Do I Break up with my Books for a Kindle?

I’m having an internal fight with myself about whether I should buy a Kindle.  It’s been going on for some time now, even more so now I offer eBook formatting as a service.

I thought maybe by writing about my ongoing battle with this problem I will figure out whether I should buy one or not.

My love of books…

I used to have an addiction, I would buy books as soon as they were published by my favourite authors.  I would visit charity shops looking for bargains and come away with 3 or 4 books at a time.  When all my fellow book readers starting buying Kindles I couldn’t understand why they would want to give up the physical book, for me that’s the best part of reading, holding the book and getting lost in it.

So I didn’t follow the Kindle crowd, I kept collecting my books and filling up my bookcase.  It soon became apparent that I had far too many books and I would never get round to reading them all.

Before I moved to France back in October I had a bit of a clear out and gave away probably a third of my books.  I don’t tend to keep many books after I have read them, I either give them away to friends or family or put them on a website called Bookmooch.  So my bookcase only contains books I haven’t read, and I have a lot of unread books.

I don’t need a Kindle…

  • I have the Kindle app on my iPhone, any eBooks I download I can read on there (I have about 6 eBooks on there I haven’t got round to reading yet though!)
  • I have a full bookcase of real books that I haven’t read yet…
  • I don’t have much time to read these days, so a Kindle would sit idle most of the time.
  • I’m not keen on reading for long periods of time on a screen – although maybe it’s not the same with a Kindle?!
  • Do I need another electronic device in the house?

I want a Kindle…

  • The new Kindle looks great and the price is reasonable.
  • eBooks cost less than real books and there are a lot of free ones I could download.
  • There are some snazzy covers for the Kindle, and I do like colourful accessories for my gadgets!
  • I could test my formatting on my own Kindle instead of using the Kindle Previewer software I have on my laptop… that way getting the real experience.

You see my problem?

I would be interested to hear your reasons for and against having a Kindle or e-reader, you might just convince me it’s a good idea, or then again I might just stick with my real books and keep the eBook world within working hours while I’m formatting them for clients.

In the meantime, if you’re still interested in real books and you’d like a free one, check out my Social Media Book Giveaway, it’s very easy to enter!


  1. If you want a Kindle get a Kindle. Why do humans all fall into the same ruts? lol

    Maybe it is just a part of being human…

    I grew up loving books. Not being overly romantic about them or anything. I just like a good story. Never the less it felt like a big deal as well as one or the other to get a Kindle.

    Sorry but one thing to rule them all does not actually work out as well as Steve Jobs might have hoped it would.

    I took the plunge and found games. Woo Hoo. They are what held my attention the most. I have no budget for books and am not a novel hog anyway. I have bought almost nothing. I mostly download books that are free. I rarely read them.

    Sometimes I am getting a classic or book I have already read. When I do read a book on it that I love then what I really want to do is get an actual bound book in my hand. Online highlighting and sharing is just not something I have warmed up to.

    I do not know who I know that owns a Kindle so I don’t feel like I can just share. Having a Kindle is fun. It did not change my life like I might have imagined. I have no real regrets but now I kinda want to trade it for a Fire.

    • Thanks for your comment… The Fire looks great, so I would have to go with that if I were to buy one! I’m still undecided but more leaning towards not getting one at the moment. :)

  2. I think I have mentioned this before to you Jo.

    But I was only thinking in bed last night reading from my Kindle, that I would never like to be without it.
    It is easier to use in bed than a book, I can take it away with me on business and holidays without have to back a few books.
    Yes the books are cheaper and I will still purchase the odd special paperback or hardback.
    The books that I am waiting to read are not gathering dust on a bookshelf.
    The Kindle saves the page where you have read to, just close the cover, you do not even have to switch it off and the charge lasts ages.

    It is far easier using a Kindle than the version for a PC. It takes up as much room as just one book!

  3. I was much like you. I resisted. What finally converted me was the idea that I could “listen” to the books I got even if they weren’t audio books. Now I listen in my car, while working out, while grocery shopping, etc… I still love the feel of a real book though. But also glad not to have to carry around some of those huge sagas!

    • I didn’t know you could listen to them Nicole, that might convert me too… I was just thinking the other day the number of books I could get through while working if I listened to them instead of listening to the radio. Hmmm something to think about!

  4. I was also an e-reader sceptic, in fact I was with Giles from Buffy when he was talking about computers:

    Jenny Calendar: Honestly, what is it about them that bothers you so much?
    Giles: The smell.
    Jenny Calendar: Computers don’t smell, Rupert.
    Giles: I know. Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a – it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It’s-it’s there and then it’s gone. If it’s to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly.

