What’s so great about the Kindle?

*Author’s note: This is not meant to be a diatribe against or an ode to Amazon and the way it A) is destroying life as we know it or B) is our ultimate salvation. These are just my thoughts on a little thing called the e-reader.

Can we now enjoy reading without the risk of paper cuts and toes stubbed by falling hardcovers? Have e-readers set us free? Or are we slipping even further into the depths of domination by our new masters, the screens?

On the one hand, I think it’s great that we decided to use magic to make our books appear on our devices, thus saving paper and the gas used to deliver the books to the stores. Of course, there’s also the environmental impact of producing the e-reader, plus our seeming obsession with continuing to buy e-readers. The iPad was the greatest thing since sliced bread until… the iPad 2. So where’s the magic to dispose of all those iPad 1s no one can be caught dead using?

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Then there’s the hands-on experience of using the e-reader (or some would say lack of experience). No physical pages, no smell and feel of the book, no cover art. It’s difficult to grab an e-book off the shelf and press it into a friend’s hand, saying “Read this, you’ll love it!” If you do that, you may end up buying a lot of Kindles.

Despite the downsides, I have a Kindle, and I’m a fan. Here’s why:

It’s midnight. I finish Book One of a trilogy, which will not be named, but happens to end on a cliffhanger.

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Three clicks later, I’m starting Book Two. Not that staying up all night reading is ideal for anyone, but isn’t that the kind of excitement we authors want to inspire?

Until I move out of my two-bedroom apartment and into a country mansion with a personal library, collecting e-books is much more practical than buying physical books. I can’t really fill every room with books. The kids insist on having a place to sleep.

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