Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Amazing E-Reader: Why I Love my Kindle Fire

Before the Kindle Fire came out I never really thought about getting an e-reader. I liked my books, my book-books; with their paper and ink and creases in the pages from dog-earing my place. I liked seeing their spines displaying their titles as they sat on my bookshelf. I liked the way they smelled, how they felt beneath my fingertips. I was a “book-book” person.

I also had never had a smart phone, and still don’t. I didn’t know what apps were, didn’t use my phone to surf the internet while waiting in line at Starbucks. I’d never played Angry Birds. My phone still has buttons. Not to say I’m not technologically savvy. Give me a laptop and I can do just about anything. I just didn’t need to access the World Wide Web from everywhere I went.

So, in theory, I should have been the last person interested in the Kindle Fire, essentially an e-reader/smart phone. I think the only thing I can’t do with my Kindle is make phone calls. Despite my love of physical books and aversion to phones that were smarter than me, I saw an ad for the Kindle Fire and thought it was the neatest thing ever. However, it was a little expensive. So, I put it on my Christmas list and that was it.

Being twenty-three my mother doesn’t exactly lavish me with gifts like she did when I was five. But, every year she still asks me for a list and gets me something small. Also, being twenty-three, I have a much harder time creating said Christmas wish list as I no longer take up two pages with things like “Barbie-dream house,” or “roller-skates.” So I usually write down a few practical things, like socks. I always need more socks, and then have some fun with the rest of it. One year I wrote down that I would love a new car, another year I asked for this digital art pad that costs about $2,000. Next year I’ll be throwing Laser Eye Surgery on the list… again. Mom usually gets a laugh out of this and obviously I never expect to get any of these things. This last Christmas I put down the Kindle Fire as one of these gifts. I never actually expected to get one. Granted at $199 it wasn’t as outlandish as asking for a new car, but certainly more expensive than socks.

Mom saw what I didn’t, and that was that despite the cost it would be the best gift I’d ever get. I take my Kindle with me everywhere I go. Other than books I keep music on it as well as games. This past spring I went on vacation to South Padre Island and during the flight played Monopoly with my sister and boyfriend. It’s a very fun toy.

However, my Kindle Fire is more than just a fun trinket; it’s probably the most useful electronic device I own. It’s saved me money on text books, not to mention a back ache or two. Yes, last semester I bought the Kindle edition of all my books for school, which are much cheaper than the actual text books, and lighter. I also read quite a bit more. With my Kindle I can carry dozens of books around at a time, which means when I’m sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s I can get a few more chapters of my novel read because I always have my Kindle with me. I also read easier at night as I can adjust the settings changing the brightness and text color so that it doesn't hurt my eyes to read in the dark. Then, whenever I finish a book the next one is just a click away. No need to go to the store to buy another book, I have them all at my fingertips with reviews to help me make a decision of what to purchase.

Most importantly, having a Kindle has motivated me to self-publish my novel. My Kindle allows me to easily find indie authors and read their work. Seeing other people successfully self-publish their work has inspired me. I read their stories and found many of them to be wonderful reads. I’d always wanted to publish a book and had been writing for years, but it was my Kindle that gave me that final push to say “you can do this.” So thank you Amazon and Mom for my amazing e-reader.