Kindle: One Year Later

Posted 8 June, 2012 by Amanda / 36 Comments

When I first began book blogging last year, I bought myself a Kindle.  Well, I bought myself a Kindle as a present to myself for passing my Master’s thesis defense BUT that was the day after I officially launched my blog, so it all blurs together in my mind.  After a month, I wrote a post about the positives and negatives to having a Kindle.  I have copied and pasted my original table below.  Now that I have had my Kindle for a year, I thought it might be interesting to revisit my one month later thoughts and see what has changed since then.

Positives

Negatives

1. It’s lightweight. Throwing it in my purse won’t weigh me down, and it’s easy to carry around in my hand. 1. Sometimes under an artificial lighting, there is a glare on the screen, usually corrected by changing my position.
2. I now NEVER lose my spot or forget what page I stopped on. 2. I’m clumsy with the “forward” button
3. I have instant access to all my ebooks. No need to lug around a stack of books in case I finish one while I’m out. 3. Short(er) battery life, but this is because I use it more than the “average” reader (according to Amazon.com, the battery will last for a month if you read for an hour/day with the wireless off).
4. Instant downloads of my books. Seriously. 5 seconds after I purchase a book, it’s ready to read. No waiting for it to ship, no waiting until I get home to start. 4. Still limited sharing abilities.
5. The Kindle is not distracting; that is, I get sucked into a book as easily as I would if I were to read a physical book. I forget I’m reading on a Kindle.
6. Being able to read while eating (so I don’t have to stop!) just became 10X easier.
7. There’s a built in dictionary, and I get the definition of any word I want.
8. I can easily highlight, share, and retrieve quotes or parts of the book that made me laugh or that are important in some way.
9. The e-ink screen is freaking amazing.
10. Still needs testing, but it may actually be easier to read a Kindle outside than a physical book.

Rather than doing another table, I’m just going to address each point I made, starting with the negatives.

PS. If you don’t want to read all the negatives and positives listed below, the summary is: everything is basically still true except sharing features are somewhat better.  Now skip down to my new thoughts and read on.

Negatives

  1. I think I was just being whiny.  This is true, yes, but I probably don’t read in the best of lighting.
  2. Okay, I’m still kind of clumsy with the forward button and end up hitting it when I don’t mean to.  I could just be klutzy.
  3. I’m rather particular about keeping my Kindle charged, and I don’t think it’s much of an issue anymore. The battery tends to go a lot faster when I’m reading with the cover light I have, but that’s to be expected.
  4. The sharing capabilities have definitely improved since last year.  Most notably, libraries can now loan Kindle books.  There’s still a long way to go with sharing, though.  But for now, it suffices.

Positives

  1. This is still true.  And after lugging around two copies of Bitterblue in my purse last month, the Kindle is an amazing alternative.
  2. Also true.  Sometimes I accidentally exit out of a book I’m reading, buuuuut, my page is always saved.
  3. Three cheers for instant access!
  4. Three cheers for instant downloads!  (on the flip side, sometimes I like the anticipation of a book arriving in the mail; it makes me feel like a kid at Christmas time)
  5. Still true.  When it comes down to it, the story is more important than whether I’m reading a physical or electronic book.
  6. YES!  OMG, YES!  Part of why I love the Kindle so much is that it makes doing other things so much easier.  Even when I’m not doing anything else (other than reading), it’s still easier to hold and read.
  7. True!  In fact, sometimes when I read a physical book and see a word I want to look up, I find myself wishing for my Kindle.
  8. I don’t think I use this feature as much as I could, but it definitely helps when I’m writing reviews and want to quote something.
  9. I’ve tried reading ebooks on my phone, and it was a TERRIBLE experience.  E-ink all the way.
  10. I still haven’t tested this.  So sue me.

New Thoughts

  • Negativeish:  Book blogging has turned me into a cover whore, and I’ve been caught in the “I want to see this book on my shelf!” problem.  I’m too cheap to buy in both formats, and often times physical books win out.
  • Positive:  Reading the GIANT GREEN DILDO book would not have been possible without Kindle lending.  Wait.  I don’t know if that’s a positive or not.
  • Negativeish: Book signings where I only have ebooks are difficult.  I can get my cover signed (and have) but they stopped selling covers for the Kindle keyboard (I think) and so I only have so much space.  I usually end up buying a physical copy and then get all, “Woe!  Woe!  I’m spending money!” because I’m cheap like that.
  • Positive: I can read dirty, naughty books without anyone knowing what I’m reading.  What?  You know this is positive.  Stop looking at me like that.
  • Negativish: There’s still all that nonsense about ebook prices.  While I don’t think ebooks should be extremely inexpensive (authors need to get paid, too), I do balk at ebook prices over $7.99.  At that point, if I’m spending $8 or more, I’m going to get the physical copy.
  • Positive: I’ve likely read a lot more authors and books than I would have if I didn’t have a Kindle (either indie authors or Kindle freebies).
  • Positive: You can give ebooks as gifts with Amazon now.

