I just returned home from a spur-of-the moment visit to California to visit my children. And because I needed an "Ashland fix--" our newest grand daughter, 6 months old. According to hubby, I was "moping around" and he therefore insisted that I go--short of twisting my arm. Which would be impossible to do with me packing so fast: clothes, shoes, gifts for baby, chocolates for bookstore staff, make-up, hair dryer . . . and BOOKS of course.
5 hour flight, gotta read. I had a paperback to finish--a medical suspense by awesome author, Hannah Alexander. But there were only a few chapters left, and I knew I'd need more. So I brought my Amazon Kindle reader and (while sitting in airport) downloaded several more books in a matter of seconds. Seriously, this process (this concept) still gives me chills. Thousands of books available at my fingertips (okay, and then on my credit card) at any moment in time.
Get me a bib, I'm drooling.
And I'm not the only one.
On the plane, the woman across from me was reading The Shack on her 2nd generation Kindle.
Then the woman directly behind me craned her head enough to ask me, "Is that a Kindle?" And proceeded to tell me she loved hers. (Lovvvvvves) Indeed, her husband joked that she was never without her Kindle--that she was like that weird, dark character "Gollum" in Lord of the Rings. Which she proved by pretending to stroke her Kindle cover, whispering "My precious-sssss."
Soon it was a 3-way Kindle lovefest, all of us reporting what we liked best (convenience, accessibility, having a tidy featherweight portable library), what we liked least (only one thing: you gotta turn it off when an airplane takes off/lands); and completely pooh poohing the myth that a real bibliophile must have the scent of paper in order for the reading experience to be satisfactory. No way. "Get a grip--keep a page in your pocket if you need to!" We were passionate, we were waving our hands, we were . . . joined by a flight attendant.
Too rowdy? Blocking the aisle? Making an Air Marshal nervous?
She was a Kindle owner wannabe.
And we were eager to share. My precioussssss . . .
This scenario has happened to me many times. And I'm guessing--with Amazon dropping the price 40 dollars pre-holidays (and making Kindle books available world-wide), one that will repeat more and more often. There was a time when e-books were thought to be a fad like Pet Rocks, hula hoops, Furbies, or The Clapper light switch thingy. But that time is past.
My books--old comic mysteries, new Mercy Hospital series--are now available on Kindle.
As are newspapers and magazines.
My very busy (very savvy) literary agent now requests manuscripts as e-mailed documents and then transfers them to her Kindle--zip, zap. And she's ready to read dozens of books from potential clients, without lugging 4 pound stacks of printed paper everywhere she goes!
I just uploaded my critique partner's manuscript to read. Simple, convenient--"turn" the pages with a touch of a fingertip. Not backlit, no eye fatigue. "Bookmarks" your page with the touch of a button. Includes an instantly accessible dictionary to check unfamiliar words.
Each book download is a few dollars cheaper than print books, no shipping--and first chapters may be "sampled" for free. For those who haven't had the chance to play with a Kindle reader, here's a video clip.
Am I selling Kindles? No. But I probably have inadvertently done so by my enthusiasm.
Do I still love "real" books? Absolutely! Can't autograph a Kindle book, or admire it on my bookshelf. Or stroll down a hushed library aisle enjoying their quiet camaraderie . . . the very feel of them.
I haven't abandoned paper books at all. In fact, guess what gift I brought to baby Ashland?
That's right. A book. Noah's Ark--with puffy fabric pages. Because right now she'd eat paper pages. Fabric to paper, to . . . Kindle? Maybe. It's highly likely that her schoolbooks will be in electronic format.
But don't worry, Grandma will keep plenty of those "vintage" ones around.
How about you? Tried an e-reader yet?
What do you think? Willing to join the Krazy Kindle Klub?
** Hot off the press (and to prove a point): Barnes & Noble now has its own e-reader, the NOOK reader for pre-order. **