The Kindle Dilemma

Partly because I’m easily ensnared by shiny new things and partly because I try to be a devout practitioner of efficiency, I’m very tempted to purchase the forthcoming, revamped Amazon Kindle. I’ve never owned an true e-reader before (though I do own an iPad) and the allure of the Kindle has always been obvious to me: having a large number of books in one small, lightweight package seems awesome.

The new Amazon Kindle.
The new Amazon Kindle.

And yet I love my old-fashioned, made of honest-to-God-paper books. To me, one of the most exciting things about buying a house was that I get to have a small library now (even if it was a pain in the ass to paint) and the thought of reading new books and yet not being able to put them on a bookshelf afterwards is more than a little soul-crushing.

The reasonable answer is, as is almost always the case, likely somewhere in the middle. Caitlin and I read enough that having a Kindle – and all the convenience and storage that it entails – around the house would probably be good for us. We don’t need to own a physical copy of every book that we read. Not to mention that a lot of books are dirt cheap or even free on the e-reader. At the same time, owning a Kindle doesn’t mean that I can’t keep buying actual, occupying-space-in-the-physical-universe books when I want to. This doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. (Right? I haven’t actually read the Amazon fine print in a while, I’m not sure what those guys are up to anymore.)

Does anyone have any advice one way or the other?

8 thoughts on “The Kindle Dilemma

  1. Advice? I suppose I don’t technically have any, though I do read some e-books and will probably get an actual e-reader one of these days. *sigh* I intend to keep doing the majority of my pleasure reading in print, though, for all of the irreplaceable physical book reading experiences as well as for the sake of my eyes, so they won’t be consumed with screens all day. 🙂 I’ve been trying to get better about donating hard copies of books that I know I won’t read again, to make more space.

  2. I completely agree, I love my kindle however I cannot compete with the feel of old dusty paper between our fingers. That being said, what better way to travel then a single Kindle and a few books. I actually have a 3G version which further allows me to buy book anywhere in North America; the beach, softening the highway. You name it, it works much like a mobile phone. My kindle works as well in the dark as it does on the beach and fits in my pocket without being overly awkward. To add to the confusion. I equally love my audio books, makes my morning commute that much more productive :-).

  3. I have a Kindle, and even though I use it a lot, I haven’t stopped buying actual books. I think I just read more. The Ebook reader is great for traveling (and also for reading in bed if you don’t like to hold up heavy books) and I use it almost exclusively for fiction. But if I come across a book with a beautiful font, nice pictures or a lot of tables and info boxes, or sometimes just a great cover, I go for it and buy the real one.

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