Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Crackling Ignition of Knowledge.

Do you remember when a book changed your life? That "a-ha!" moment when you realized reading was fun? I have distinct memories of dangling half on and half off our Brady Bunchesque couch, fervently devouring Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Upon finishing it I knew I'd be a book lover for the rest of my life.


A few years later I discovered Margaret Mitchell's love song to the south, the glorious Gone With the Wind. Please take me seriously when I express what this book means to me...it was like a whisper beckoning this soul to a home I'd never seen. Margaret Mitchell has always been one of my heroes--and of course, she's from Georgia, so 'nuff said.

Five years ago my dear friend, Suzanne, begged me to read three novels by an author of Christian fiction. Let me stress...I do not do Christian fiction. It's usually trite, poorly written, and frankly, rather boring. (I mean this in the lovingest way possible.) Suzanne knew that I read and enjoyed the works of Frank Peretti (one of my few Christian fiction exceptions to the rule!), so she convinced me to read Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion trilogy, beginning with A Voice in the Wind. I read it. I read all three in the series. In three days. Half a decade later and I'm still rereading these brilliantly written works. I. Love. Them.

By now we all know how I feel about this book, and its three sequels. And let me take a quick moment to throw love toward all you gals who have trusted me (and Heather, and Tiffany!) enough to give these books a go. I'd link all of your names here, but that would take forever. Just know that I adore all of you and I'm glad you're a part of my Twilight Love Fest! (Obsession, addiction, whatever...)
I love books, obviously. I'd rather read than watch television...unless Lost is on, of course. Reading in the tub is my favorite way to relax, but I'm usually found curled up in bed, surrounded by pillows, using my Itty Bitty Book Light so as not to disturb Scott's slumber. It makes me very happy.

So...here's where I'm going with all this...finally! Amazon's newest techno offering is the Kindle, an e-book reader for electronic books. I can't even begin to explain Kindle fully, so read Wikipedia's take on it here. It's not a cheap start-up system, but once you have the actual handheld device you are then enabled to upload e-books, which are cheaper than what's sold on the shelf in stores. In this age of laptops, iPods, Blackberries, PDAs and the like, Kindle is the new generation of indulging a book lover's passion.

It appears to be a very "me" type thing. Hundreds of books stored on one little device, at my disposal? A dream come true! Kindle, I must have you.

But...what if I dropped it in the bathtub bubbles? What if Kindle didn't feel warm and cozy while snuggling with me in my bed cocoon each night? What if I couldn't use my little custom-made name stamp in which I ink my identity into each novel I own?

Kindle...maybe we weren't meant to be. Or maybe I should give you a chance. Would you enhance my fervor for reading, or hinder it? Do I need yet another electronic doodad in my life? Will actual books go the way of the dinosaur? I shudder to think!

Many questions, yet no answers. Help me, y'all. Do any of you have an Amazon Kindle? How's it working out for ya? Please lead me in the direction of blessed assurance...I want to do the proper thing when it comes to making a decision. As of now, I'm utterly clueless.

Sigh...

I need to go read now...

42 comments:

JourneytoFamily said...

I don't think I could do the Kindle. I've read things on my iPhone and it's just not the same as having a book in your hand.

And, uh, Twilight changed my life. But then again... you already know that. ;)

Julie said...

I am curious to see what others say about it... it seems perfect for me living overseas, because it is nearly impossible to find good books... or new ones, like the ones you all keep talking about in Twilight... I might have to look into it.

I am reading the Mark of the Lion series now and on the third book. I LOVE THEM. I am amazed and impressed because I am not usually a fan of Christian writers, but she is excellent! My husband cannot wait for me to finish so that he can have me back... ha ha

KJ Schiffman said...

Gone With The Wind & The Mark of the Lion trilogy are in the top ten list of my all time favorite books. I've honestly read the Mark of the Lion set at least 4 times. I mean, that series takes my breath away each and every time. Remarkably written. Truly.

Our taste in books is eerily similiar! We're long lost Library Buddies.

Amy said...

I don't know about the kindle thing either, there's something about having the book, especially when you love it.
Judy Blume helped shape my childhood too. Love me some Judy.
Let us know.....

heathersister said...

I saw the Kindle about a month ago and knew I (and my Morgan) would love to have one. I sometimes will get two copies of a book, one to keep in my car to read while I am waiting for my kids to get out of school, and one to keep at home. Just the other day I was wishing I had one so I could take it with me where ever I go and never be without reading material. You should get one, then let us know how great it is and we can go get one!

