Capitulate: look it up on Kindle

I love this word.  It must have something to do with my head and how hard my mom claims it is.  I stubbornly hold out followed by un-gracefully giving in.  Not that I don’t know how to compromise, because I do.  I’m actually a trained family mediator.  I’m also a middle child.

My MO is to either compromise immediately or capitulate after I’ve been worn down.  For the most part, I’m pretty easy going (I wouldn’t ask my mom or DH about that, because they’re liars).  I’m also laid back and flexible about most things.  But not with the idea of e-readers.

In the wake of the e-book hype, I have spent a lot of time researching the pros an cons and what that means to authors.  All the while I maintained my stubborn mindset that I would NEVER buy one.

NEVER was shorter than I thought.

Last Friday, after becoming increasingly more fond of the idea of a portable library, I capitulated and ordered a Kindle.  I blame it on my sister.  Because I can.  She’s 1,300 miles away from me and can’t duct tape me to my chair so I can’t type.

But really, it is her fault.  She bought one first–after more than a year of deliberating the pros and cons with me.  Finally, the temptation was too much for both of us. 

Author friends, please wait to cringe until after I share with you my reasons (as a writer and a reader) why I would contribute to the “demise” of the printed word.

  1. I love my husband.  I swear my main motivator was his back.  Last time we moved, 17 tubs of books made their way down the basement steps to the storage room.  I can move my Kindle all by myself.
  2. I love an uncluttered house.  My bookshelf (a beautiful, solid oak, expensive bookshelf) is currently housed in our storage room, as there is no other place to put it.  It holds less than fifty percent of my kids’ library and none of mine.  I can store my Kindle library on my nightstand.
  3. I love books.  I have an addiction.  As proven in #1, I have way too many of them.  I don’t borrow from the library, I buy (good for the author).  Some books make my perennial list.  My all-time faves are already (stupidly?) on my Kindle list.  I love them so much, I want them with me all the time.  This equals two author sales-hardcover and electronic.
  4. Other books are never read again, which makes me sad, but doesn’t inihibit my addictive splurges.  I can give never-to-read-twice books away (which doesn’t benefit the author) or sell them at a garage sale (again, at no author benefit) or stop buying them (right, no bennies).  But in case I didn’t mention it, I love books.  I will continue buying, which will exacerbate DH’s back pain and the home-clutter issue.  Enter my Kindle and I don’t have to feel remorse for packing unused novels into totes.  The Kindle doesn’t look half bad on my nightstand.
  5. Which brings me to another point.  I can be selective about my hardcover books.  I can buy beautifully bound  hardcover perennials rather than paperbacks.  And they will fit on the real bookshelf.  This method of hardcover after Kindle will ensure I love the books I’m buying.  So much so that I can display them on my desk shelves.  The author bonus is a multibook deal from me–and a hardcover instead of paperback to sweeten the pot.
  6. As a reader, I did worry about the feel and smell thing.  I will never replace reading a printed book soley with ebooks.  For one-time reads, the Kindle is great.  It is super easy to read, comfortable and a cinch to manuever.  Besides, I read one-time-wonders so fast I’d read them on a toilet paper roll and not care.  In the end, I think this will heighten my hands-on experience with my favorite hardcovers.  Reading them will be a treat in the literary and physical sense.
  7. I love writing–obviously.  I am excited about reading my “books” on my Kindle the same way I read other books.  I’ve heard from agents and editors who download manuscripts that the experience is different and it makes them feel the marketability of a piece a little better because the medium levels the playing field.  I can’t wait to find out if that’s true. 

What I take away from all this is that I am not going to quit reading.  Nor will I quit buying books.  I love the instant gratification that Kindle offers me.  I no longer have to drive fortyfive minutes to the nearest bookstore to make my purchases.  Likely, the ease will increase my splurges and broaden my reading tastes.

To me, the Kindle is a bookshelf, not a book.  It’s a mega shelf that lets me carry 1,500 books with me at all times.  It was far cheaper than my oak jobby and a heck of a lot lighter.  It also takes up less room. 

I capitulated, but after much deliberation.  And I’m glad I did.  So far, I love my Kindle.

How about you?  Are you contemplating an e-reader or are you still dead-set against them?  Do you own one and love it or wish you hadn’t spent the money?

11 responses to “Capitulate: look it up on Kindle

  1. Before I never would have considered an e-reader…EVER but your post is quite convincing. I feel guilty about all my books tucked away in boxes under my bed and in closets since there is no more shelf room and I love them too much to give them away…greedy I know but true.

    I love your idea of just buying the books that you must have in hard cover the you’ll read over and over again, displayed nicely on your bookshelf and keep a kindle for one-timers.

    Hmm… something to think about and yes my hubby has a bad back too!


    • Charlie,

      I was the same way. So far I do love mine and will be taking it out of country next week. It will be interesting to see how it holds up to the no-glare in the sun thing, as well as give the battery a work out. I hope I come back still infatuated with it.

      I really believe that I will be more selective in how I purchase books. I think my Kindle will get a work out and my bookshelves will finally have beloved hardcovers rather than one-time-read paperbacks.

  2. I have mixed emotions about the E-readers, but I’ve always said I’d like one. I finally ended up getting an upgraded phone as a gift and it happens to have E-reader applications available for it. I’ve used it as an E-reader and I enjoy the options, but nothing beats a good book.

    • Void,

      I did too. Like I said in my post, NEVER was the word I used whenever the idea came up. I’m glad I wasn’t too stubborn to hold out forever.

      I also agree with the idea of “nothing beats a good book”, which is why I will still buy my faves in hardcover to enjoy the warm fuzzies I get when sniffing paper!

  3. I’ve had a Kindle for a couple of years. I don’t use it much at home, but it is a godsend when I travel. No more lugging paperbacks in my suitcase. My Kindle fits right in my purse and is light enough to barely be noticed.

    • Barbara,

      Thanks for weiging in. I like to hear that they are almost invisible when getting toted around. I plan to do so often as I always seem to have about ten minutes of waiting time where ever I go.

  4. I saw my first e-reader yesterday! A friend got a Sony one for Xmas. It’s very, very nice!

    I probably will end up with one eventually – but I’ll also have to wait until prices come down a little.

    If I lived in a large city with a commute I would have bought the first one that came out!

    • Jemi,

      I hadn’t actually seen one in real life until mine came in the mail. However, I trusted my sister’s judgement when she said hers was fantastic. And she’s reading text books on it which is much more difficult and annoying than fiction–from everything I’ve heard.

      I work out of my house most days, but all of our family is at least 3 hours away and so we do a fair amount of “commuting” each year!

      Like you, I initially balked a the price. Then I looked at it as a bookshelf. It helped me put it into perspective. I would probably need $10,000 in book shelves to hold my God only knows how much $$$ in books. In the end, I think this will be less expensive for me, but still provide decent author dividends. I just got mine on Saturday and I’ve already read three books…

  5. Nice.

    I just use the Kindle app on my iPhone and PC.
    Would be nice to have the reader tho.

    • I considered doing that, but I am going on vacation for a week and thought it would be nice to have no glare and a larger viewing space. I plan to read my heart out!

  6. Keep us posted on your Kindle. I will probably end up getting one at some point, but I have a love affair with libraries and book stores and getting a Kindle seems like one edge closer to their demise. The only two book stores in our town are closing their doors this month!

    But I’m a hypocrite when I mourn their passing because I’m an avid Amazon fan and I love the third party sellers as well. My mind reels with the what is happening in the book world.

    Some major book stores are closing and throwing their unsold books in the dumpsters. Libraries as well. What is going on? Where is this leading?

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