Kindle–Why I Don’t Want One (But You Might)

At first blush, Amazon’s Kindle is ideal for someone in my situation. As a nursing mother of a tiny infant, I’ve got plenty of time to read, but the logistics of holding a book while holding Bean are posing quite a challenge. I can’t always get the perfect reading angle, and if I drop my book, I’m sure to lose my place. Furthermore, I’m re-reading lots of books on parenting (latest add: The Vaccine Book from the Sears Parenting Library). I don’t always have the book I want right next to me, and if John’s not around I might not be able to get it for ours.

Kindle would let me have all my parenting books right at my fingertips, as well as an assortment of fiction books and even the New York Times. It would be easy to hold, and as longs as it lands on the carpet dropping it isn’t going to be a problem. I could read it in the dark so as not to wake up Bean. I could bookmark the sections of my parenting books that I keep on referring to. It’s like my dream device…

…except I don’t want one.

Because I read so fast, I am in danger of consuming books, rather than reading and experiencing them. I need a certain amount of deliberation in order to keep reading special. Call it the tyranny of the TBR stack–too many books and I can’t relax enough to savor each one.

But that’s just me. Here’s author Laurie Halse Anderson, and my former Zoom In Online colleague Todd Howard on the subject.

What do you think of Kindle?

14 thoughts on “Kindle–Why I Don’t Want One (But You Might)”

  1. Anything that locks me into one store, doesn’t read PDF, charges me for uploading material, and looks so ugly (I’m a Mac girl, what can I say?) is not worth the quadrillion dollars Amazon is currently charging.

    Also, I read somewhere of some nifty feature not on the latest version, set for the new one that would no doubt make it obsolete in about a year. (Memory is fuzzy though…should look it up…if someone really wants me to.)

  2. Actually, I don’t think you’d be able to read it in the dark. It’s not backlit like a computer screen.

    I’m waiting to see how people are evaluating them after they’ve been out for a year or three. And to see how far the price drops.

  3. Imani: It doesn’t lock you into one store. The Kindle can read any of the free ebooks available at and many other places online. And they only charge 10 cents for uploading your own files if you do so wirelessly. You can put as much of your own stuff as you want on it for free with the USB port.

    Not to say that should make it worth $400 to you, but just in the interest of accuracy.

  4. I’m a fast, prolific reader. And, I re-read many books – I jump in and out like checking up on old friends. And as comfort. Or distraction.

    I have been reading ebooks for years. I (until last June) had a Palm handheld that I carried everywhere that had approximately 50 books on it at any time. Easy to switch out. The Palm is backlit, so I could read in dim situations. I could also read on my laptop if I was so inclined. I could put my own data on there. I could read PDF files (after converting them, but…). I am an ebook poster child.

    I am not getting a Kindle. I have a Sony Reader, and the passive matrix screen (Same as the Kindle) drives me batty, simply because I am a fast reader. I miss the backlight. I find that (with the Sony Reader), that the small font size (which I use so I get a decent amount of text on the screen), leads to word spacing issues, which are annoying. I don’t use it.

    I also got an iPhone, so don’t carry my Palm anymore… and I really miss having a large number of books constantly available anywhere, and the ease of picking up a new book when traveling – the web is most everywhere.

    But, its mostly the screen. The flash for each page turn is highly annoying when the time is equal to … oh, about 3/4 of a page of reading time.

  5. I’m more interested in the Sony Reader than the Kindle… but now Melissa has me going hm.

    Would sure help out my back next time I go on a trip, though.

  6. Yeah…not for me. I prefer the old-fashioned way of reading. You know. Picking up an actual book and turning the pages. Besides, it’s WAY too expensive for me!

    I posted on this a few weeks ago too!

  7. I’d be interested to hear about your review of The Vaccine Book. Darin and I were just discussing vaccines last night. Have you read Vaccine: the controversial story of medicine’s greatest lifesaver? I just finished it, and it was very interesting. I especially liked how the author wasn’t trying to convince you either way, but instead was presenting a history and context for the current issues.
    Have you tried one of those thumb one-handed book holders? That helped me a bit while nursing.

  8. It’s not backlit? That’s probably the only thing that could sway me.

    Thanks for all the input on Kindle, everyone. I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.

    Sarah–I can loan you the book when you guys come over. Would love to talk with you about it–

  9. I like my electronic toys but I can’t seem to summon up any enthusiasm for ebook readers. They cost so much and I could buy a lot of books with that money.

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