After a recent flight from New Orleans to Boston that involved five hours of flight time plus a three-hour layover, I became intrigued with the idea of purchasing an e-reader, such as a Kindle or Nook. How cool would it be to bring one little device with me and load it up with two or three dozen books at once? Plus, I could download a book at any time, anywhere there’s Wi-Fi. I spied dozens of my fellow travelers happily engaged in their light weight, portable e-readers, while I trudged from Terminal A to Terminal Z, dragging my over weighted carry-on bag which contained four novels and two magazines, in addition to the prerequisite bag of M&Ms and bottle of water.
Inspired, I called my own resident Kindle expert, my 12-year old nephew Josh. Josh got a Kindle for the holidays last December, in an attempt by his Mom to make him more interested in reading for pleasure. Apparently, it’s worked. So far, in addition to his normal school reading, he has found time to read four or five books. Josh said that he enjoys reading books on his Kindle more than a traditional book because the Kindle is smaller, light weight and easier to hold. He also enjoys checking his Google email and is planning on buying some music on iTunes. Shopping for books online with his Kindle is very easy and there are millions of choices.
In late January 2011, Amazon announced that digital books were outselling their traditional print counterparts for the first time ever, with an average of 115 Kindle editions being sold for every 100 paperback editions. According to Amazon, Kindle is their #1 bestseller and has the most 5-star reviews of any product on their website.
How could 16,430 people be wrong?
But I’m still not convinced. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child and I like the feel of a book in my hands. Also, I read rather quickly and it’s not unusual for me to finish a novel in less than three hours. So, for me, constantly purchasing books can get expensive. Instead, I prefer to browse in the library, borrow a good book from a friend or pick a couple up from the book swap in our cafeteria. Just this morning, I rescued six books from my neighbor’s recycling pile!
Do you like to read? Read anything good lately? Do you own an e-reader, such as a Kindle or Nook? What has your experience been? Do you think that e-readers will eventually replace printed books?
Originally published in May 2011, this is still one of my favorite blog posts that I have written. Since the original publication of this post, I have since purchased a Nook, but I still prefer a real book.