So, I was gifted a Kindle for my birthday. In accordance with the preference I had expressed, it was the cheapest new Kindle, the one with no touch screen, no 3G, and displays ads when it is idle or in standby mode. I am very excited. And yet, I’m also a little annoyed. Not at the Kindle itself, but the situation I find myself in.
You see, I have a bookshelf, and it is full of books. Understandable, since I do read books. In fact we have a bunch of those. But this particular shelf is full of books I have yet to read. Easily 30 of them, possibly as many as 40 or even 50. Books I’ve been given as gifts for birthdays and Christmas, books I picked up on sale, books I bought at the closings of a couple of Borders locations. I have all these books to read and none of them are on my Kindle.
To make matters worse, I happen to be in the middle of reading George R.R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons, a giant brick of a book that is uncomfortable to read in nearly any position. I’d love to have it on my shiny new Kindle, but the publisher blocks lending, so I can’t even get someone with an eBook copy of it to let me borrow it. (First world problems!)
I suppose, if I were inclined, I could dip into some of the shadier parts of the Internet and find eBook copies of them, placating myself with the justification that I’ve already bought the books. I’d prefer to find some place willing to take my books in trade, maybe for a small fee, and give me eBook copies in return. I don’t know if that exists. If it does, I haven’t been able to find it.
I imagine most people have this problem when they first get a Kindle or other eReader, this lag between reading books and reading on the device. At least it is a problem that should solve itself in time. Until then, I’ve been loading up my reader with the best free books around (perfect for Halloween are Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and even Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), and I’m heading over to the library to get a card since Kindle supports library lending now.
There will probably be times when I miss books, and no doubt on occasion I will still buy them, especially when authors and signatures are involved, but I am glad to be finally diving into the future.