Several years back, when I was making the jump from fully paid employment to striking it out on my own as a blogger, my biggest worry was: Would I still be able to afford my books?
Sounds daft but when you go through one book in two nights, and can live without food but not reading material, it does get to be expensive. Choice between book and beauty products? Still books, I have to confess.
So, yes, books are of prime importance to me. And I don’t need Read a Book Day to get onto the bandwagon but it’s still a good time to dust that bookshelf and ruminate on some old friends.
Except that I don’t have much of a bookshelf nowadays, given that most of my books rest within the covers of my Kindle book reader (mine is the full bell-and-whistle Kindle Oasis and it’s worth every penny) and iPad. I know, I know… how can I call myself a book lover having forsaken the world of printed paper? By choosing a Kindle in the Kindle vs paperback debate?
(And this post is in no way sponsored by Amazon/Kindle. Nor by Apple/iPad. It’s all just me. Though if anyone wants to get in touch and give me free books, please go right ahead.)
My introduction to the Kindle book reader came via my brother, who bought me one from his first salary. His logic: Keeping you in books is an expensive treat, so I will just supply the framework instead.
And what a framework! While I still love the smell and feel of paper, the Kindle has so many advantages that there’s no going back. At least for me, where the Kindle vs paperback question is concerned:
1/ I now have a whole world of books ay my fingertips. Want to get a new book at 3 am? Easy. Need new reading material while travelling in the outer reaches of the Mexican desert? Done. Looking for something not available in your local bookshop? What’s the problem?
2/ And talking about travel… my luggage was constantly overflowing with reading material. Now, it’s all safely stored on my Kindle and iPad, leaving all that extra space for beauty buys!
3/ Paperbacks don’t come with built-in lights, eBooks do… which means there is no reading lamp shining in my husband’s eyes while he tries to sleep and I am trying to read. This may have just saved my marriage. Because given a choice between husband and books, I may still have chosen the latter. Tough luck.
4/ I simply love the fact that Amazon offers extensive sampling before you buy a book. While I love browsing a bookstore, it’s a little unwieldy hanging around in one to read 3-4 chapters of each and every book before buying. Still not sure? Returns are super-easy even after you’ve bought the title.
That said, I do all my fiction reading on the Kindle book reader and non-fiction on the iPad. I just find it easier to make and organize notes on the iPad. But a Kindle is definitely easier on the eyes, with its non-LED screen. No blue light disrupting my circadian rhythm and keeping me awake after the mandatory few hours of reading every single night.
Plus, there are all the free books that are part of the Kindle Unlimited plan, which has saved me a ton of money.
And as you can see, my “bookshelf” is crazy-varied. That’s because I will read just about anything. Ranging from the classics to chick-lit, thrillers and travel memoirs. I am not a fan of fantasy books though, whether of the sci-fi or the supernatural kind. Instead, my books should ideally create a setting that I can visualise being a part of myself.
Except for Harry Potter, of course. But that’s because I completely saw myself in Hermione!
Yes, I can see myself as the tangled young wife in Rebecca (do you realise that the book never gives you her name?), the rebel in Antigone and Gone With the Wind, Vivien Rocher in Chocolat and The Lollipop Shoes, and the reckless spender Becky Bloomwood in Shopaholic. I am truly a multifaceted personality, at least in my own imagination.
Currently reading? Just finished 56 days, a thriller by the incomparable Catherine Ryan Howard, and starting out on Harinder Sikka’s Calling Sehmat, which is about a young girl who enters Pakistan as a high-level government spy.
On the non-fiction front, am currently hooked to Rebecca Sullivan’s The Art of Herbs for Health. Her Sage and Lavender Kefir recipe is to die for!
What about you? What are you currently reading? And what’s your take on the Kindle vs paperback debate?