On the Grid – The Kindle Era

A new era in my life starts today: My Kindle arrived. I will now start reading all my books digitally. I will buy my books online from Amazon, and I won’t be buying as much from Costco, Barnes and Noble and Borders as a result. But that’s not why it defines an era.

Ever since I was a teenager I have collected the books I read. This probably comes from a habit my father had, who liked to have all his books on shelves in his study. I never had enough room to display all my books in the house. All my life I have carted boxes of books around with me and they were usually stored in a corner of the garage.

From time to time I purged them. For instance, in the mid 1990ies I got tired of owning all those German books. I put them all together into a set of boxes and donated them to the local library.

Another time we had a garage sale and somebody bought a lot of my science fiction paperbacks for 25 cents each. I made perhaps ten or twenty dollars.  I have regretted doing that many times, since I have re-bought some of those books again new when I wanted to read them again and spent many times the money I made in the garage sale.

Lesson: Never sell books in garage sales.

So what’s different going forward? I won’t have books accumulate in boxes anymore. I will be carrying my entire library of reading material with me at all times in digital format in a container the size of a medium soft-cover book. I am not sure how I’ll feel about that – no more bookshelves. For now I am excited about the new way, and I will report on how it goes here.

One thought on “On the Grid – The Kindle Era

  1. Eric Petrie

    I am on the brink of buying something kindle-like, too. But the issues for me are: can I make comments on the book? The difference between a marked and an unmarked book for me are everything–highlighting, marginal marks, questions, etc. The book doesn’t feel like it is mine without them.

    Issue two: why does kindle, and its corporate headquarters, have to store my comments, and any other personal documents that I want to read on its pages? I should be able to “kindle” my word documents without Amazon.com taking possession of them.

    Issue three: I can’t lend a friend a book without lending them the entire library (my kindle).

    Issue four: I love to see and feel the pages, and thumb through them. I don’t really know of a kindle equivalent to that.

    So right now I am inclined to wait for a different version, or, if I break down and buy one, to use it for newspapers, magazines, and books that I want to read but don’t want to keep in a holdable, thumb-able library form.

Leave a Reply