Saturday, November 19, 2011


I've been considering buying a Kindle for a few months now. It would really fit with our lifestyle: when your possessions are valued by their weight, books take up more than their share of poundage (but only just). And it would be nice to be able to access e-books that I can't get here in the form of regular books. Still, every time I get to seriously thinking about it, I decide I'm not going to buy one.

But then. For some reason I was on Amazon and I typed in the name of one of my Linguistics textbooks. It came up as being available in Kindle format and the price was $10. TEN DOLLARS. Do you know how much I paid for the huge, hulking, physical book at the AUS bookstore here? Well, it was more than ten dollars. All of a sudden, the Kindle is a lot more attractive to me.

However, one of my main complaints about the Kindle is that while it supports our lifestyle of living abroad where English books are not always available, as well as acquiring books that don't weigh anything, I don't like that it encourages purchasing books (aside from textbooks, anyway). I am not one of those people who, you know, buys books. I get them from the library, or I borrow them, or I (ok, ok) buy them at the library clearance sale for 50 cents. But I almost never go to a bookstore and pay upwards of $15 on a book, even though I love books forever and ever and they are very dear to my heart. So if I bought a Kindle, then I'd have to buy books. And I don't know if I'm down with that.

Does anyone who has a Kindle feel like convincing me either way? Does the availability of cheap(er) textbooks make it worth it?


Alyson P. said...

Ditto all of that except the text book part. And living abroad. But I keep going back and forth on buying one too. Sorry I can't offer any advice but I will come back to check other people's comments. I have a problem with having to buy the books also but some of my friends say that a lot is available to check out from the library and there's a way to share books with friends.

Liz Johnson said...

I want a Kindle badly, but that's because my library just started lending out books on the Kindle. Is there any chance UAS has plans to start a program like that? Plus, we were suckered into getting Amazon Prime (when our subscription expired, they offered it to us for half off, and I am enough of a sucker to sign up for it), and they have a lending library online as well. PLUS most classic books are available on the Kindle for free. Plus... cheap textbooks.

I am such an enabler, but dude, get the Kindle.

Jessie said...

Everyone I know who has caved absolutely loves theirs. I'm holding out simply because I love books. I love how they smell. I love the weight of them in my hands. I love having a bookshelf and smiling when I see my favorites. I want a library one day. If I get a Kindle I'd end up buying a lot of books twice - electronically AND physically. I understand the convenience of it, especially for someone living abroad. But for me, no. Not yet, anyway.

Aimee said...

I was resistant but broke down for our trip, in the week I have had it...I LOVE IT! I can pick it up and read whenever, and I can check books out from the library! It's SO convenient! Go for it!

Glenda The Good said...

I like the new one that looks like an ipad...but that's just me. I've also heard there is a way to "borrow" books on your kindle but I might just be making that up. Things I like about the kindle, all your books in one place. If you want a book, all you need is internet to have access to it immediately. No need for a light to read in bed. My major problem...I sometimes read my books in the shower/bath and while I'm eating...ok when I love a book I take it everywhere I go. I don't think that's necessarily safe with the kindle :)

Brittany Cornett said...

well the tucson library now lets you borrow books on your kindle. you may still have your library card and you can just get it through the internet. they dont have too many books available but heck i am just excited that they do. you can get most classics for free as well.

Sarah Rose Evans said...

Eddie was really opposed to the kindle and other e-readers until he got an iPad with his doctoral program and now he LOVES it. We all love it, now, and take turns stealing it from each other.

Downloadable e-books from the library! Perhaps your family could get you a card at a library back home and you could utilize it. All the selection of the library, without having to travel back home to actually check anything out.

Jen said...

@Liz: They offered you half off? HOW DO I GET THAT DEAL???

I love my kindle with ALL MY HEART. And I'll echo what Liz alluded to--with Amazon Prime, you can use their Kindle Library. Also, most books can be shared among Kindle users.

