to sleep without reading. Since I can remember I have always been a reader. Anything! I guess if I get bored enough I will even read the yellow pages and a dictionary. And if I was reading only one book at a time it would have been still good, but I don’t.
I mostly read fictions, biographical and subject-specific books, and periodicals (National Geographic, Time, etc.). I am currently reading the second of the trilogy of books from Stieg Larsson about Lisbeth Salander, an anorectic, tattooed girl, a computer hacker with a kick-ass attitude and a photographic memory. (The 3rd, “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest” will be available on the Kindle in May.) But I am also reading The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli and the biography of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman (in book form.)
Which make me wonder; why are so many of us fascinated by fiction. Why do we want to read what others write, even if we know their stories aren’t true? Or even if they are biographical in nature, why do we want to know other people’s thoughts and what they experienced? It is one the mysteries of the humanities and simultaneously the beauty of literature.
Apart from fewer books around, I also like the near instant, wireless download aspect of the Kindle. Using the cell phone network to enable ordering and downloads was an excellent idea. And so quick! Even an IT guy like me is baffled by Amazon’s ability to download a complete book in less than 5 seconds.
With e-book sales up 176% from 2008 to 2009*, I am not saying paper-based books are dead. Even with this month’s release of Apple’s iPad I don’t think books are dead. They may be dying…slowly, but it won’t be soon.
I will certainly play around and study the iPad when I get the opportunity, and even think of buying when the 2nd or 3rd release become available (first releases are always rushed to market and never that good all round), but for now, between my Kindle and my Blackberry I have nearly all of my mobile needs satisfied. I have my books, my phone, my calendar, email, SMS, a browser, even an English-Spanish translator, a calculator, a note book, an alarm clock, and many more apps that I don’t even use.
Kindle me! I love it!
* Source: Time Magazine, May 3, 2010