How I love my Kindle

I got a Kindle for my birthday. It’s stunning that it’s taken me years to get one, because I’ve wanted one since they first came out. I flirted with the Nook, rubber-necked fellow commuters’ ipads, but it’s always been about the Kindle. My mom ordered it for me a couple weeks before my birthday, and Amazon promised it for early September. Oh, the wait was torturous. But it was worth it. It arrived days after Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom.

I’ve always loved reading. I used to dream of owning a bookstore/cafe (how behind the times that would be). Sadly, between a full-time job and two kids, the only possible opportunity to read is my one-hour-each-way commute. Occasionally I’d get really into a book, but then it would end up forgotten at my desk at work, or at home, and as anyone who has frequented a crowded subway car knows, flipping through a novel when your face is touching someone else’s armpit is kind of hard.

Months ago I downloaded the Kindle app for my iphone. That did solve the issue of lugging books around. But I had a hard time getting through anything more substantial than Charlaine Harris’s vampire novels. I thought maybe I was just too tired, my attention span corroded by Facebook and blogs and sleep deprivation. Maybe I was no longer a novel kinda person.

And then, the Kindle arrived. Super slim, light, easy to handle with one hand, and with a screen the size of your average paperback. It reads like a book. Real ink on virtual paper, easy on the eyes. The pages turn at the click of a finger, at either side of the screen. All the books that I had purchased for the iphone app automatically appeared once I set up the Kindle. Like magic, I am a reader again. I can’t wait to settle into my uncomfortable seat in the train to dig into a novel.

The downside, though you could also consider it a perk: the instant gratification. I can get the book I want to read (if it’s available for the Kindle, and most new books are) NOW. In seconds. I am tweaking the book budget as we speak. I am enjoying thinking about what I will download for our upcoming trip to Brazil. 10-hour flights, long airport waits. Lots of family to watch the kids at the beach… Books!

How about you? Have you gotten into electronic reading? Do you swear to turn nothing but paper pages forever? What are you reading these days, and in what format?