Monday, January 23, 2012

Kindles are Kewl...and so too should you be by getting one!

Somewhere between graduating college and just recently, I forgot my love of reading.  I had been an avid reader since Elementary school, where I was an "AR" rockstar (Accelerated Reader…where students are awarded points for reading books and passing tests on them) But after college, I simply wasn't reading as much anymore.   Why had this happened?  

Before Thanksgiving I received an email from Amazon inviting me to take out my wallet and give them what was rightfully theirs in exchange for a Kindle Fire.  This was not a typical purchase for me but I decided to spring for it…it just looked so flippin cool.  My friends were using e-readers and they seemed to be enjoying them…I enjoy reading…perfect match right?

I'm here to tell you people…that it's true. It's just flippin cooler to read on a Kindle than to read a "real" book. This isn't the first time technology has spiced up an old fashion activity.  But there is more to it than that.  The benefits of the Kindle are many; you can have hundreds of books available to you on a small, compact device, buying books is typically cheaper, most libraries now loan e-books for free, there's a built-in dictionary, you can customize you reading experience by changing font size, brightness, bookmarking "pages" and making notes, and you will never have to live in fear of paper cuts again.    

But wait…there's more! It's super convenient.  Books on demand. You don't even have to interact with anyone to get them! Save personal interaction for Facebook, where it belongs.   

I know that many people want to romanticize having a "real" book in their hands…the touch, the smell, etc.  Well bibliophiles, I think most trees would agree with you. I bet they'd gladly chop themselves down to accommodate your preferences!  Just kidding.  But seriously since other options are available, shouldn't we act in the best interest of the environment when possible?  Read online and with e-readers, communicate via e-mail, don't pour grease down the drain…etc. 

But sadly there are both carbon footprints and significant economic impacts that come with e-reading. Apple has disclosed some information about the carbon footprint associated with producing the I-PAD 2 . You must read many books on a tablet to surpass the negative environmental impact of publishing a brand new book.  This website shows a graphical representation of many facts associated with this topic…graphical means you don't have to read as much!  Pictures…Yay!

And then what about jobs in the logging and publishing industries?  What about book stores and libraries?  If no one buys "real" books anymore, wouldn't many people lose their jobs? I don't have any answers for how we create jobs in the technology driven world of today. So instead... back to how kewl Kindles are!

Most of the newer tablets offer more than just e-reading.  You can browse the web, play games and apps, listen to music, watch videos, etc. Try doing that, old fashioned book!

And with e-reading comes the opportunity for "print" to take on new forms. "consider that the IPAD, Kindle, or other e-book reader can offer new methods of layout and storytelling for books.  You could now integrate websites, video, pictures or other digital content into your story seamlessly.  The nature of reading a book is left to right, top to bottom…but that doesn't necessarily have to be so on an E-reader.  There is an opportunity to completely reinvent layout and the way that people consume the story to heighten the experience or change the meaning."  Visit the blog below for more on that.   

I have read 3-5 books per year for the past three years.  I've had my Kindle for about two months, and have already read 3 books on it.

And you might just get caught reading an old fashion as well!

I've actually read 2 old fashions in these past two months.  5 books total.  It's almost as if I care about expanding my mind!  And let me tell ya, after 10 years of hard drinkin' I probably need to exercise the guy upstairs these days.

The thing about an old fashion… is that well, it can mean a lot more to you than just the story inside it.  It could be a gift, it could have something meaningful scribbled in it, it could be a collectible…there are many things a book could be. So don't expect them to go away anytime soon.

So what have we learned today?  If you buy a Kindle…I promise you will read more. If you read more you will grow smarter, earn the respect of your peers, and finally get your life together. Well maybe. If you are feeling a hole in your life where books used to be, then get a Kindle.


  1. Okay you know I love books. I love the smell. I love the feel. I love the look. I can go on and on. But I did buy an e-reader a couple of years ago and it's nothing compared to the Kindle or I might use it more. The friends of mine who have one say they have read more having an ereader than they were doing with books. I unfortunately have been reading George W.'s biography on that damn thing since March. I just always forget where I put it so pick up a book instead.

    I am glad you are reading more. It's important as you get older.

    1. I love love love my Kindle, for all the reasons you listed. I want to one day 'trade up' to the Kindle Fire, which came out literally two months after I bought mine, but that will be on the backburner for awhile. Did you get the one with "3G" (or whatever it's called) that can pick up internet everywhere?