Kindle – first impressions

My dear friend Alan bought me a Kindle for my birthday.  My birthday was in December and, so far, the only book I’ve downloaded is Just Friends With Benefits.  (Don’t roll your eyes and make like you wouldn’t download your book first too!)  Of course, I haven’t read JFWB on the Kindle because, at this point, I’d rather stick toothpicks in my eyes than read that book again.  Seriously.  I’ve read it so many times, I can act out all the parts in a one woman show.

Anyway, since I went to town (twice) at the Border’s ‘going out of business sale’ and purchased quite a few print books, I haven’t had the opportunity to try out my Kindle.  Until now.  The book-club I organize has chosen Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger for the April meeting.  Although I really enjoyed Weisberger’s Everyone Worth Knowing, the back cover blurb for Chasing Harry Winston has never particularly appealed to me.  Although I could be mistaken, the three main characters seem like the type of women who wear only expensive designer labels, gather only in the most “seen and be seen’ types of places, date only rich and/or famous men and are just kinda snobby and I prefer reading about women to whom I can relate.  Aside from a few ‘cliquey’ years in college, I don’t think anyone has ever described me as snobby and since I try not to associate with snobby people, I had no desire to spend my money on a book to read about them.  Not to mention that I am running out of room in my apartment to fit all of these books.  (Yes, I know that’s what the library is for, but I’m sort of addicted to buying books.  I do have a library card and have actually used it (once) but I like to know that the book I want to read is available to me when I want to read it and I don’t have to wait for three strangers on the waiting list ahead of me to read and return it first.)

At last, the opportunity to use my Kindle had finally presented itself and I downloaded Chasing Harry Winston on Sunday night.  Correction – I paid for Chasing Harry Winston on Sunday night.  I nearly had a nervous breakdown when I clicked “Buy now with one click” on the Amazon page and received a confirmation receipt in my email account but no book appeared on my Kindle.  I tried to ‘sync and check for items’ but my Wi-fi password was rejected.  When I plugged the Kindle into my computer instead to avoid the necessity of a Wi-fi connection, I received an error message that I could not download and read books on my Kindle while the device was plugged into my computer.  So, I unplugged the Kindle and tried, once again, to do it wirelessly and once again my password was rejected.  Fast forward a half hour and I’m ready to throw my Kindle across my apartment. I dropped the f-bomb multiple times, sent frustrated text messages to my sister and Alan and finally, after succumbing to Tylenol PM, went to bed.  I used my firm’s Wi-fi password the next morning, the book was finally synced to the device and all was right in the world.  (I know I will likely suffer the same frustrations the next time I try to download a book from my apartment but hopefully I’ll have restocked my Tylenol PM by then, assuming I can’t get my hands on anything stronger (jk).)

Although JFWB was published by an e-publisher and, therefore, I should be all ‘Rah-Rah”, “Goooo E-books!”, I wasn’t quite sure I was going to like reading on my Kindle.  I like the feel of a book in my hands and the ability to physically turn the pages and watch my progress.  I also like the ease with which I can go backwards if I find myself confused.  Oh, let’s be honest: I’m just not that comfortable with change and I am simply accustomed to reading books in print.   

With that said, I started reading Chasing Harry Winston on my Kindle yesterday and am currently 20% completed.  I rather dig it!  It is definitely less bulky than a regular book.  I also like that I can only see one page at a time.  I’ve always liked writing on my Blackberry because the screen is so small that the task of filling it with words seems much less daunting than filling up a full-sized computer screen.  The same can be said with reading on a Kindle.  With each page I read, I feel like I am accomplishing something and I never felt that way when reading a regular book.  Finally, I tend to read ahead and, as a result, I have removed the surprise and suspense from the ending of many books.  You can’t simply flip through the pages in a Kindle book without completely losing your place (or at least I haven’t figured out how yet) and so I might actually be surprised by the ending for a change!   

In sum:  my first impression of reading on a Kindle is a positive one.  And my first impression of Chasing Harry Winston is pretty positive as well! 

What about you?  Are you Team Kindle, Team print book or a little bit of both like me?




  1. Jeff Salter on March 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I’m very much Team Print. I spent nearly 30 years in the library profession partly because I loved books. Of course, during that time, library holdings transmorgrified into many other media, so the profession I left was quite different from the one I entered.
    Anyway, since early childhood, I’ve loved books — monographs — printed pages bound together. No batteries, no cords, no enrollment fees.
    Book — simplicity itself.
    I’m sure I’ll break down and get a Kindle eventually. But they’ll have to pry the books from my cold dead fingers.

  2. Meredith on March 30, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Hi Jeff – I will always love “real” books too. And the e-book will never truly replace the print book for me either. I can’t imagine reading a ‘classic’ on an e-device. Additionally, I will always buy print books written by my favorite authors. But I like the idea of using the Kindle for those books I’m not sure I’ll really like – they are usually cheaper and don’t take up as much space in my 500 square foot apartment!

    Thanks for stopping by, Jeff.


  3. Linda on March 31, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Hi, Meredith,
    I’ve had my Kindle since Christmas and love it. I still read real books, too–lots of them. The Kindle is what I take when I go to get my hair done and have to wait 30 minutes for the color to process, or if I’m going to the doctor and know I have to wait, or if I’m on vacation and don’t want to haul multiple books along. Especially with the lighted cover I bought for it from Amazon, I can truly read it anywhere. Long live Kindle AND books!


    P.S. It’s funny you wrote this post, because I bought “Just Friends with Benefits” for the Kindle about 10 days ago, and it’s the next one up on the list for me to read. I can’t wait to start it, probably this weekend.

  4. Meredith on March 31, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Linda,

    I agree with you about the convenience of the Kindle – I discovered that it’s much easier to use on the stair climber at the gym than a paperback too – easier to turn the page! But I will never, ever stop buying regular books – especially from my favorite authors.

    Happy to hear you bought “Just Friends With Benefits” – I hope you like it!

    Thanks for commenting 🙂


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