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Thread: Do you use a Kindle / Kindle vs. Physical Book

  1. #1
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    Do you use a Kindle / Kindle vs. Physical Book

    Apologize if this has already been discussed, but I did a quick search and it didn't seem like it had been, at least not recently.

    Do you use a Kindle? I got one as a gift a few years ago but don't ever use it. I just love the way real, paper books look, feel, and smell, the size of them, the different fonts, the type of paper, the way chapters or sections are denoted/separated, etc. A friend of mine is a "book designer" for a publisher and makes all these types of decisions about the books they publish. I think of it as a type of art. I love it when: sometimes at the back of a book, it has a little note about the typeface; the size of a book is a little smaller than usual and kind of thick; the edges of the pages are kind of rough-cut (although it doesn't seem like this is done anymore now); someone before you has written something in the book that you unexpectedly discover, or left their grocery list in it when they returned it to the library. I used to love when library books had little physical cards in a little pocket where you would sign it out and you could look at the card and see who read the book before you or how long it had been since anyone else took it out. My library has since gone all electronic and so you don't see any of this anymore (although, I do appreciate the increased privacy in that, even though it was sometimes kind of fun to see who else has read a book, I don't necessarily want other people knowing what books I read).

    As far as I can tell, none of this carries over into Kindle at all. I don't know if maybe I don't understand its full functionality or my particular Kindle is outdated, but it doesn't even seem capable of producing more than one font. It seems to eliminate all the artistic elements of the book and turn it into a text-only experience. I also find it very difficult to navigate to the book, like say if I wanted to look in the Table of Contents and then go back to where I was.

    Do you share the love of a "real" book? If you love your Kindle, what do you love about it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I don't think it's an either/or for me. I also love the feel of a "real" book, and even the physical act of turning the page is a real pleasure. But I find that there is definitely a place for my Kindle e-reading. I travel a lot, so rather than having to stock up on 3 books in my computer bag, like I used to, I have them ALL stored in one little device. My DH likes the fact that it's much lighter to read in bed at night, no heavy book to prop up. If you're having a craving to read a particular book, you can download it in seconds. If you need the font to be bigger, you can do that. Kindle is eco-friendly and generates less clutter in your house.

    I'm reading most of my books on Kindle now, but if I find a book I REALLY love, I'll buy a used copy for my personal library, because one thing I've found about kindle is, "out of sight out of mind." Sometimes I forget I even HAVE a particular book, or I forget the name of it, because you don't see the "cover" every time you pick it up.

    You probably just need to get used to some of the functions you mentioned, like easily accessing the TOC. Navigating the books has gotten easier, actually, although I agree that that's a drawback of e-book vs paper book. It can change the font, by the way, but you are right, you do sacrifice art for convenience and accessibility. I'm sure the monks who did illuminations at the time of the invention of the printing press had the same complaint.
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    I'm probably 80/20 kindle/paper at this point. Like catherine, I like the Kindle's convenience, but I'll still buy the occasional keeper (or get one as a gift).

    I am no aesthete as far as the medium the words appear on for day-to-day reading, although I am a collector in a few categories. For the same reason, I never understood the music-on-vinyl cult.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I read most of my "books" on my PC, with the Kindle app. There are some aspects of physical books that are unquestionably superior--page numbers, for one, and the ability to skim or use an index, but I'm generally delighted with the e-book experience. I still buy books that have lots of pictures, instructions, etc., and those that I want to revisit time and again. I doubt that e-books will ever replace those--but I've been wrong before.

    What I like about the Kindle experience is the size, convenience, and portabiity of the medium, the library of self-selected books that I can carry around easily, and that I can check out books from the library day and night, at any time and have them "delivered." I like that I can increase font size if I need to, as well.

  5. #5
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    I much prefer the real book experience, and read most books that way, although I will read on my tablet Kindle app if traveling, or the only way to get a book I want to read quickly.

    I do like the "read a sample" feature on the Kindle app very much, and will preview books to see if I want to get the book.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    I'm probably a 75/25 Kindle/Library user. I check out library books when I'm looking for something specific or a new publication I don't want to wait until it's free or cheap on Amazon. I download cheap or free fiction to my Kindle. As a Prime member, there is an offer of free monthly downloads that are pretty good.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I have tried to read e books on my tablet or laptop and it just doesn't work for me. I understand the advantages of a Kindle over a regular tablet, but I just enjoy regular old book format. I typically buy books used off Amazon and they are typically cheaper than a kindle download. I have a few reader friends and we often pass books around among us.

  8. #8
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    I don't have one and don't think I'd like it. Picking up a book or magazine is a good rest for my eyes from the computer screen. I have macular degeneration among a few other eye problems and probably shouldn't be on a computer/phone screen as much as I am...especially at night I'm only 50 and already have night driving issues.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  9. #9
    Senior Member IshbelRobertson's Avatar
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    My husband bought me a Kindle as a gift a few years ago, which I ungraciously accepted as I had stated my preference for the look, feel, smell of real books. What galvanised me to use it was buying a hardback blockbuster novel, which was really heavy and that I couldn't hold comfortably due to arthritic hands.

    What a revelation! I have now had 3 different Kindles, the latest a Paperwhite. I love the fact that nowadays I Am able to use all my luggage allowance for clothes etc, rather than over half the content being books! I have always used a cover which gives me a feeling that I am opening a real book.

    You can change fonts and font size.

    Instill buy 'real' cookery, art and gardening books because of the quality of photography.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Yes, Kindle books can be expensive, but I almost never buy them at full price, or at all. If one comes up on my Bookbub recommendation list, it may be free or 99 cents. I buy a couple of books a week at those prices. Rarely, I jump on a 1.99 deal. For more costly reads, I order from my library web page. If they don't have an e-book in the catalog, I consider buying used from Amazon. Like Ishbel, I buy hard copies of books with lavish illustrations.

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