Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Me? A Kindle? Why Yes, Ma'am!

 One of my goals for 2011 was to learn to knit.  My oldest daughter taught me how to knit and purl before she went back to college.  These are pictures of my first project: a self-designed Kindle cover.

Although I know there are some mistakes in it, I am pretty pleased with myself and it does the job of protecting my Kindle just dandy!

Is there anything left to say about the Kindle?  Well, apparently I think so, so here goes.

I love physical books.  I love the feel of the paper, the scent of the book, the sound of the page turning. I am very tactile and very visual.   I go to the library twice-yes twice-a week and always come home with a ginormous stack of books.  Each of my children has their very own very large library bags.  The rule is that you can take it out as long as it fits in the bag.  There are books in EVERY room of my house.  I'd probably have a bookshelf in the bathroom if I could fit one.  I am regularly "scolding" my children for leaving books lying about, umm, something they probably learned from me.  This is all to say that I am a person deeply embedded in the traditional book culture.

I never saw myself owning a Kindle and then I received one for Christmas.  I absolutely, without hesitation, love it!  I keep telling my husband and oldest daughter, "I really can't believe how much I love this thing!"

Right now, my Kindle has 53 books on it.  There is no way that I could carry 53 books from room to room and out of the house at the same time!

I have downloaded books for free from Project Gutenberg (I downloaded the catalog right to my Kindle), the KindleStore, and Google eBooks.  I have several big teacher's manual eBooks on a CD that I have been able to download onto my Kindle.  This will save me ink and paper. The KindleStore and, because I downloaded the catalog, Project Gutenberg are accessible right from my Kindle without needing a computer.

KindleBooks offers a feature that allows you to download a free sample so you can see if you like it.  There are over 100 free books to download at KindleBooks, many of them published in the last 5 years. I noticed some sales on the KindleBook site around Christmas and downloaded some popular author Christmas fiction for around $2.50.

You can easily bookmark, dog-ear, highlight, and make notes.

I've also downloaded a datebook that I can write notes in and keep track of my schedule.  The other day, I wrote up a grocery list using the Kindle and then used it when I went shopping.  Pretty fun!

You can add MP3s, if you wish.  I've heard that you can download audio books, but haven't tried this feature.  You can have the Kindle "read" your book to you. 

I don't have an iPod, iPhone, or laptop computer. We have one computer in our home. While it is a bit cumbersome, I regularly surf the net on my Kindle if our computer is occupied. 

I don't find that it strains my eyes. Anything that bothers my eyes can trigger a migraine for me. Hasn't happened with the Kindle. The Kindle has a special type of screen which doesn't exhaust your eyes like a regular computer screen.   I like that I can change the font size of a book in just a few clicks. I seem to read faster with the Kindle.

I was surprised at how much I like the feel of it. It has some softer type substance covering the back which feels nice in my hands. It is very light weight. I download the Bible (free!) and can read it, lying on my side, in bed with ease!

I like that there is a physical keypad at the bottom. Makes it very easy to add notes and search books with it.

If you are used to already spending money for books, you will like the Kindle. My father-in-law also received one for Christmas. He regularly buys hardbacks when they come out and he found that Kindle saved him $$$.

Negatives: It is not backlit so you always have to have a good light source to read by. You can buy Kindle covers with a light.

I have read that there is a work around to borrow books from the library. I plan to figure that out sometime in the next week or two.  This has to do with the type of files Kindle uses.  It can "read" PDF and MOBI.  Apparently, most library books are "written" in EPUB files.

I don't think it would be good for non-fiction books heavy with photographs and illustrations. You would definitely lose something with the black and white screen. I downloaded a sample of "Poky Little Puppy." It was very cute, but just not the same without color;) I have read some blogs on it, but then re-read them on my computer so I could see the beautiful photography.

 Brenda at Cozy Little House wrote a post asking about Kindles and Nooks.  There are some great responses in the comment section of that post.  (I took my comment from there and reworked it into this blog post.

**Edited to add that my 10 year old son has named the Kindle "Kindle Baby."  I've also downloaded some books for my kids to read while we are in waiting rooms, etc.


Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I think you kindle cover is the cutest thing. What a great job you did for your first knit project! I know how to crochet and tried to knit as a child but thought it way harder than crocheting and just never tried again.

So great to hear the review of the kindle. Being a die hard apple computer fan....I really want an ipad.

Brenda Kula said...

I love your Kindle cover! That should protect it well. I'm still gnawing on this one. But think I would prefer the Kindle too. I'm hoping maybe my birthday, which isn't till next month. Thanks for the mention! I really like the detail that you went into. And that you're a real book lover like me and still love it!

Anna @ Blissful Whimsy said...

Aw so cute. I've tried to learn how to knit and crochet more than once. I dunno why, but I just can't.

Heather said...

Knitting is very relaxing. Unfortunately, I am a very slow knitter. It takes me so long to knit something that I lose interest! :)

Thanks for the Kindle review. I must say, that I was very "anti" Kindle before reading your post. I love going to the library, just like you! I also like the feel of a book in my hand. However, your post mentioned some very interesting facts, so I may have to reconsider. :)

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

You did a GREAT job. I'd never have known that this was your first knitting project. I do have a cover for my Kindle, but I have to say that if I didn't I'd sure give knitting one a try.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Elizabeth, you did a beautiful job on your first knitting project! I gave my husband a Kindle last year and he loves it. I just can't give up the feel of a book... yet. =)

Happy you stopped by; and, yes, living on a brick street is fun! Love the old homes/neighborhoods!

Carol said...

The Kindle cover you made is great! I think it has ones you can buy beat.
Two of our family members got a Kindle for Christmas and love it. I looked to see what GLH book were on it that I hadn't read, and there weren't too many, but like 54 in total, as I am sure you know.
I just finished Happiness Hill - didn't you just read it? and now onto A Patch Of Blue out of my lot of ebay books...
I'm thinking about a Kindle. Your post is most helpful!