My first foray into ebooks is actually a pretty boring story.
Eight years ago, I had a $50 gift card to Best Buy and there wasn’t anything I particularly needed, but I was about to get on a flight for a two-week trip in Israel and I read a lot, so I bought a first-generation Kindle and figured I’d use it for traveling instead of carrying books.
I very much preferred physical books, but because I read about one book every day or two at the time, it made more sense to have a bunch of books available to me than to carry 8–10 books in my luggage.
I ended up falling in love with the convenience and now, so many years later, I still actively use my Kindle for most of my personal reading. I still love physical books, but I read more on my Kindle than anything else.
I have upgraded my Kindle a few times and am now on the Kindle Paperwhite, which is my fourth one.
None of the upgrades were for just “wanting the newest one” or anything — I’m just clumsy and have killed various Kindles over the years. Famously, Kindle #2 met its demise on the side of a frozen mountain in North Carolina when I was on a camping trip and slipped on ice while holding it.
Why do I still use it?
Honestly, the convenience was so great, and always having another book to read when I finished one really won me over at first.
I was already living in NYC by the time I got my first e-reader, so being able to have it to read one-handed on the train, always have more to read, and the fact that it fit in my purse really was awesome.
Before having a Kindle, if I finished a book at lunch I either had to run to the store and buy a new book or go without one for the commute home.
I basically always chose to buy a new one.
Reading is an expensive habit, man.
Years ago, I got the Kindle Unlimited membership. $10 a month for unlimited KU books on Amazon. While new releases and many contemporary books aren’t on KU, there are SO MANY books on it that it’s absolutely been worth it for me. I’ve also found new, lesser-known scifi writers I LOVE, like M.R. Forbes and B.V. Larson.
Then, over time, I got so used to it. I stopped walking to the big Brooklyn Public Library every couple of weeks hauling a backpack of books. I saved money from not buying new books all the time.
The ebook version of new releases was even cheaper than the paperbacks.
I got used to the nice weight of the Kindle and that I could read it outside.
When I broke Kindle #1 by accident, Amazon sent me a brand new replacement for FREE.
And I didn’t just get used to it — I genuinely love it.
To be fair, I have not tried other e-readers. I have friends who adore their Nook and other brands, I just happen to get a Kindle that day in Best Buy and then it was easier to keep getting Kindles and having all my books transfer into it when I registered my email.
I’m on the Paperwhite now. My husband gifted it to me 3 or 4 years ago for Hanukkah and I love it. It’s lightweight, the right size, has a backlight, and it fits into all my bags.
I know many avid and voracious readers who don’t agree with me and not only prefer physical books but seem scandalized by my love of my Kindle but hey, you do you and we can all love books together!
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