    So I resisted along long time. But eventually I got a Kindle because I knew I would be producing e-books to get my main arguments for business change out to as wide an audience as possible as quickly as possible… and I love it!

    The Kindle is the nearest thing to a real book you can get (especially if you get a leather binder): there’s no flicker (like on an iphone or ipad etc) which is great for my wrecked eyes (long story), its fully searchable, you can make notes (including voice annotations) and email back and forth to your word processor, it has a browser and MP3, it reads none audio books and plays audio books of course. And, major advantage over the iPAD (except for the price being a quarter of an ipad) is that you can read it in sunlight.

    So, I would get a Kindle- but get the 3G one, the wireless one is great but only if you can get into wifi areas. With 3G (and you never pay for using it, or have a contract etc, its included in the purchase price of a kindle for life) you can hook up anywhere.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Go and buy one! I love reading and have loads of books, but with that comes a loss of space if you store them at home. I bought a Kindle a year or so ago and regret not having bought it sooner. It’s not the same as holding a real book and that took a little getting used to (buying a cover for it helps a little), but after a while it becomes 2nd nature. I’ve saved a lot of money buying books for the Kindle rather than the ‘real’ ones, plus the cover has a light on it so I can read at night without having to put the main light on and keep the missus awake!

    If you don’t read very often, maybe only on holiday, the Kindle isn’t really worth the investment. But if you read a lot it’s a great money and space saver

    • Thanks Rob, I would like to read more but just don’t get the time… I used to read all my books on the commute to and fro work but as I don’t have that now my reading time has vanished! I like the idea of the night light thing, another good reason to get one… :)

  6. I don’t have a Kindle and have no desire for one really. I read quite a few books, but (except for gifts) they generally come from our local library – which is brilliant. So, if you tend only to read books once, why go to the expense of buying them AND why then go to the added expense of buying something that lets you read them?

    Of course, if you live in France and want English books that might pose a problem. If I were in your shoes I would buy a Kindle :)

    • Yes the library might be a problem Martin… :) I get a lot of books from Bookmooch and when I was in the UK ReadItSwapIt where I could swap a lot of books. I don’t tend to buy a lot, unless they’re from an author I really love.

      I like your closing comment, “If I were in your shoes I would buy a Kindle :)” – lol!

  7. Jo I was the same and then I decided to bite the bullet after falling in love with the kindle app on my Samsung. I went to buy one but when I saw one against all the other tablets I decided to go for an iPad and continue using the app. If you have the money I recommend spending more for a tablet than go do more, although I believe the Fire will be cool. As you format eBooks you could write it off as a business expense you know so go have a look in the flesh. I love my kindle app I can read with the lights out, use the case so I can read hands free and have instant access to books even at 3am. I still buy the odd chairing shop book but never get round to reading them as I can’t do it with the lights out!

    • Unfortunately the regime I am in for my business in France means I can’t claim against business expenses… I don’t pay tax for 2 years but I have to pay 21.3% of all income for social security. I really don’t fancy an iPad though, not with having an iPhone already… :)

  8. mark woods says:

    I was like you Jo ~ undecided. Then I took the plunge and now just love it ~ I have a massive TBR that I can’t see but have only bought about 5 books, the rest I downloaded for free. Your biggest argument is that you would not use it a lot/ get time to read. I do not like reading from a screen (i.e: from laptop/computer) for long periods but the electronic ink on kindle makes it so convincing you are reading a book that you quickly forget ~ I have even tried turning pages when I am tired before reamembering I am on Kindle! If you can afford it, then it is worth considering as a little treat/ luxury item for yourself and like u say, it would come in useful too for your work so there is that side. Essentially you are in the same boat I was or at least very similar: no one can make the decision for you ~ you either need to poo or get off the pot so to speak, the fence is always an uncomfortable place to sit for too long I find! lol Sparky

  9. I was someone who resisted Kindle for quite a while. I didn’t think I could justify a Kindle when I have so many books and could pick up books in the UK in charity shops cheaply. That along with Bookmooch kept me in books.
    However, there came a time when I found holding a book really painful and the Kindle being so much lighter and not needing 2 hands seemed like a good plan.
    I now love it, and find it really easy on my eyes, even out in bright sunlight. I’m not sure, but many of the other e-readers don’t have the same anti-glare screen the Kindle has, so I certainly wouldn’t be considering one of them.
    I am going to be travelling to the UK twice in the next 5 weeks and then another holiday in June. I don’t have to make sure I have enough reading material if I take my Kindle. It will not weigh much in hand luggage on RyanAir and I can carry as many books on it as I will need.
    I think it makes sense for you to have one, since you’re formatting books for Kindle all the time. You’re going to have to bite the bullet and accept that your books will not get read with the time you now have available. At least the Kindle one’s you can listen to whilst you’re working.

