When my husband returned from his conference last week, he presented me with an early birthday present. “If you really don’t like it, we don’t have to keep it,” he said. “But I got it for free and I think it’s pretty awesome.”
That’s right: I am the
conflicted excited owner of a Kindle 3!
It turns out a number of the companies at the conference were giving away big prizes – all you had to do to enter was visit their booths and chat about their products. Thanks to my husband being (1) his friendly, networking self and (2) very lucky, he ended up winning this Kindle from Oracle. (Thanks, Oracle!)
At least, he SAYS he won the Kindle for free. This could all be an elaborate scheme to convert me to ebooks (e-books? eBooks?), which my husband has been trying to do for a while. He’s helped me move my boxes and boxes and boxes of books half a dozen times over our nine years together, so I can’t say I blame him.
It’s not that I was ever against ebooks, exactly. I definitely appreciate their compactness and convenience. It’s just that I’m so very strongly in favor of real books. I appreciate them as physical objects with their own unique size, texture, scent, and heft. I like flipping through actual pages, knowing how far I am by the weight. I love beautiful editions with deckle edged pages and embossed covers. And I enjoy writing in my office surrounded by overflowing bookshelves, even if I'm always running out of room.
But you know what? I am stoked about this Kindle, especially since it came at the perfect time. In a few weeks we’ll be traveling to a destination wedding involving a looong flight and a brutal ten hour layover on the way back. I was trying to figure out how I would ever find the baggage space to bring enough books, and now I don’t have to! Especially since I’ve already picked up a long list of free ebooks thanks to my library website and Project Gutenberg (best.site.ever). I still anticipate the majority of my book ownership always being in print form, but I'm really interested to see how this Kindle changes my buying and reading habits.
The day I got the Kindle, I just kept wandering around the house saying “I can’t believe it! We never win things like this!” And then, a day later, I won a book giveaway at Madeline’s The Shellshank Redemption: a signed copy of Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall. Holy lucky leprechauns! I told my husband that it was a sign from the universe that I didn’t have to give up my obsession with paper and ink books just because it dropped a Kindle in my lap :-D.
I also figured I should show some gratitude for my crazy double windfall, so I hereby promise to donate a few books to the local library sale (where I plan to shop too, Kindle or no Kindle) and some money to SMART, where I volunteer with the cutest readers ever.
Has anyone else out there reluctantly (or eagerly) taken the Kindle or Nook leap? Any opinions or advice on ebooks to share?