Sunday, January 02, 2011

Reading in the 21st Century

As an avid reader of books, I determinedly resisted the lure of the Kindle and its cousins, the electronic readers that have become so popular.

This Christmas morning, among my niece's array of gifts placed under the Christmas tree, there were a beautifully wrapped Kindle and a red leather case with my name on them. Since I never do much about gifts, I was pleasantly surprised. I decided to give the Kindle a try. I was amazed at how fast and easy it was to download a best-seller (John Grissom's The Confession). I like a good crime story once in a while, and this one had many twists and turns to keep me interested. I read it in no time and ordered another book. I'm now nearly finished with that one (Jonathan Franzen's Freedom). I wanted to know what all the excitement was on Oprah. The cost? $9.99 for the first, $12.99 for the second, nearly paid for by the $20 Amazon gift certificate I also received.

So there you have it: I'm hooked on the Kindle. That doesn't mean I'll give up all "real" books, but I'll certainly read more best sellers in addition to the self-published books I've emphasized for a long time. Most of those aren't in Kindle format unless they have amazing sales, as most don't. It's not worth the cost to offer my own books for Kindle publication; they'll never be best-sellers.

We seniors need to give new technology a chance; with a Kindle and a wi-fi connection, a whole world of reading is available, and you can make the type size as large as you like. Pages turn easily, and the device is easy to hold. It's another near-miracle of the modern world.