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.)