Tuesday, January 5, 2010

To e, or not to e...that's my question


My friend Kay got a Kindle for Christmas this year. Kay is the person who taunted me with tales of Tivo for at least 2-3 years before I ever even understood what it really was. She got her iPhone a year before I did and gave me iPhone lust. I, in turn, convinced her to come over from the dark side and get a Mac. We laugh about being geeks with our love of these electronic tools in our life.

But Kindle???? I'm struggling with this one. I'm such a huge lover of books, I'm trying to figure out where my loyalties are. Mr. Sunflower has been on the periphery of paperless publishing for years and years, and I've not shared his enthusiasm for the concept. I feel crazy just reading off this computer screen for more than the time it takes me to do my business here each day. My favorite books (which I buy lots of) are those that have been in libraries or others' homes and have that well-loved feeling to them when I take them to bed at night. I am a child of Fahrenheit 451, and the daughter of a printer. I grew up around publishing...from melting the lead for the linotype machines to use to the huge presses that printed the final newspaper. I worked in the newspaper industry during the transition from hot type to cold. And now...plastic and an electronic screen???

Alas, the advantages are numerous, it would appear. I won't have to wait for books to arrive in the mail. It has a smaller carbon footprint, perhaps, because you're not using paper and the US mail service (although there are numbers I can't quote from memory about how much power it takes to keep all of us on line each day...this is no power-free ride) . I would no longer have to choose books instead of clothes when I pack for a trip. It might even keep me from being the woman found buried under her gazillion books one day.

BUT... can I cuddle up with a hunk of plastic each night?

Yours truly,

Conflicted in Taos

15 comments:

island sweet said...

have you tried it? how did you feel?

~ Phyllis ~ said...

I took the plunge and ordered my Kindle Monday.
I'm like you a bit nervous about this purchase. Will I really like it or will I prefer books? A friend let me play with her's a that pushed me over the edge. Good luck with your decision.

Taos Sunflower said...

Phyllis: Please let me know what you think...

Shawn: I've actually only seen one on someone's table in a restaurant one day...so this is truly unknown territory for me. :0) PS Part of this is my ongoing conflict about whether I'm a Luddite or geek...

Twisted in Texas said...

Face it: you are a geek at heart.
Signed:
Kay
The Evil E-Temptress

Sandra said...

Hi Martie: I'm with you - all the way - there is nothing like a good used/loved book to take to bed along side our DHs : ) goood luck with your decision !!! hey, where's your etsy store ?? there is a big blank spot on your sidebar ???? I've not gotten over missing out on your last wonderful blues - someone took them right out of my cart - WHAAAAAAA : ( can't wait for your next batch.
HAPPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!
Blessings, Sandra in AZ

sallyrae said...

real books!

Taos Sunflower said...

Dear Evil ET: Shhhh...don't tell...

Sandra: Hi! The shop's closed until I get back, I'm leaving tomorrow for a week.

Deborah: Vote counted!

RuthieJ said...

I'll be anxious to hear what decision you make Martie. As for me, I don't think I could ever give up a real book, esp. because I've been a voracious reader ever since I learned to read. There's just something about the smell and feel of a real book, propping it up in my book stand while eating a sandwich or knitting. I just don't think I'd get the quite the same feeling of happiness with an electronic device over holding a real book in my hands (like knitting with qiviut vs. knitting with Red Heart -- reading is definitely a sensory thing for me!)

Taos Sunflower said...

Ruthie: That's probably my stand right now, too. Maybe down the road, because I'm learning I always end up eating my words if I say never.

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

Hmm, Kindle. I've been wondering as well. I keep thinking about how light and bulk-less it would be for hauling around. Someone...somewhere...(nothing quite like a fading memory) said the danger with e-books ends up being books lost if the battery hits empty. I have no idea if that is true or not, but something to check into if you hit the purchase stage.

Taos Sunflower said...

Chris: Perhaps my "Evil Electronics Temptress" will chime in on this with an answer...

sallyrae said...

I hate to admit now after investigation, that the 6" kindle is quite attractive to me. I must say it has it's merits, but you can't pass the kindle books on to anyone, can you?

swamericana said...

Right now, I'm staying with books. Part of it is the mechanics of how I research. I need as many as five or six books open on the table so I can go quickly, one to the other, taking notes or cross-checking ideas. The other reason to stay with "real" books is I can write copiously in the margins. There's probably a way to do that in Kindle, but for the moment I'm basically with books. But, believe you me, I burn time on the word processor and internet like crazy so I'm not archaic. Just set in my way on this. Thanks for your post. Made me think. -Jack Matthews

Taos Sunflower said...

After six hours of talking in the car today, I've learned more about the e-reader world. Will post tonight or tomorrow with updates. Very interesting.

Twisted in Texas said...

FYI: battery has run down and no loss of material,