Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Here Kindle, Kindle, Kindle

Li'l ol' Kindle.  Got bunch of books inside little machine

How many of you have bookshelves that look like an explosion in a bible factory?  Pages everywhere, books askew, stacks of volumes on the floor so high you can't see what's in your bookshelves.  Me neither.  At least not at the moment, but I have certainly had times like that. Fortunately I've now added bookshelves on every free wall in the house.  No, really there are no more free walls for more bookcases.  The really bad news is the shelves I do have are 95% full.  Mostly with my books.  It's sad.  What will I do?
My really big bookcase full of lots of books and little room to wiggle.
Corner bookcase with books and stuff.  Look, there's some space (but I think it belongs to Lorri.)
I've gone through episodic buying and purging and I always feel like I'm giving away my children.  What would I give up next?  My 100+ Osprey books.  (No way, it's important I know all three different permutations of American riflemen in the War of 1812.)  Or should I part with one of my three baseball encyclopedias?  I don't think so. Lewis and Clark books? Nope.  Richard Sharpe novels, huh-uh.  100 Years War collection? Non.  Tolkien's History of Middle Earth?  No way.
It's a good thing it wasn't the Hundred and Ten years war because I don't have room for the extra decade. 
Wargaming Bookcase looks pretty full.  I might be able to squeeze in an extra set of rules or so.
 This is all compounded by the realization that of all my vices, buying books is the most pernicious.  I've cut back buying movies by streaming Netflix.  I've reduced, though not eliminated, my military miniatures purchases-mostly because I have so many laying in various places crying out to be painted and played with. But books--they're my worst spending habit.  Not that books are bad, or reading isn't a pleasure that shouldn't be indulged.  But I've got lots, plenty that are unread, and I just need to throttle back--at least until I figure out where to put them.

But there's hope.  Casey, not a reader, passed along his Kindle to his mom, not reading much recently.  Seeing it unhappily laying around by itself I decided I needed to experiment with it.  A few weeks ago I downloaded a collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs stories for a buck and a half, and I've spent the last three days reading "At the Earth's Core," one of his Pellucidar stories.  I have to say it was a very pleasant reading experience.  Casey also purchased a very nice cover for the little machine with a nice, lightweight book light.  The most attractive part of the Kindle, however, is that it stores books and therefore I don't have to search for space to house mine.

That doesn't mean that everything is roses.  Kindle editions of books are not cheap.  In fact it isn't unusual for electronic versions of books to cost more through Amazon than the print versions.  Case in point.  I have seen Reza Aslan, the Iranian author and commentator, on television a number of times commenting on his books.  One of those that interests me is No God, But God, on Islam and fundamentalism.  I bought the Kindle version because I really wanted to give it a whirl.  The cost was $11.66.  The print version was under $10.  There are many ways to spend piles of money on your Kindle, downloading magazines and blogs, which you might otherwise be able to access for free.  Caution: black hole of outward cash flow ahead.


Dave S. said...


Make sure you check with your library system for e-books that they lend out before you spend too much on Kindle books.

You should probably check Google Books to, just to make sure they don't have free copies of stuff out there.

Kindle and that other e-readers are scary in that they make it too easy to buy stuff.

Kevin said...

Yes, you're right.

I actually have an e-reader on my phone, and I've read a John Carter story I downloaded from Gutenberg.

You are also absolutely right about the dangers of mass download over purchase. Dave Demick got a Kobo (Borders) for Christmas and has invested in 19 books. I think the Kindle editions are more expensive than those e-books from Borders and B and N.