I Love My Kindle but has it Killed the Quality of my Reading?

My Kindle sitting on a pile of books…

I’ve always been an avid reader. In high school, I would occasionally show up with sunken eyes and yawning like crazy. Friends would ask me what party I’d been to the previous night and why didn’t I invite them? None, I’d answer.

Then they wondered if I’d pulled an all-nighter to finish a school paper or project. Nope, not that either. Fight with the boyfriend? Problems at home? Sick? No, no, NO! I was reading. I had to finish the book, it was simply too good to put down!

Reading is the only thing that has weathered through every phase I’ve been through. It’s been my most faithful companion that made me laugh when I wanted to cry, and made me dream about my future romances. It’s taken me places I’ll probably never get to see. Reading has helped me deal with divorce and live with an alcoholic father.

I would take days off simply to browse the book stores. Starting with the books displaying all the major French publishers (aka most expensive books) where I’d learn about the new or upcoming releases. As the day progressed I always ended at the used book store and leave with a few goodies. Sadly, this was before Starbucks where you can spend the day lounging in a comfy chair curled reading. But I still cherished my new discoveries and couldn’t wait to spend sleepless nights turning the pages. Oh the adventures I’d live on paper! The possibilities were endless.
In 2009 my husband and I spent three weeks in Mexico. We stayed in a sweet little hotel. During the day, doors of unoccupied rooms remained open. This was a small hotel with 8 rooms with each a small library of used books. Once I’d read everything in my room I ventured to the other ones. Before the maid showed up, I’d sneak in and move books around so I could increase my own selection. In these three weeks I read over 15 books.
I told my mom it was time I got a Kindle. No more lugging books. One little reader with over a thousand books to go? That was so for me! At this time I lived and travelled with a race car team. Space was limited. Dropping in my favorite used book store was near impossible… By the time I flew home from my vacation, a package was waiting for me in my mailbox.
My mom bought me a Kindle for my birthday! I was thrilled! Rushed to amazon.com to start my search for my next adventure. Their library even offered free books!
And then I discovered why they were free. You do get what you pay for. And this got me thinking about the future of writing, and publishing itself. Anybody with a computer and an internet connection can easily self publish.
I’ve downloaded books loaded with typos, forgotten or doubled words or worse yet: the last book I tried to read couldn’t decide on the main character’s name! Sometimes spelled crosscounty55 and sometimes crosscountry55 (he was a gamer, this was his online name). I couldn’t read on. What was it? Crosscounty or crosscountRy, with an r?
Sure there are exceptions to the rule, a golden nugget lost in the rocks (come back tomorrow, I’ll share one of these with you). But how much rubbish do I need to riffle through before I find one? The good books average between $10 and $13. Although this is cheaper than a hardcover print, it’s still more than a used and previously loved paperback. And at my rate? Since November I’ve kept a tally of my books. Only because I’m too lazy to look into my Goodreads account to offer up the exact amount, I’ll guesstimate it at 35 books. The majority of these books were found in marinas with their grab-a-book-leave-a-book service.
Unlike the iPod which has literally pushed me to sell and give away my entire CD collection, the Kindle as loved as it is, will never fully replace the paperback.
Find me on Goodreads.
Contact me about sharing books on Kindle.
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12 thoughts on “I Love My Kindle but has it Killed the Quality of my Reading?”

  1. I agree. I have such a love/hate relationship with my Kindle. While it's definitely made some of my research easier, as some of the books I need are free, newer books or as you said, quality books, are actually more expensive.

    As a publishing professional, I am forced to face the future of books, and realize that one day, libraries will basically be storehouses for books, if they can even remain open.

    So very, very sad.

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  2. Actually the future of books is what I really wanted to write about in this post! But my intro to the importance to reading grew like a wild monster! If the newspapers are dying, doesn't it just make sense books will follow? Don't get me wrong, I love forests and trees, but books?

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  3. I honestly thought the whole ebook thing was dumb, then I purchased a tablet for myself before Christmas. I love it. I've read some really great books I would have never found by walking through the library. I mean sure there's been some clunkers but I've not run out of books to read lately. Plus I save on all the overdue library fines I used to stack up.

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  4. I've never been stationary enough to have a library card… Like I said, I love my Kindle, i just miss the book browsing in a used bookstore. And like you, I never run out of books to read (actually my to-read list has over 20 titles on my Kindle!)

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  5. I know this will sound odd, but I really enjoy using bookmarks. Real ones, not electronic ones. I can't quite put my finger on why, but they seem so classy and sophisticated. There's something very romantic about them. Like quills and parchment.

    The poor bookmark industry must be taking a huge hit nowadays.

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  6. Years ago I stumbled upon a blog I believe was called “Lost Bookmark” it was all about your beloved bookmarks. The fellow worked at a used book store, and decided to scan every single bookmark he found and documented them on his blog. Was that you? I wouldn't be surprised… I still own the exact same bookmark I received as a gift in 1988. It's a bit used on the tip, but I love it so much!

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  7. My son bought a Kindle. The husband has a Nook. He has to sit in the hospital once a month for a 3-hour infusion of his MS meds, so a reader is much easier to carry than books. Me? No way. I love turning pages. I love smelling paper. I love buying them brand new and being the first one to open the cover. As for self-publishing. Eh. I respect the fact that it is becoming more and more “accepted,” I guess…. but I will struggle through a lot of hair-pulling with agent submissions and rejections before I'd ever even entertain it. And probably not even then. I dunno. Personally, I know I'm good enough. I have no doubt.

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  8. I love books and I love my Kindle. A lot of the things people say about “real” books, they also said about vinyl records. The same thing they say about book stores, they said about music stores…

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