I used to be one of those people who never went anywhere without a book. In fact, my sophomore year in college, I was voted "Most Likely to Skip Class to Read a Book". They weren't wrong. I was a dance major my first two years of college and I can't tell you how much downtime of rehearsals was spent with me in a corner, practicing my splits with my nose in a book.
Even when I was a kid I always had a book with me. I read in the car, on the school bus, sometimes under my desk during a really boring math class. When I first got my driver's permit and started driving I didn't even know how to get to the places we went every week because I had always been reading in the car, never paying attention to how to get anywhere. For years I always made sure I carried a huge purse so that whatever book I was reading at the time would fit. Strangely, I've never been a big buyer of books. I'm fairly
frugal cheap, and I rarely re-read a book, so I've always been a big fan of the library. Every time I move somewhere new one of the first things I do is get a library card.
The first time I bought a Kindle was in 2010.
I had recently graduated from seminary with my Master's of Divinity, a three year program of grueling course work and boat loads of heavy academic reading. Truth be told after grad school I was a bit burned out on reading. I hoped that the easy access of a Kindle would get me back into reading for fun; unfortunately, the opposite happened. I just could not get into reading on an electronic device.
I think I struggled with it for several reasons. For one, my attention span is trained to read short things on a screen - articles, Facebook updates, emails, etc. It was hard for me to shift to reading something that required more effort and investment. Secondly, I never did figure out how to get library books on my Kindle at that time. Since I was too cheap to buy e-books, I relied on the ones that you could find for free, which can be hit or miss quality-wise. I never had any books I really wanted to read on my Kindle, so it mostly sat there. Third and finally, I was still in love with reading actual books. I still am to an extent - I love the feel of a book, the smell when you first crack it open, and, for the the rare book I do buy, I love taking notes and writing in the margins.
So the Kindle I purchased rarely got used, to the point that I lost track of it over the years. I thought I gave it to my mom, she thinks I gave it to someone else, and the truth is I have no idea where that thing ended up. I continued to struggle to get back to my love of reading, and when I got my first smart phone in 2012 it got even worse. Now I didn't need to keep a book with me so I would have entertainment always available, I had the whole internet at my fingertips! My love of reading faded to the background.
However, when we started getting ready to go on this trip around the world, I knew I wanted to try reading on a Kindle again.
There was no way I could bring any books with me, and with all the travel and downtime we would have I really wanted to make reading a priority in my life again. I mentioned this to Joel, and he said he would buy me a Kindle as a "just because" present. And so he did!
When it arrived I was shocked at how small and lightweight it is. I hardly wanted to touch it until we got a case for it, I was so afraid I would drop it or ruin it somehow. When my pretty rose gold case arrived I got my Kindle all snuggled in and set it aside to pack for the trip. It made the journey with me from Texas to Cyprus, and I didn't use it all. I didn't even touch it for our first six weeks in Cyprus! It wasn't until someone sent me an advance copy of a book to read and review - that I could only have an e-copy of - that I decided to figure out how to use the darn thing.
I downloaded the book and got it all set up so I could read it when we made our journey from Cyprus to Germany. And you guys, that is when I fell in love. We got stuck in a Berlin train station overnight, and the Kindle was there to keep me company (oh, and Joel was there, too). The battery lasted forever, it didn't require wi-fi or anything extra to use, and it was so easy to read! When we arrived in Germany I decided to figure out how to check out library books on my Kindle and now I am hooked.
In the last two months, since figuring out how to download library books to my Kindle, I have read nine books. I'm sad to say that I think that's more than I read in all of 2017! Granted, I have more time on my hands now, but also the Kindle makes it so darn easy! With access to e-books from my home library I have a world of free entertainment at my fingertips! It is incredible! I can only check out three books at a time, and I usually have it fully loaded. If the internet goes out (which it does all the time here) I don't have to worry, I already have hours and hours of reading that requires no wi-fi! It is just so darn amazing.
The app to manage the books on my Kindle is pretty great, too. I can manage the books I have on hold (max of 10) and it shows me approximately how long till one is available. I can create a wishlist of books that I want to read. I can even look back at everything that I have read! (Thus how I know I've read nine books). On the Kindle I will admit that I have taken advantage of some of the wi-fi enabled things - such as highlighting a word and being able to get a definition. It's not often I come across a word I don't know, but when I do, that's a nifty little trick.
Now that I am fully in love with my Kindle I think it is my absolute favorite travel accessory.
(So long the five I wrote about here). It goes everywhere with me, takes up so much less space than a real book and I can read so many different things! I cannot extol the virtues of my Kindle enough. If you are a reader of any kind, I highly recommend getting one. Even if you think you prefer real books (like I said I did for years!) give it a try! Get something on the Kindle you know you want to read, and I can almost guarantee you'll fall in love with it. Even if you do still end up preferring real books for the most part, the Kindle is indispensable for travel.
There are a lot of different versions of the Kindle available, and we did a lot of research before deciding on the one I got. We decided to forego the more expensive paperwhite, as that didn't seem to be a feature I needed, and I can't say I miss it. This is the one we purchased, it is the simplest version at $79.99, and it comes with ads (thus why it is cheaper than some versions) but they are not annoying at all. They don't interrupt reading, they are just on the screen when you open the Kindle, before you go into the book. Definitely worth saving some money. It comes with everything you need except a case; you will need a case, but you can find cheap ones online.
Once you get an account set up with your Kindle it is so easy to use! If you have a library card, just explore your local library website and you should be able to figure out how to check out books from there as well. Or you can purchase books straight from Amazon!
Do you already have a Kindle and love it? Do you have one languishing in drawer somewhere? Are you thinking about getting one? Let's chat!