Anything you’d care to add?

Filed under: Discussion,

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36 Responses to “Kindle: One Year Later”

  1. Negative: It doesn’t smell of anything. I sniff books. Keep sniffing my Kindle and looking stupid!

    Positive: Freebies and indies, yay!

    Negative: International limitations.. More than once a kind soul has gifted me a Kindle ebook that I couldn’t accept because I’m in the UK and I’ve then had to jump through hoops to fix it with Amazon, and the best they can do is change it for an equal value gift voucher.

    Negative: I .. err.. actually don’t know how to word this negative. I just really struggle to get myself reading on the Kindle. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just.. don’t read it. It’s odd. Also, much easier to create a pile of books, read the first line, pick a cover, whatever. Books shout at me. Ebooks end up forgotten. *sadface* This is actually my ultimate negative and it is very very much a personal issue. I’ve bought a skin to make it more interesting to me and then proceeded to not have time to pick it up! Soon. Why Buy The Cow? is waiting. As is Dearly, Beloved.

  2. I’m curious to know the percentage of Kindle vs. the percentage of paper books you are reading now, 1 year later. Did you start exclusively with the Kindle at the beginning of the year and slowly incorporate a few paper books back into the mix? I have tried to make e-book reading work for me because I love the concept, but I find myself wanting so many aspects of the paper book that I’ve pretty well given up on e-books. There are 2 kinds of books I will read on my e-reader: brand new hardcover bestsellers (because I feel wasteful getting the hardcover paper book) and vintage books that are hard to find elsewhere. This is a good conversation and I’ll be back to catch up later today or tomorrow.

    • GOOD question! I think right now, for me, physical copies are winning out BUT only because they are more visible in my TBR pile. I actually have more books on my Kindle than on my shelves. Right now it’s probably three physical books for every 1 ebook.

      But I still get a variety of ebooks. As long as I am stuck in my cover whore stage and still have room on my shelves, physical books will win out. But there are also some books I want to read that are only available as an ebook. Whenever I participate in something like RAK, too, I tend to get ebooks, since they are easier to give as gifts.

  3. Good golly! Imagine how EMPTY your life would be if you hadn’t been able to read the GIANT GREEN DILDO book! Woe! WOE!

    I LOATHE the ebook pricing issue. I can’t mentally talk myself into buying an ebook that costs as much as a paperback. I can’t do it. And I think that ebooks over $10 are ridiculous. That’s the frugal mama in me, though. (oooh, possible discussion post/rant)

    OMG! This post is fun, Amanda! FUN! AMANDA! FUN!

  4. I just bought my Kindle about a month ago and have quickly become obsessed with free e-books. I’m really excited to start reading books by people I wouldn’t normally hear about.

    I did use my Kindle app on my tablet and phone before and liked e-books but now with my Kindle I LOVE ebooks. I much prefer an e-book to a paperback or a hardback. I am not really one to buy books either way I don’t re-read enough to justify the storage of buying every book I want to read. I did buy the box set of Harry Potter books though because I want Colin to read them when he’s older and I’m sure already that I will re-read this series again and again. Also I’m already guilty of buying more books then I would have before because I can justify spending a couple of bucks to read it now rather then having to wait. Also paying for the convenience of not having to deal with a paperback or hardback. That being said I cannot justify spending more then a paperback usually is on an ebook I’ll just grab it from the library. I do love that I’m able to get ebooks from the library as well though, that’s awesome! I’d like to find a group of Kindle owners who share/loan books as well since I’m a big one time reader of books. I’d feel better paying the price to buy if I knew I could also share it with someone else and they could enjoy it as well.

    Sorry this is so long – Maybe I should do a review of my Kindle at my own blog lol.

      • Awesome, thank you! I’ll have to go through and see what I’ve got that’s loanable right now.

        I agree the pricing debate will keep going for sometime.

        I’ll have to work on a review and get one up, I supposed I should post something from time to time :)

        • There has been a lot of discussion about the differences between paperback and ebooks, and how you don’t really own a book if you buy it in digital format. There is a lot of debate and issues with ebooks. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

          • I can see that, that’s why I bought the Harry Potter box set not just a set of the ebooks. I wanted to make sure we’d really have it. People have a harder time associating ownership with things they can’t physically touch. Also it’s still pretty new, I’m not sure that it’s been totally figured out yet by readers, authors, or publisher.

            I’m curious to see how it turns out as well, for now though I’ll just enjoy it :)

            • I wish I still had links to that discussion. I think there was a distinction made between having the digital rights to a book (ebook) versus truly owning the book (being able to loan it, sell it, donate it, etc).

              • Very true, there is a new company that I was reading about in Inc. magazine (can’t think of the name now) that is sort of challenging that thought process. They’re a reseller for digital media. Everything from movies to music to ebooks. I’m curious to see how they do with the studios, publishers, labels. But it could make a big impact in actually defining ownership of digital media.

