So, I got the package, tore it opened and started it up. By the end of the night I had downloaded 10 or more of the free books, and was well on my way to being an e-reader. There are so many great things about the Kindle. I love that at any moment I have a library full of books in my purse. It definitely saves me from having to lug around an extra book in case I finish reading one of them. I don't like to be left empty handed, because I never know when I will be sitting around waiting on something.
I had some reservations at first when I got the Kindle. I am so used to the feeling of holding a book, and this was totally different. Obviously it is much lighter than a book, and it is a lot easier to hold and manage. The buttons are all placed perfectly, and I love the screen. I enjoy reading everywhere, so as I'm sure you've seen on the commercials, I can read on the Kindle in the sun. Majority of the time I hate reading books in the sun because it makes the pages so bright that I have to wear sunglasses just to read! I'm also a sucker for the "book smell". I guess if you aren't an avid reader, you won't know what I am talking about, but books have a distinct smell. I love the smell of older library books; the smell of comfort! Obviously the Kindle doesn't smell....so I was a little sad because it just didn't feel the same.
I have an entire bookshelf full of books that I've bought along the way. I'm pretty cheap, so I usually purchase my books at the Goodwill around the corner from my house. Hardback books are $2 while paperback books are $1, you can't really beat that. So at first I was trying to go back and forth. I would read a book on the Kindle, and then read one off the shelf. I'm still trying to get through the books on the shelf, but of course, I can't go into the Goodwill without buying a book, or five.
One of the major things that has turned me off of the Kindle is the prices. Like I said, I can go to the Goodwill and grab a stack of books for $10, but most books on the Kindle are $9.99 and up. I'm not opposed to spending $9.99 on a book, however at the speed that I read (about 1.6 books per week) it isn't really economical. So once I noticed the "free book" section on Amazon.com I decided I would just start doing that -- because what's better than spending $1 - $2 per book? Spending nothing! The only issue with this, is that a lot of the books that are in this "free section" are Christian Fiction books. Even though I'm not religious at all, I thought that maybe I would give these books a try. I didn't expect that they would be beating me over the head with the Bible or Jesus, but alas, they do.
I've heard that there are a lot of websites that you can download free books from onto all types of e-readers, but I haven't found a site that I like, or that I am comfortable using. It also seems that on these websites majority of the books are "classic"...which I'm not a huge fan of. I've also found that as a member of GoodReads, there are often posts by authors telling you when/where to download a copy of their new books. GoodReads is amazing (I will have to post a whole entry just devoted to it...that's how awesome it is.) If you are an avid reader, and you don't use GoodReads---you should start!
So, I think that the Kindle (and probably any e-reader, although I'm not sure) has a lot of redeeming qualities. I love the ease of use, having multiple books at a time, and the additional functions that the Kindle has (web surfing, a dictionary, the ability to make notes, "bookmark function"). However, I might just be purist, but nothing is better than cuddling up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee, my sweet little pup and a good book.
What do you think? Do you own an e-reader? Do you have a good website that you like to download free books from?