By now, most book lovers will have faced the great question of our age, “To Kindle or not to Kindle?” (or “To e-booker reader or not…” if we’re to be brand neutral.) I was firmly in the ‘not’ camp until I got one as a present, which I suspect is a familiar tale. Do I feel compromised? Have I let books down? Am I killing the thing I love? Well, I hope not. You see, the darn device is just so alluring. And portable. And easy to use. And you get to look smug on trains. In short, reader, I love it.
So, what have I read on it so far? The usual assortment for eBook beginners, I imagine. A few murder mysteries – Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, some Jane Austen, Dickens. In other words, lots of out-of-copyright and therefore free, content. I’m already a big fan of the classics, although I readily admit I’ve a lot more ground to cover, so the Kindle is a perfect way to explore lots of titles at the click of a button. I also love the sample feature and have used it to check out some bestsellers before taking the plunge.
For me, it’s all about usage. I like having my favourite titles with me wherever I go, but I won’t be throwing away the originals. It’s more like a handy, back-up library. I can try daunting classics on a whim and for newer titles it’s a ‘try before you buy’ thing. I’m sticking with the basic model for now. I fear the glitzy distractions of the Kindle Fire and other tablets would prove too much. As for ownership issues and whether a download should give you more rights than a mere licence, it’s all a bit murky and a debate I’ll leave for another day.