  5. Ha ha … I love Hannah’s response, that they don’t smell like anything! Now, if you could get an ereader in a certain smell, like old book, they’d make a killing. :)

    This is a great post! I love how easy it is to travel with an ereader, whether it’s a long trip, or just a trip to the doctor’s office. Much easier to whip out the ereader in the waiting room than the huge hardcover book.

    I agree with the prices of ebooks … I tend to buy them when they’re on sale, instead of full price. If it’s only a few dollars difference between the ebook and the physical book, of COURSE I’m going to buy the physical book! Especially a book with a beautiful cover … I want that on my shelf!

    I’ve only had my ereader for 3 months now and I mainly use it for galleys. I’ve only bought a handful of books for it, but am always on the lookout for sales.

    Great post!

    • I know! A scratch and sniff ereader! Let’s make one and become millionaires.

      I would be curious to know the price comparison between what it costs to make a paperback (or hardcover) versus what it costs to produce an ebook, as well as the percentage that authors take home. You know, how much does it REALLY cost, and where does the money go?

  6. I suffer from next button klutz too. Or I get ahead of myself and click too early. I’m sure I’d get better if I only read on Kindle but I still have my paper habits. I charge mine less than once a month but I never leave wireless on and I’m not using it every day. Because I don’t charge regularly, it alweays takes me by surprise when it gets low, usually at a really good bit and I have to go sit by a socket!

    Another positive is reading outside in summer…when they sun is strong the glare off paper can be a bit intense but the soft grey of the Kindle seems kinder to my eyes.

    • Next button klutzes unite!

      Ah! So you have tested reading the Kindle outside! I’ve always meant to, but I end up teaching during the summer, which means I spend a lot of time driving in my car without air conditioning, so when I get home, I want to be inside where it’s cool.

    • Uh… yup. Since my emphasis was teaching English as a second language, I had to do research (I have no idea if it’s different in other areas of English). The first year, the thought of a Master’s thesis is distant and kind of scary. Then you hit research methods class in the beginning of your second year and you start to freak out.

      It’s not worth freaking out over, though. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But you can do it!

  7. Am I the only idiot with a Kindle who keeps accidentally changing the font size and then spends 10 minutes trying to find where to change it back? Is it Menu? Is it settings? Oh crap, I’ll just pretend I’m back on my iPhone reading a book and flip the page every 2 seconds b/c I’m reading like an old person!

    Negative: There’s no store to dink around in for hours with a coffee in hand while you look at all the pretty books you can’t afford. Oh, that’s not really a concrete negative, you can still do that anytime!!!! lol…

    Actually, a negative I find is that I miss the pretty covers! And I find that I read printed books faster. I don’t know why that is. And I seem to get lost easier when I’m distracted while reading my Kindle. I guess I’m just not handy with the bookmarks feature on my Touch.

    Great post!!!

  8. LOVE this post! I use my Kindle way more than I thought I would. I got my Kindle through my school district as a gift & probably wouldn’t have purchased one right away–until NetGalley appeared on my radar, that is. The majority of what I read on my Kindle is NG.

    I do purchase books, too. Mostly the novellas that my fave authors put out to satisfy the readers’ cravings between novels. And a lot of urban fantasy, since I’m running out of room on my shelves and have to be more picky. But, like you, if the price is too high, I’m more likely to buy the physical copy.

    I still prefer a “real” book over ebook but it’s so easy to use, great for travel (hey, I only have to pack that and not a ton of physical books!), and I get to make folders, which is always good for list-makers like me.

    • I don’t use Net Galley very much. I feel like I should, but I also feel like maybe that allows me not to get bogged down with review requests and unread books I have to read.

      There is something about being able to hold the actual physical book in your hands that ebooks just can’t compete with.

  9. Agreed. Amen.

    I love reading on my Nook. It makes coffee drinking and reading tons easier. It is great for pool side. E-ink is AWESOME. These color fansy-smansy readers are not for me. It pisses me off that I can’t buy covers for my original Nook anymore unless I find and old one sitting on a shelf.

    I have the shelf issue too. But it does make smut reading more acceptable in our puritan world.

    • There’s something about the lighted screen (like my phone) that just makes reading really difficult. I think it would take about five minutes for a headache to set in.

      If you spend enough time on this blog, you forget the world is puritanical.

  10. Michelle

    I brought a Sony reader back in October last year – I’m in Australia so Kindles weren’t out here at the time. I get Kindle envy every now and again, especially when I see your “Fill up your Kindle” posts, but I’m glad I went with the Sony in the end. There aren’t as many region restriction issues for me with the Sony and the majority of our Australia ebook stores use ePub format.

    Either way, with a long comute to and from work and my “need to have it now” problem with books, the ereader is best thing that I have purchased. I hate to say it, but I don’t think I have purchased a physical book since I purchased my ereader.

    • I think the Kindle is definitely a better option for people who live in the US with all the restrictions (which is rather stupid, if you ask me).

      I’m glad you enjoy your ereader! They really are the best. :)