The Kindle Question

by RS on April 10, 2010

I love gadgets. The more buttons to push, bells and whistles a contraption has and I’m like a delighted five year old clapping my hands with glee.  There are too many electronic appliances and toys that I wish I had, and these range from an Illey espresso maker to a Kitchen Aid mixer to an iPhone. The latest toy on my wishlist is a Kindle.

What’s stopping me? Most of the the items are over the $200 range. If you add it up, it can get beyond $2,000. Do I really need the Illey espresso maker when I can get a decent stove top Alessi for at least one-fifth of the cost? Yeah. And how often do I drink espresso? Not often enough. Okay, one major expense rationalized. As for the Kitchen Aid, how often would I use it? About as often as the food processor, and I rarely use that. Plus, there are space issues to consider. Okay, another item scratched off the list.  Now the iPhone is a whole different story. I can have my music, my phone,  emails, photos, video all in one very neat little package, but wait…when I had a cell phone, I rarely used it. I dislike texting, do I really want to be surfing the ‘net when I’m running my errands? I guess I really don’t need it. All right, that’s off the list too.

The Kindle. Do I really need it? Well, I’m looking around my workspace/bedroom and on every surface I have books piled up, and they’re also on the floor. Between the review copies and my own personal purchases, I’m inundated with books. So the Kindle would help me with space. Plus, I am the Queen of Schlep. I can never decide which book to bring when I go to the city so I end up carrying at least three books, and after walking a few blocks they can get heavy.  If I had a Kindle, it would eliminate these two issues–space and weight. There’s the instant gratification factor to consider. If I want a certain book, I can download it immediately, and start reading. I can have the whole Marx and Engel’s library within five minutes. Imagine having all four volumes of Das Kapital at my fingertips and not have to break my back? Although, I suppose I can be more disciplined and settle with one book. I can read and finish it before I move on to the next one. So no more sore back.

However, there’s another reason I want a Kindle–one of the writers from the writers workshop uses it to read everyone’s manuscripts in one fell swoop. It might be easier to read and crit manuscripts this way. This writer did email me to let me know that it’s not all that easy to provide notes. Hmm, well, that’s a strong con. She uses a Kindle when she works out. I don’t like to read or watch TV when I’m working out I find that I’m not quite as focused on the subject matter or the workout; I rather listen to music or even an audiobook.

Hmm, it seems I’ve convinced myself that I really don’t need a Kindle after all.

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