I LOVE MY KINDLE. Love it, love it, love it. Plus, now that you can get one for $80, I would think it would pay for itself with the purchase of 1 or 2 textbooks, right?

I bought mine about a year ago....if I had to do it again, I MIIIIIIIIIIGHT hold out for an ipad.....but for $79, I say go for it. Really. It's AWESOME.

Jen said...

p.s. I'll make you a deal--If you get a kindle, I'll join GoodReads. =)

sarah said...

I think if it has internet access, you can maybe check out e-books on it from a library's website? Maybe it's wishful thinking..not sure.

Sarah Familia said...

I love my Kindle. I recently discovered that I can put it in a ziplock freezer bag and read it in the bath.

I'm with you on the whole buying books thing. I've only bought a couple of books for mine. I've downloaded hundreds of free classics, though, as well as things like online academic papers--stuff that I can print out or read online, but it's nice to have all stored neatly on the Kindle.

My favorite thing to read on my Kindle is novels. If you read your textbooks linearly and don't ever need to flip back to something you've previously read, Kindle would be great. Otherwise, not so much.

You can do bookmarks and underline passages, though, so if you think ahead and mark everything you might possibly need to refer back to, it might work well.

One thing I love about it is how little and light it is. Mine is always in my purse when I go out, so if I'm stuck in line at the post office I'm never bored.

Also, I broke mine and Kindle sent me a new one for free. Most people I know with Kindles have had it replaced for free (at least once).

Anyway, at $79 it's not like you have to commit your whole reading future to the Kindle. I say go for it!

Tim said...

Yeah, they've replaced ours four times. FOUR. And every time the reextend the warranty. Ditto everyone else. I am a huge kindle convert. Just use someones library account somewhere (if you feel that's ethical) that wont be using their online libraries (almost every library has them now). Provo's is Pioneer library. In fact, I just picked up the kindle touch and am looking to sell the kindle keyboard that Amazon just shipped me. If you have a way of getting it over there for cheap, I'll give you a good price. Even if you don't buy mine, however, buy one. It's not for everyone, but from what I know of you (tech savvy and loves books) it is definitely for you.

Bridget said...

Oooh, you're convincing me.

Sarah, it sounds like my dream of owning my textbooks on a Kindle is not realistic. Is it really that cumbersome to flip through 400+ page books? That could be a deal-breaker.

Also, it sounds like maybe you can put PDFs on the Kindle...? I have a bunch of academic articles for class that are PDFs and I would love to be able to put those on there. LOVE.

Tim, why would I need a keyboard for a Kindle? Maybe I'm not as tech-savvy as you assume.

The library lending program for Kindles is so attractive to me. I am going to find out if AUS is going to get on board with that soon, and/or see if any of my library cards from all the places we've previously lived are still active. :)

Shannan said...

I have a kindle that I got as a prize in a raffle. And I keep trying to like it. I've put free books on it. I've paid a few bucks for some books. I've borrowed free books from my library to put on my kindle. Yet, I can only make it past a few pages. I go back to my old school "read actual paper pages" everytime.
I can understand why people love it - I mean, there are so many aspects of modern technology that I do love (read: smart phones and ipods), but kindle just doesn't do it for me. And I"m okay with that for a while.

Alli E. said...

So where is the upload of the German skit that started it all? I have been waiting years to see it!!!

Tim said...

Kindle keyboard is just the kindle 3. They just call it the kindle keyboard now because it is the only one with real keys for typing, which you do when you are searching for something, writing notes in a book, or using the web browser that the kindle has.

Alyson P. said...

I think I'm convinced I want one too! Bridget, You can use one of my library cards. Phoenix has a good library system with digital downloads for audio books, e-books, and digital books. They have a whole collection of digital disney books that the kids can read on the computer. I have three cards and never reach my ten book limit on any one card. Some of the formats don't have limits. I'll email the numbers to you.


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