  10. I love reading. I love print books–the way they smell, the way paper feels, the fact that I can safely read them in the bathtub (lol)…

    That said, I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I adore it. It just rocks. Reading books on it’s screen is very different from my computer screen. I’d definitely suggest stopping by Office Max, Walmart, where ever locally carries them so you can look at the screen and get a better idea of what it’s like to read on it. My eyes don’t tire quickly like computer screen reading. I also love that I can watch movies (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu), surf the web, check my email, and keep my calendar handy, as well as many other things… I did get a flip style cover for mine, in bright pink, so it feels like I’m holding a book. :)

    • The Kindle Fire sounds great, maybe if I come across one I’ll take a look at it but being in the depths of the French countryside we don’t tend to have that many shops which would stock something like that. Maybe I’ll have to wait until I’m back in the UK for a holiday! :)

  11. Hi Jo!

    I was having the same dilema as you a while back. I have always loved the concept of ebooks, and waited a good 10 years before they truly caught on and exploded in popularity. Reading on a computer screen is never fun, and it took the creation of the Kindle and other devices (Nook, Kobo etc.) to finally resonate with consumers before it truly caught on.

    I received a NookColor for Christmas two years ago and this started my love affair with ebooks. But it was’t until I got my iPad 2 (about 4 months later) that it really took off. The 10″ screen is just so much more enjoyable and I can do anything with my iPad! I purchased the iPad as a reward for landing a nice contract to do a feasibility study. It was worth every penny and is by far my favorite and most used device.

    I now have an growing ebook library on my Kindle App and the best part? I use the Nook App also, and all my Nookbooks and magazine subscriptions are synced as well. It is the best of both — or many many worlds as it would be (I also have the Kobo App and a few books there).

    While the Kindle and other ebook readers are great, if you can afford one, the iPad provides not only a great reading experience, but so many other uses as well.

    Let me know what you decide! Cheers.

    • Hey Nevin,

      Thanks for your comments… I decided to stick with the Kindle app on my iPhone – I am so used to reading on it that I thought it was a waste of money to buy myself another gadget which will end up gathering dust. I still have piles of paperbacks to get through, so at the moment I am only downloading free eBooks onto my Kindle app which I can read when I’m in the car or out and about! :)

  12. Hi Jo:

    OK, so I know you decided….but I just had to write my comment

    About two years ago I bought a Sony eReader and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I also don’t have too much time to read and rely mostly on audio-books, but the device is so light-weight that I can carry it on my purse wherever I go (I used to carry real books before) and read whenever I have a chance. Actually you’ll find more chances to read once the device is near you! I’m not sold on back-lit screens like the ones on the Fire or iPads, but e-ink is awesome, and with no glare on the screen you forget it’s not paper and get lost in the story!

    This week I finally gave in and bought a Kindle Fire AND a Kindle Touch. I also do e-book formatting and most of my clients publish on Amazon, the same goes for most Indie authors, I know I can buy a book and it will go to the Kindle Cloud on my computer, but I really dislike reading from my laptop. The other reason is testing! I need to see how the files look before sending them to my customer and I have one client who wants animations (hence the Fire).

    And a more subjective reason….me likes electronic gadgets…and shiny things!

    • Thanks for your comment Ellie… I can see why you have bought them, but I decided that using my iPhone Kindle app to check formatting is just as good, plus I use Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions to check ePub versions. I think since starting my business I haven’t read nearly as much as I’d like, hopefully I’ll be able to get some reading in soon! :)

  13. Hi Jo I loved paperbacks but after having the kindle app on my iPad I have come over to the darl side. I love it. It’s stupid but I lovethe page marker. I can never find a book mark lol to use when I need it. Plus all the free books delivered in a second and ebooks are so much cheaper usually. I am a devotee of the kindle/ app. Good luck choosing.

    • I am still in limbo, I don’t think I could ever get rid of paperbacks and soley read eBooks… but I find eBooks are very handy for quick reads and things I want to come back to at a later date without hunting round for a bookmark! :)

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