I bought my first Kindle about four months after it came out. $400 seemed like too much to spend on a gadget, but I love reading and I love gadgets. I talked myself into it with Amazon’s promise of no prices more than $9.99 (and many well under that). I was reading five to six books a month at as much as $25 each. “Do the math,” I said to myself. “This is a no-brainer.”

Equally appealing–especially to my spouse who frequently hauled my book-laden luggage from airport gate to another–the idea of an almost weightless Kindle was more than attractive.

So I placed my order. On line. (Big box stores not only didn’t carry Kindles then; stock clerks hadn’t even heard of them.) Then I waited. Back orders were heavy, but a user site let me know where I was in the queue.

My new toy finally arrived, already loaded with books I’d ordered. (I’d yet to discover the great fun of ordering books where ever I was: on a train in Paris, in the loo in London, in the bathtub at home. Instant gratification!)

The only down side was that when I brought it out, it got more attention than a new puppy. Uninterrupted reading was a challenge. “What is that? How does it work? Is it as good as regular books?” I’m still embarrassed to say that I sounded like a pitchman for Kindle. I was ready to let everyone who asked, know how much I loved this amazing gadget.

I’ll bet this is the part where you’re thinking, “Yeah, right; here comes her ‘yeah, but'” statement.

But no, I still love it, but for other reasons. Kindle’s manageable price is not the least of them. (They’re now available at 75% less than I paid for my first reader.)

“First reader?” you ask. “You mean you have more than one?”

Well, yes. My first one died. The screen went black and nothing would bring the text back. I called Amazon to see if there were some little hole into which I could insert a paper clip (i.e., the common non-techy fix of electronic gadgets that don’t work). “No problem,” the courteous customer service rep said. “We’ll send you a new one for $20; just send us the old one when the replacement comes.”

After a couple of years of lugging his own books on trips (and, despite my objections, borrowing mine), my husband acquiesced to getting his own Kindle. A few months later I againI called Amazon’s customer service, told them that he’d dropped his and broke the screen. Same response: $20 and a new K. was his.

I guess I still sound like a pitchman for e-readers. But now, rather than allow myself to be engaged in an argument over whether paper books are better than books on an e-reader, I simply say that it’s my Kindle that allows me to keep reading. Vision problems are easily overcome with the font adjustment and I no longer suffer from eye strain when I read on the patio in the sun.

Isn’t it great that we book-a-holics have choices?



Author: Judy Westergard

Retired English teacher, self-taught painter, inveterate reader and still lovin' my Kindle!

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