Heather said...

I don't know. I love having books on the shelves. My dream is to have my very own library room, with all kinds of books for me and my kids and my grandkids to pour over and read and bond. I can understand the appeal, but I really like the written word in book form. Just trying to read Midnight Sun on the computer gave me a headache. So, not for me.

Apparently we are sisters of the book reading kind. I love every book you listed, and am actually listening to A Voice in the Wind on CD while I scrapbook. I forgot to ask you, are you liking the Outlander series, or have you started it yet?

We'll talk later. Have a great morning.

{i}Post said...

i LOVE to read also. Still don't know anything about the Twilight books (i know, i live in a dark cave), but i say NO to the kindle. i am a paper kind of gal when it comes to books. When i own the book, i like to write in it. i love the library and it's booky smell. If you get it, let me know what you think, but i just don't think i can go there.

Vicki said...

I wasn't a huge book reader growing up, but I do enjoy reading. We're instilling that love in our daughter by letting her read at night for as long as she wants. She usually falls asleep with the book on her chest or right beside her.

I've seen the Kindle on Amazon and it looks neat, but it wouldn't ever replace bound paper. Maybe it would be useful for long trips when it would be inconvenient to haul books along.

Live.Love.Eat said...

You could sell me on reading a book about how cement is poured. Your enthusiasm and eloquence is very persuasive. I LOVED Judy Blume and remembered it well. Somewhere in the middle of my life I stopped reading. Only here & there did I start & finish a book. I only just started up always having something in front of me. That's been another advantage of my new blogging experience. Just told hubby last night many of you have inspired to constantly read. A big heartfelt thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Live.Love.Eat said...

P.S. I am not a big techno person so I wouldn't be one to get excited about something like the Kindle. Maybe for times when books aren't convenient but it should never solely take the place of books. Sort of how I feel about photos. I don't think people should ever stop putting them in albums just because they're digitally stored. After all, you can't snuggle up on your sofa looking at your digital pics!

Vicki said...

Oh, I can't believe I haven't thought to mention him before, and you've probably heard of him, but you didn't mention him with Frank Peretti: Ted Dekker. GREAT paranormal/scifi Christian writer. My favorite of his is Blink, which is now called In the Blink of an Eye or something like that. The one he wrote with Frank Peretti, House, was a good one too, if a little freaky. And apparently it's going to be a movie this fall.

Lauren W said...

I don't have a Kindle. I've thought about getting one... but I really love books. I love the smell, the feel, the whole experience. I think Kindle would be awesome on a long trip or something where it just made more sense to have one compact library. I don't think that it could ever replace real books for me, though.

thotlady said...

I saw something similar at Borders recently. I think I could get into the Kindle.

I have been reading regulary since I was 14. I am never without a book. When I have finished one, I need to immediately get another. I get very uncomfortable without a book in the works. I take one with me everywhere, then I don't mind waiting as much, with a book in hand.

I will always have books, but the Kindle sounds ideal for certain situations, especially traveling. My one concern is the power source. I hate it when my cell battery dies and my laptop runs out of juice. Is this one more technical device where I have to worry about the battery life?

heidi said...

I think I'd rather just have a book in my hands.

Judy Blume rocks. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was another big one for me in my younger years. To Kill A Mockingbird. Cold Sassy Tree.

I'd recommend Christian Fiction but I think the two of us have vastly different reading tastes. LOL

Also in the deep dark cave about Twilight.

Britt said...

My mom suggested I read Margaret when I was 9 or 10. I still find myself chanting 'we must, we must' every now and then, and giggling madly to myself. Francine Rivers is amazing .. the only Christian fiction writer I usually read. Though I devoured Janet Oke as a kid. By the time I hit 12 I found her a bit .. corny? We watched Gone With The Wind when I was 14 for our Civil War studies .. I read the book when I was 16 and fell in love with Rhett. He would have totally stole my heart if Clark Gable didn't look so darn much like a younger version of my grandpa. Ick, ick, ick.

As for the Kindle .. I think it looks Ah-Mazing. But I know how much I love my books, with the way each one smells different, and feels different. I love the cover art (I pick most books out by it, actually) I love breaking them in. I even love falling asleep reading and waking up with them stuck to my cheek, or cuddled in my arm. Don't think it would be quite the same with the Kindle. And it would render my pink booklight Missy totally unneccessary. How sad! :o)

sassy stephanie said...

I dunno. I think unless you are a major traveler, it is a waste. I like the feel, the smell of the books. Plus, electronics always malfunction at some point and frustrate me to no end.

