"The hell?" I said. I turned it over and saw the words "Amazon" emblazoned on the front and, on the side, "Kindle Paperwhite".
My expression can only be described with emoticons. My face basically became "O_O" as I stared at it. My sister, who had just become the proud owner of her own Kindle a few weeks prior, was overjoyed. I had spent a few days
As every reader of the blog knows, I am pro-paper books in the age old e-book vs paper book battle. Even on this very blog, I've expressed dislike, distrust and outright hatred of these little devices. They're harming the book industry! I like the smell of paper books! The feel of them! A screen just isn't the same!
Still in shock, I thanked my sister profusely and took news of my latest tech item to Twitter, where everyone basically went "HAHA!" and congratulated me on stepping out of the dark ages. I had just gotten an Amazon order of paper books the day before and I already felt like a traitor to them. Oh dear, this was going to be interesting...
My first impressions were ones of surprise and cautious curiosity. It was so LIGHT, so SMALL. How can you read on this? It feels like nothing in your hand. Even my iPhone weighs more than this thing. I turned it on and it cheerfully helped me get started, leading me by the hand and congratulating me on a job well done once it was set up properly. There was even a letter, addressed to me, thanking me for registering the device. I'll admit, there were some warm fuzzies there. It made me feel like I had just adopted a puppy or something. This Kindle had a home! A name! It loves me! I'm a sucker for that stuff. Gosh darnit, it was just so POLITE.
I loaded on some free books, as well as paying for two e-books I had been dying to read, and took it with me on a trip that same week. Sadly, this is when the honeymoon ended. In the real world, the Kindle was uncomfortable to hold and I was constantly afraid of dropping and breaking it. The light was either too bright or too dim or the angle of the screen caused a slight glare. I never could immerse myself in what I was reading, I was constantly reminded that it was an e-book. I quickly retreated back to the warm and loving pages of a paperback.
Perhaps unfairly, I named the Kindle Fester, after Uncle Fester from the Addam's Family, since it lights up (almost all my electronics are named after the Addam's Family). After I finished the paperback, I decided to give the Kindle another shot. I brought Fester with me to work and found myself again afraid of harming it. It's an expensive device and it feels so delicate. I even got it a sturdy Amazon-approved case and I still can't shake the idea that I could harm it. I never have to feel that way with a paper book.
Reading on the train was again a trial. Again, it felt wrong in my hand and I was often jarred out of the story. The morning commute was rough and Fester failed to impress. Coming home and rather exhausted, I found myself more able to sink into the story but I still put it back in my bag like it was a flat Fabergé egg.
Over the coming weeks, I'm sure I'll keep you updated about my progress with Fester the Kindle. Right now, though, I keep glancing at it like it's a newborn; bewildered, curious, wary, terrified...
Tell me about your experience getting used to an e-reader. Is this normal? Will I ever learn to love Fester, or is he destined to sit on my desk gathering dust? What should I do to make this easier?