Big change in reading habits

I cannot imagine a day without books.  Before I could actually read for myself, I sat and listened while parents and grandparents read to me.  My grandfather said he never had to look for me.  He would sit on the sofa and say, “Once upon a time…” and there I was.

For many years, I thought it was a rule that once you started a book, you had to finish it, like cleaning your plate before you could have dessert.  I got over that as I got older and realized I was wasting my eyes on things I didn’t like.  It was a liberating feeling to shut a book in the middle and not care how it came out.

Still, I persisted in thinking I should only read one book at a time.

And then the Kindle came into my life.  My first Kindle was version 2.  It was easy to read and to carry around.  I was still using the library most of the time and let the Kindle serve as my back up, choosing from the huge number of free books and nibbling my way through a lengthy biography of George Washington interspersed with lots of light mysteries, many written specifically for eBooks.

It was great to carry when I was going to the doctor or any place where I might be forced to kill time.  It fit nicely in my purse and I had a selection to choose from.

When my retina developed a tear, my vision deteriorated and being able to make the type bigger was a terrific help.  I began using the Kindle more and more.  The Kindle Fire came out last winter and it was like going from the old black and white TV with 3 local channels to a color TV with cable.  Suddenly, there seemed to be a lot more free or discounted books.  Amazon thoughtfully had a special offer every day and there are even web sites like Pixel of Ink that list multiple free books daily.

Now cookbooks had color photos and so did my quilting or art books.  It was better than being a kid in a candy store – no calories!

The cherry on the cake was when I discovered Scrabble.  What a great way to kill time while you’re waiting for your tea to steep or you just don’t feel like reading.

Currently, I am in the middle of Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking: More Than 80 Everyday Recipes, Creative Thinkering, Murder Most Maine, New Creative Collage Techniques and Surface Treatment Workshop.  I can make notes, highlight, search and touch words to read the definitions.  When a reference is made to something or someone online, I can look it up right in my Fire!  Even better, my local library now lets me check out books for the Fire online.  They don’t have many yet but are getting more every day.

I don’t want to see paper books go away and I hope that many generations will grow up with them as I did, but this takes my reading to the next level.

How about you?  Are you resisting the call of eBooks or have you come over to the Dark Side?

( P.S.  My sister gave us her hand-me-down iPad.  It has some nice features but it is heavier and harder to hold when reading.  It certainly doesn’t fit in my purse.)

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11 thoughts on “Big change in reading habits

  1. One of the ladies at my book club was telling us about the “Rule of Fifty”. The Rule of Fifty says that you must read 50 pages of a book before you give up, until you reach the age of 50. After that you may subtract one page for each year over 50, so at age 60 you only need to read 40 pages, and if you make it to 100, you can judge all books by their covers.
    I have an ereader, and get all my ebooks from the Public Library. The best part is they take themselves back, so they are never overdue. It does, however, leave me trying to finish a book before it expires and I can’t open it again.

    • Kate, I like your Rule of 50 – it means I can cut back – of course, with the e-readers, I can’t see page numbers anymore.

      It occurred to me that I nol longer have to check out a stack of books from the library since I wasn’t making a trip. Thus, I can check out one or two and finish them and return them in much less that the 30 days I would take with real books. So the books get back into circulation faster!

      The most recent one I sent back without finishing was Dianne Keaton’s autobiography. So self indulgent…..

      • Actually with your new Kindle Fire you should be able to see the page numbers as well as the location when you touch the Menu button.

          • Penny, I looked at the menu and couldn’t see anything about page numbers and they don’t show when the little bar opens across the bottom. From what I have noticed when I buy a book, some have real numbers and some don’t. Fabulous husband gave me a big Kindle gift card for my birthday this morning! Yea!

            • Hmm. I have an old Kindle and when I tried to get library books on it I couldn’t so I bought the updated model. It shows both the page number ( Page 30 of 389 for example) along with the location when you push the Menu button. I assumed the Fire would follow suit. Sorry for the misinformation! Love my Kindles!!

              • I have the Fire and it seems to me that some books note whether they have page numbers or locations. It doesn’t really matter to me – I’ve gotten used to the percentages. I wish you could flip back and forth but compared to the other things, like making the text bigger, that’s no big deal.

  2. I love being able to check books out of the library on my Kindle. I currently have three checked out, and one that is available, but that I will probably just let lapse because I can’t possibly read them all in three weeks. Our library has a huge selection of e-books. The only real problem for libraries is the fee they have to pay to license the books.

    I read recently that the e-book license cost is going up from $30 to $100. Libraries were allowed to check the book out 10 times for $30, and they felt that was reasonable because that was about the shelf life of a print book–10 checkouts. But the increase to $100 was supposed to include a decrease in the number of checkouts, and at that point the cost to libraries would be astronomical. I hope that doesn’t go into effect. I guess checking books out instead of buying them is getting too popular.

    Amazon also has a Kindle Lending Library if you are a member of Amazon Prime. You can cneck out one free book a month and keep as long as you like. Since Amazon Prime includes free two-day shipping of most of their books and some other products, I have found it to be a real bargain. (No affiliation with Amazon except as a constant customer.)

    • One book a month wouldn’t begin to meet my needs. :> We hada free trial of Prime but really, I don’t usually want things in that big a hurry. So we just wait until we meet the minimum for free shipping and wait. Sometimes, it still comes in two days. Now they are building a distribution in our area so we should do fine – except we will now have to pay sales tax. Phooey.

      Really sorry to hear that the rental will be too expensive. And I find it impossible to believe a book can only be checked out 10 times! There are books in our library that are decades old.

      Wonder how this compares to the rental agreement on hard back bestsellers?

  3. My sister sent me a Kindle for my birthday. I havent a clue how to use it. Neither does she. I am going to my daughters next week and we are going to visit my Niece and sister. I am bringing my Kindle with me. I am sure the twins, age 11 and the youngest age 9 will be able to show me how it works. I would like to be able to use this even though I have resisted until now. We will see. Naomi

    • Naomi, the Kindle has a built in set of instructions. Turn it on and look at the list – you will see the one with Kindle in the name. Read it.

      Did you get the gray one or the new Fire? I have had both and can easily tell you simple things if you tell me what you want to know.

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