The number of e-books I’ve read can be counted in single digits. I’m an old school snob, who believes the charm of physical books is irreplaceable. And the fact that I can hardly ever concentrate for long when I’m reading on an app or device. Because every time I started reading a book on my laptop or phone, a notification will pop up somewhere, or my brain will tell me I have scores to beat in some game, and I will let myself be distracted (no one’s fault but mine, I know).
As someone who has not kept herself updated with what’s going on with e-books, I’ve never shared the excitement people have every time there’s buzz of a new model.
When I started using the all new Kindle for this review, I was still skeptical; convinced I would write something negative. And though I wouldn’t say using the Kindle for a couple of weeks has completely changed my take on the concept, for the most part, I stand pleasantly surprised.
Setting it up was pretty standard. I was humbled and excited when asked to put in the books I’ve read for suggestions — which I think is a good feature for people interested in a specific genre, but it did throw up some books I liked despite my haywire selection. But what spurred my excitement, was looking through my longwish list, which had been imported from my Amazon account, and finding the digital format for a lot of books, that I was tired of seeing as listed out-of-stock.
And my word are e-books cheap! I discovered books I’ve been ogling at bookstores for years fit right into my budget. Granted, I was reviewing this in sale season and got some books at dirt-cheap prices, but I still think cost effectiveness is Kindle’s biggest plus point.
Convenience makes a close second. Books can be heavy, more often than not. I like reading on the commute, but carrying the weight isn’t my favourite thing. Reading a book in a cramped up public transport is tricky in itself. But Kindle, with its almost nil weight, fits beautifully in the space you have and without having to turn pages, no eyes turn at you like you’re robbing the others around you of comfort by occupying more space than your arms ‘ideally’ should.
The battery on this thing is another feature that has me in awe. Once fully charged, it lasts for roughly a week – a little up and down based on usage. No worries about the hassles of carrying a charger or the Kindle running out of juice. Another point on the convenience front.
The storage space on Kindle is 4GB, which is more than enough for keeping all the books you’d want on the device. Anyway, books can always be stored on Amazon’s cloud storage and accessed on WiFi.
But all the pluses aside, reading on the Kindle is an experience that works fine. Yes, there’s almost zero strain on the eyes, and the pages turn seamlessly, and you can type out notes, and look up meanings just by selecting the word and there’s zero distraction; it should technically feel exactly like reading a book, but it doesn’t quite. Also, re-reading something on Kindle feels like the most impersonal experience ever.
That said, Kindle has convinced me to make more space for it in my life. No, it doesn’t replace books in any way. Books — with the smell of their pages, folded notes and everything romantic — remain irreplaceable. But while Kindle continues to be a mere imitation of the magic that books are, it is definitely the more handy choice for satisfying the appetite of a voracious reader in this day and age. What the Kindle lacks in feel, it just about makes up for that in ease.