I am the proud owner of a wi-fi Kindle. My mom got it for me for my birthday, because she's amazing and has been a cheerleader to my voracious reading ever since I was a wee tot. Sure, the 3G one is better, but my bank account is not set up for constant access to Amazon.com. I need some boundaries, people. Anyway, it seems like I can't refresh my Google Reader without seeing another blog post about the decline of books or some sappy poetry about the smell of the printed page.
It seems like the YA book blogging/authoring community have been early adopters of e-reading technology. Which frankly should say something, people. We WRITE books, and we're not overly obsessed with the physicality of them (don't get me wrong, I will still take great pleasure from walking into a bookstore and purchasing my own book ... I'll probably tell anyone who comes within 10 feet of me that I WROTE THIS BOOK! ME! THAT'S MY NAME! RIGHT THERE ON THE COVER!). Well you can now count me amongst the numbers of people are having a total love affair with their Kindle. And here's why:
An entire library in my hand
From the time I could read, I never went anywhere without a book. I'd even cram a paperback into my purse to go to church as a kid, and my mom used to have to order me to put the book down when we'd go out to restaurants. As I grew older, I found I was having more difficulty traveling with just one book. I needed something fun and frivolous (chick lit or a rom com or whatever fluffy name we're giving to beach reads), and something serious (more along the lines of American Psycho or Looking for Alaska ... two books that probably shouldn't be grouped together. Ever.) Instead of loading my purse down with two or three books (or giving up and going out on the town with a rolling suitcase), now I can have an entire selection of reading material in one lightweight place. This allows me to hop back and forth between Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty and E. Lockhart's The Boyfriend List.
Commuting with a free hand
I take the train in to work in the mornings. If any of you are familiar with Boston's MBTA (or The T, as it's known), then you know that it's often late ... VERY late. From switch problems to disabled trains, the average Boston commuter is endowed with a vast knowledge of public transit mechanical jargon thanks to the frequency with which America's oldest subway system breaks down. You know who doesn't care but AT ALL when the train is late? Me. It simply means I get more time to hang out in the station or trapped in the tunnel in my seat, sucked into whatever book I'm reading that day. Plus, the Kindle makes it easy for me to read if I don't get a seat (and still hang on to something while the train heaves and groans through the tunnels), or even use a free hand to clutch my precious grande nonfat iced chai from Starbucks.
I'm saved from heinous book covers
YA book covers are embarrassing. Don't believe me? Simply google the phrase "embarrassing YA book covers" and check out all the blog posts that come up. Just yesterday Forever Young Adult actually composed a song about the terribleness of the hot pink pink covers and close-ups on lips and eyeballs and warm embraces. Like I mentioned, my Kindle goes into heavy rotation when I'm on the train, and there are no shortage of tweets, blogposts, and eyerolls over what insipid trash people read on the T in Boston (I've ready some gut-busting tweets about how everyone and their dog is reading Stieg Larsson books). But with the Kindle, no one knows if I'm reading War and Peace or Hex Hall (though when I start laughing out loud on the train, I'm pretty sure they know I'm not reading War and Peace). Right now I'm reading Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin. It's freaking hilarious, a perfectly fun, hoppin' boppin' little book. But do I really need that hot pink cover, complete with hearts and the silly title, on display for the entire Boston commuter population to see? Um, no.
I was one of those people who was initially unsure, who would wax poetic about the smell/feel/taste of a book or whatever. But then I got the Kindle, fell in love, and got over myself. I love the damn thing. I'll still buy books. If I read something that absolutely bowls me over and becomes a new favorite/Lauren classic, I'll buy the actual book. This is why I have everything John Green's ever written and the entirety of Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series.
But seriously folks. Can we calm down with the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair and just learn to love e-readers?