Late to the Kindle party but having a blast

Confession: I’m a slow adopter of leisure-oriented technology. Just check out the size of this speaker to my 20-year-old stereo.

This speaker is taller than our entertainment center, but not in a good way.

I blame my slow adoption tendency on two things:

  1. I want an obvious distinction between work and play. After more than 15 years writing in the high-tech industry, where I used a computer with four different wireless technologies before the average Joe on the street owned a cell phone, I wanted to power it all off when I left my cubicle or home office. When you spend your days documenting the latest and greatest hardware and software, you reach a saturation point. At least I did. And while my current writing work-load is more diverse these days, I’ve kept my low-tech leisure stance. Yes, I have all the high-tech tools and toys you’d expect for a technical writer, but it’s for work, not play.
  2. I’m a frugal cheap shopper. I’d rather spend discretionary income on experiences than things. My kids, for example, don’t have the PS-whatever-number-it’s-on, but they’ve vacationed in Mexico, Canada and most of the western United States. We’ve gone hiking, camping, zip-lining, white-water rafting, and snorkeling to name just a few excursions. And we’ve made many memories with a backdrop of amazing views. I think this beats the view they’d get on any plug-in screen.

Can you believe the campground here was almost empty?

But though I like my leisure low-tech, I’m not hiding off-the-grid. I do adopt eventually. This month I used some Christmas gift money and adopted a Kindle. I named her Beth.

She may lack a little color, but Beth is a babe.

As an avid reader I use my library card on a regular basis. Heck, I think I should have my own parking space at the library. I also frequent bookstores when I’m not feeling frugal cheap and I have the bookshelves to prove it. But over the last year I kept reading reviews and meeting authors of electronic indie books. I got curious. I wanted to read a few.

Since I’m frugal cheap, I ordered the most inexpensive Kindle. She arrived last week. Wow! For the first time I wish I’d adopted earlier. Beth wouldn’t get any catcalls if she walked down the street but she’s sure something to look at. Within minutes I loaded her up with three indie books and was reading away. A few days later I browsed the Kindle store and packed Beth’s arms full of classic literature, poetry and a few more indie books. It’s clear I’m going to need a bigger book-buying budget.

And I’m already envisioning taking Beth on our next family vacation adventure. Unlike last summer’s two-week Canadian camping trip, I won’t come back with library late fees. I also won’t be limited to three books by space restrictions. I can take as many as I like because Beth doesn’t gain an ounce, no matter how many books I make her carry.

Beth looks so slim and elegant on my stack of books.

This unimpressed, tech-jaded writer just got a technology crush. Scratch that. I think I’m in love.

Have you adopted a Kindle? If so, what’s your favorite e-book?
Do you prefer spending money on things or experiences?
Do you have a technology crush?



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  • I have a kindle, but I will admit my primary reading is still on a physical book and will probably remain that way for quite some time. Although kindle’s really make travelling a breeze in comparison.

    • I expect I’ll always read traditional books too, in part because it’s a tactile experience. Also, as a frugal reader, my budget can’t keep up with my reading habits so I’ll continue to need the library.

  • I got a Kindle last year (I am also cheap/frugal! I used gift card money from work). I was mostly afraid I wouldn’t like the feel of the Kindle vs. holding a real-live book. I got over it. I love being able to carry lots of books all at the same time. Also, our local library now has an e-loan option. The selection is limited but I’m guessing it will grow.

    • I agree Kitty. I was especially concerned that after looking at a computer screen all day for work I wouldn’t want to look at a little one for pleasure. The Kindle screen technology is much easier on the eyes than I expected. I need to check out my library’s e-book options.

  • Jen

    I don’t have a Kindle, but my husband does and he has let me use it. I prefer traditional books, but the Kindle was awesome when I went to Florida. I didn’t have to choose between carrying the weight of extra books or going without. It was super convenient. I don’t have much of a book-buying budget, however, so I will continue to frequent the library instead of getting a Kindle of my own. Husband loves his. Enjoy yours!

  • Just got a Kindle for Christmas, and looking forward to taking it on my next trip. And reading in bed just got a whole lot easier. No more 5 pound Stephen King novels threatening to crush me if I fall asleep.

    • You made me laugh, Marsha. The big book in the stack of books is a Stephen King novel.