I have always loved the feel and concept of real, paper-bound books (and all the better if the paper and ink and font and binding and cover are luxe). Reading from paper, whether books or magazines, has been a joy I swore electronic reading could never sway me from. Because in my extensive experience reading on a computer or other electronic screen, my eyes tire more quickly, I'm more prone to distraction, and worst of all - I simply don't absorb the material nearly as well as I do when it's printed on paper.
I vowed vehemently that I would never, ever be interested in switching from 'real' books to even specialized electronic reading devices, and I scoffed at the concept of them since they began to emerge.
Then this same kindle - minus the 3G option - appeared on woot. The price was good, and I'd heard so many rave reviews of e-readers in general and the kindle in specific, that I figured for less than $100 it was worth a try. I reasoned that I could always resell it on ebay if - as I expected - it was no better than reading on my computer and no comparison to the pleasure of paper reading.
Within minutes of reading my first book on kindle - an amazon.com-purchased file - I was amazed by how convenient, swift, and enjoyable reading on the device was. It is as easy on my eyes as a paper book - or very nearly so, from what I can tell after 9 months of heavy use - and the light weight of the kindle enables me to read in a a variety of positions far more comfortably than I could with many books, and in fact allowed ease that no books afford me.
I am severely physically disabled and live in chronic pain from a spinal condition which confines me to my bed 23 hours a day. The ability to read so much more comfortably has greatly improved the quality of my life.
The page-turning buttons of the kindle are much more convenient than turning a physical page, and much, much, MUCH faster. My already fast reading rate has nearly doubled as a result. I frequently use the dictionary tool - infinitely easier than having to page through a paper one separately - and the ability to page back, to bookmark and highlight (as well as see what other readers have found highlight-worthy) are all priceless features unique to e-reading on the kindle (and possibly other e-readers).
Buying books online through the wireless feature - and being able to read reviews and download free samples - is wonderfully simple. Transferring books to and from the device is likewise a snap, and if you can't find a book in a format kindle can read, there are several programs, some free, which will allow you to readily convert them to useable formats - I recommend .mobi as it is most similar to the kindle's/amazon's native .azw format.
On top of the aforementioned virtues, many ebooks are free, and nearly all are cheaper than paper books while saving trees and allowing authors a greater profit margin. Ebooks allow authors to self-publish virtually effortlessly, and thus many authors who would never be able to disperse their works can now do so easily throughout the world's internet. More information and more entertainment more readily available worldwide - THIS is a true revolution.
* Read my ramblings on LiveJournal
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