Side note: New Moon. I'm really depressed. I was a lil blue finishing Twilight, simply b/c it was over. I jumped right into NM wanting more more more. But b/c of all of the time spend with Sweetie's appointments and such, it has been a slow read. Not much time on my hands in the past few days to sit down with it. I am just not devouring it like I did Twilight. Sigh.

Side note No. 2: WTF? Do you sleep? I get to cracking "early" in the bloggy world and you have already visited everyone, like five times.

Mama Dawg said...

I don't think I could ever do Kindle.

I like the feel and smell of books too much.

The whole physicality of reading adds to the pleasure of the written word.

Can't do it. Sorry.

Ashley said...

Despite the look, feel, and smell of real books that other described, I just don't think I could get into reading long novels on a tiny screen. To me it is still easier to read from paper, more soothing to the eyes. I think I need to give myself a break from the computer screen and my blackberry. A real live book is a good way to do so. But I do see the convenience, ease, and eventual bargain of having a Kindle. To each her own!

Karen said...

Not sure if I'd be interested in getting one of those. I love the feeling of holding a book in my hands whle reading. I'm old-fashioned like that :-)

Rosemary Sutcliff was one of the writers that sparked my love of reading as a young girl. her books are now in reprint...YAAAAYY.

M.M. Kaye was another favourite. I was given 'The Far Pavilions' and 'Shadow Of The Moon' for Christmas one year. Loved them. In fact, I am currently rereading 'The Far Pavilions'

Insane Mama said...

DONT DO THE KINDLE! Oh, sorry I yelled at you... the kindle is not the same, I don't know from experience, but I'm just guessing. I love books, I love their worn out covers and coffee ring stains. I love how you can shove them under your pillows and they get all warm from your body heat.

Tori said...

I've looked at that Kindle thing on amazon numerous times, but I just don't think I'd like it. Especially after reading Midnight Sun on the computer..... my eyes were hurting so bad afterward. There's just something about the feel of the actual book that I love. I don't think I could give that up.

BTW.... did you know that Judy Blume has some adult books published? I read Summer Sisters a while back and really enjoyed it! It's a "beach" type read and is filled with not so nice language, but enjoyable none the less! :)

Me said...

Mine is on the way, but my very good friend Karen has hers and is having a deep love affair with it. She has been selling me on it for months (although right away I knew I wanted one).

I will comment again when I have mine, but this is what I know from Karen:

It's not a tiny screen, the screen is the size of a book page. The crisp clear electronic ink is easier to read than a paper page.

Not having the spine to deal with makes it much easier to curl up with in a relaxed position.

The idea of being able to reduce stacks of books down to one little device she can whip out of her tote on trains, at lunch, on vacation, waiting in the doctors office, in the passenger seat of the car, on an airplaine, etc etc etc was very attractive to her and has proven to greatly reduce what she lugs around (she is a big newspaper reader and her papers are waiting on her Kindle every morning before they hit the news stands - no more wet papers waiting on the porch or dead trees).

In Karen's case, her books were taking over her house. She is such an avid reader that she is on a library board. She really needed an intervention and her Kindle has greatly reduced the clutter (and again, saved trees).

She LOVES the word lookup feature. Right there when she is reading. No more "huh? ok I guess I will look into that word later".

The start up cost of the Kindle unit is kinda high, but for a book junkie like Karen, she is saving money in the long run with the cheaper Kindle versions.

Anywhere she is, she thinks of a book she wants, she just Wi-Fi's it to her Kindle, it is there in seconds. Usually she reads the free version they will send you first before she orders.

If you like to read when working out on a bike, stairmaster, elliptical, etc., the Kindle makes it possible. You just prop it on the stand and you're good to go.

I'm sure I will come back and give you some more once I have mine! I can't wait!

Me said...

... oh and it's not like reading your computer screen. It is electronic ink and there is no back light, you still need lighting to read. It is like reading a paper page, only easier on the eyes and more clear.

That point is hard to describe, but trust me - it is very very cool.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Pro - Nice for trees
Pro - Good for travel (espeically with airlines charging $1500 per pound of luggage)

Con - wiping out of entire book-mark industry.

Want THAT on your concious baby???

Mrs. S said...

I need to read that Judy Blume book but I loved Deenie (I'm not sure if that's the title...something like that). I need to read Gone with the Wind bc I adore the movie.

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE Francine Rivers!

Heather said...

