Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kindle is the DEVIL! ... or not.

Ok people.

I have a Kindle 3.  And I love it, I buy books on it all the time and I love to read from it.  Heck, I use it as my laptop because my real laptop died, so if I want to get on the internet quickly I use the Kindle.  I use my Kindle every day. 

So.  My beef?  Why people tell me that having a Kindle (or any e-reader) makes me a bad person. 

“Oh no!” they cry. “you’re not supporting the book industry!  You’re not helping out freelance authors! The books will DIE because of your Kindle!!!”  On and on I hear it!

So I ask.  Did music die because of MP3's?  No.  Because of MP3's I am able to listen to more music which means I buy more music than I used to.  I never ever would have found April Smith and the Great Picture Show, Andrew Bird or Neko Case if it wasn't for my beloved nearly 7 year old iPod that I hooked up to my 10 year old Powerbook. I bought those CDs new, by the way.

What about books, you ask?  Well I was a pretty darn serious reader before but now I read even more.  I can read multiple books, I usually have one or two queued up on my Kindle and a paper book to read at the same time.  I used to buy a book or two every month and try to savor it like Charlie's Willy Wonka chocolate bar and have it last all month and go back to my old standards until I could make it to a bookstore. 

Now I buy a book almost every week in some form of media and most of the time those are new ebooks or new paperbacks. I'm eating up books like I was at an endless buffet.  Nom nom nom!

I used to buy used books which didn't do anything to help the publishers or writers. The used book industry will last forever as long as there's ebay and amazon.  Do people scream foul at the amazon sellers who sell hundreds of used books for a penny and don't contribute anything to the publishers or authors?  Do publishers cry foul at the local used book store that don't give a cent to the book industry? No.

And what's that you say?  I still buy paper books?  Gasp!  You mean I have a Kindle and I still buy paper books?  Oh yes I do.  Couple of reasons.  I still love reading a good paper book, nothing will ever replace that feeling and I have a few ones I‘d never replace.  If I have a series in paperback and want the rest to match.  Detailed maps are better on paperbacks.  I have authors that I love so much (Brent Weeks's Dark Prism for example) that I have bought the book in hardcover (gasp! I hardly ever do this!) and loved the book so much I had to have it on my Kindle so I got both versions.  Double dipping into the publishing industry, go me! Or I find them on super sale at Walmart, yes I buy my books at Walmart because sometimes they're cheaper there and I'm not an endless fountain of money here! I shop smart, if it's cheaper in print then by golly I'm gonna save my money and buy it at the store.  And lastly, some books I just don't want showing up on my recommended lists.  Sometimes you buy a book and you don't want to see your recommendations suddenly turn to sparkly vampires.

So here I am with my fabulous Kindle, which gets on the internet and about a foot away is a print book.  Do I support the book business?  OH HECK YES!!!

Now to the second part of this article about the evils of a Kindle, which I admit I glanced at. The last part was about the environment.  How the Kindle is ruining the environment because we all just throw them away when the new one comes out and it ends up in some Chinese landfill.  Sob!

Well.  I can tell you my Kindle ain't gonna just be upgraded because I'm a silly girl and I like pretty shiny things for two seconds until the next one comes out and then it's oooooh! New shiny!  Just toss the old in a dumpster out back! Wheee!

I will repeat what I said earlier.  I used a 10 year old lappy (until it broke beyond repair, sob!).  I use my 7 year old iPod.  My car is from 1996.  I still have and use my second cell phone from four years ago (as an alarm clock, not as cell phone anymore). I don't throw electronics in a dumpster. I don’t know of anyone that does.  I'm not an idiot, so stop assuming all  consumers are stupid dingbats that have the attention span of a two year old.  If I want to get rid of something I either try to sell it to a used store, donate it, or keep it around till I can recycle it.

Also.  I don't have the money to just toss stuff away.  Sorry companies, I use old stuff because I'm not going to buy a new iPod when the one I have works and, oh, that's right, I don't wipe my arse with money!  I'm trying to get out of debt, not into it again!  I'm a smart consumer, I spent a few months researching my Kindle purchase and waited until I was absolutely sure, I tested the Kindle at Best Buy, stood in line to try a Nook at Barnes and Noble, and read every stinkin’ review I could find before I made my $150 purchase. 

I don't fling money around like it grew on trees.  I'm probably going to have my Kindle until it dies, and even then I'll treat it like my lappy and try to get anyone to please, please fix my 10 year old Kindle for free. (My lappy has a bad DC/IN switch, something that can be fixed so I'm just gonna keep it around till I can find someone to fix it so I can keep puttering on it for another 10 years, really!)

And the very last reason I got a Kindle and it is one most people argue about.  I'd not be supporting the local bookstore if I got a Kindle, right?  Those poor bookstores will lose my business, those local bookstores that sell local books and local, local, local.

Oh wait.

The only new bookstore we have is a Barnes and Noble. And Walmart. That's it.  I live in a small town.

Oh watch me gasp in horror because I don't give them my business!

Gosh I feel so bad for not going to Barnes and Noble, insert sarcasm. I hate going there.  People paint this glorious picture of the book store.  They're full of serious readers pouring over novels in big oversized chairs.  Full of honest working kids doing homework at the coffee shop inside the bookstore, being all nice and quiet. It's a utopia for book readers!  Full of all the books you ever want!  Right?


Ours is a dirty Barnes and Noble, full of loud teenagers who take over the entire aisle and glare at you because you don't like sparkly vampires, whining kids and soccer mom's who shove their way through people as if it were a race.  I could go there, but I don't like it. The coffee shop smells like burned coffee, there are no comfie chairs anywhere in the store, and the people are pretty terrible to be around.  Oh.  And they never have the book I want in stock.

My last remark on this long rant of mine.  You want me to buy an e-book and have it help the local book industry?  Make e-book cards like they do with video game downloads at GameStop. If I could go into a bookstore and see a book and see next to it an e-book card for that book  I'd be likely to get the e-book at the store itself.  How many times do I not have my Kindle at the B&N or Walmart and go "I really want that book" and forget about it by the time I get home?  This happens so often I take pictures of books on my cell so I can download a sample of them at home.  The store might not get the biggest cut off e-book cards, but at least they'd get something.  It worked for video games, movies and music, now apply that logic to books! 
Technology isn't going to go away, grow with it instead of shunning it or sticking it in a closet and expecting it to go away.

/end rant

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