Thursday, June 12, 2008

To Kindle or Not to Kindle

I'll be going on a cross-country trip in less than a month to visit my daughter for a week. The airline I'm flying charges $15.00 to check one piece of baggage (highway robbery!), so I'm stressing over what to pack.

No, not clothes ~ I've got that covered (my bathing suit and a couple of summer outfits should do me just fine). When I travel, the question of what books to bring with me takes precedence over such mundane things what to wear while I'm there. I usually carry an iPod filled with audiobooks in my purse, two paperbacks tucked into my carry-on bag, and 6 or so paperbacks in my checked bag, but, with all the current restrictions, and now the price of checking luggage, I may have to rethink my strategy.

So, I was wondering whether to buy myself a Kindle so I can leave all those paperbacks at home on the bookshelves, but, well, I like real books ~ the crisp sound of the pages being turned, the way they feel warm and solid in my hands, even the smell of them. It doesn't seem like an e-book will be quite the same. And how is it on the eyes? After a day of staring at my computer monitor, my eyes feel like I've been rubbing them with sandpaper ~ and I can read for hours and hours at a time! On the plus side, I've heard that Kindle's have no backlighting, so they're easier on the eyes than a monitor. I've heard that you can get hundreds of books on that one little machine, and that alone is a pretty compelling reason to buy one. I've also heard they feel like a book in your hands. Well, maybe, but I bet they don't make that neat crackly sound when I turn the pages. And what happens when I'm reading while eating and spatter spaghetti sauce all over the screen? With a book, I swear at myself and wipe the sauce off as best I can with a napkin, then continue reading. How will that work with a Kindle? Worst of all, you know how when you're reading a book that infuriates you for being so awful that you feel you've just wasted all the time you've invested in it, you can throw it at the wall? How awful to forget you're holding a Kindle instead of a real book. Broken Kindle and dented wall. Yikes!

Besides, they're still awfully expensive.

Well, I have another week or so to decide what to do about this trip, whether I'll cave and buy a Kindle ~ or maybe I'll decide to buy that 8MB underwater digital camera I've been lusting after instead.


pink_geek said...

I bought my kindle to travel with because I was carrying around a lot of books and it was impractical. I love that I can take just one little kindle with many books. And if i finish my downloaded reading, i can order and receive the next books via wireless delivery. No anxiety over not having a good read available. I recommend getting the kindle for travel. However, be careful with it because you could break the screen. Don't throw it when you are unhappy with your reading. Keep the leather cover on it. Get used to the ergonomic grip the cover creates. Also, I purchased a neoprene carrying case to protect it. Yes, I occasionally get a cookie crumb on the kindle and I am careful around beverages. I've lost many a paper book by drenching them in water. They never look the same and neither would your kindle. Good luck with your decision. Allie

Storeetllr said...

Thanks, Allie! I decided not to get the Kindle for my recent trip (I got an underwater digital camera instead), but it's definitely on my Wish List!