Me has sold me on it. I saw it months ago and told PB I wanted one, but then I saw the price tag. Now, I don't care how much it costs...it sounds cool.

Kim said...

Another great Francine Rivers book is "Leota's Garden". It really is awesome and of course there is always her wonderful book, "Redeeming Love"!
As far as Kindle goes...I saw that the other day! Bill thinks it is a waste of money to buy books, so I can imagine his face when I asked for Kindle! Yeah right!

Brandy said...

Until now I had not heard of it, but I don't think I would like it. I really like holding the book, smelling the ink on the pages and being able to turn down a corner or two. And then keep them forever.

I love Judy Blume, but I've never read Gone With the Wind. I will based on your recommendation. As soon as I finish the four books I already have and read the books that True Blood are based on...

Pinky Roth said...

No, the Kindle thingy is not for me either. I like having a book in my hands to read.

Mom

Kat said...

I want one. I have a friend with one. They got it because they went to Japan for three weeks. And there was no way they could carry books for everyone in the family for that long.

I like the size and weight of it. And that it doesn't hurt your eyes. I would love to take my laptop outside so that I could work while the kids are playing - but the lighting doesn't work. HOWEVER, the Kindle would because of the lighting.

I like that it has wiki on it. And I think it will be uber cool when they figure out how to have it load graphics.

I will always love my books. But I want a kindle, too.

Ronnica said...

I remember loving Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret?!

I don't know, I'd love to give a Kindle a go. But I don't know how I'd feel. I wish I could give it a test drive, but no one I know has one. (Oh, and I can't afford it right now, anyway.)

CaraBee said...

I'm not sure what I think about the Kindle. It may just be my resistance to change, but for me reading is a multi-sensory experience, holding the book, turning the pages and the smell. I LOVE the smell of books. I get a little bit of a high when I walk into a bookstore, there is probably some chemical in the ink or binding or something. I just can't imagine holding a little electronic pad. Having said that, if someone GAVE it to me, *ahem* makers of Kindle, I would certainly give it a go.

Dawn said...

Are you there God, it's me Margaret started my love of books too!!!! Great post! I think the Kindle is a lot like my IPhone - you have to guard it with your life or risk dropping it and wasting your hard earned money! I'm almost scared to have it sometimes!!!

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

OK. This is getting creepy. Were we separated at birth or something? I also devoured every one of Judy Blume's books ... "we must, we must, we must increase our bust" ... remember that? Loved that book and all the others.

Then, "Gone with the Wind" ... one of my other favorites. There's just no one like Scarlett. I wish I was her.

HiHoOhio said...

Great Blog....I am so jealous you and Heather are meeting! I am her BLOG STALKING FRIEND here in Ohio! She is awesome!!!!

Gina said...

I. Read. Everything. Except Judy Blume which my mother banned when someone brought home "Dinky Hopper Shoots Smack."

Readers Digest. Check.

Smut magazines that someone else dropped off at the doctor's office. Check.

Cerial Boxes. Check.

Books my kids bring home from school. Double Check- must know what they are reading- Jesse and I just finished Animal Farm and had an interesting conversation about communism and how easy it is to become the thing you hate- go read it.

When I was a younger girl I loved all the Jeanette Oke books. I owned them all.

Now I wish I had more time to read.

I recently read A Thousand Splendid Suns and Created To Be His Help Meet. Very different and both very good.

Should you kindle? Maybe. But I doubt it will ever replace your beloved pages totally.

Kelly said...

I've read about Kindle also...sounded like a great idea until I read the pricetag...Oooh...a little steep for me. I borrow most of my books from the library so it wouldn't make sense to add a new expense. But I guess if you are a person that has to own the book, in the long run it would be the cheaper option...if Kindle catches on...

Kimberley said...

No, No, No!!!!!! There is nothing like the smell of fresh pages and the sight of ink! I know it is a novel idea, but having book lined shelves and something to hold in our hands is what literature is all about!

Just my thoughts.

Tiffany said...

I am torn. The idea is amazing. But I LOVE books. The physical book itself. I caress my signed copy of Twilight every night. I love the earmarked pages, worn with love.

Debbie said...

I haven't heard of Kindle until now...but I'm with everyone else, I like the physical feeling of a book in my hand..I like browsing the book store, the smell of the pages..the whole thing....I don't think I could do it. But if you do, let us know all about it. Does it come in pink?

High on Hairspray said...

My friend has a Kindle and he gave me the low down and even let me use it. I thought it was ok. I do like the idea of the convenience it offers. I love reading. I am a Twilight saga junkie.

Angie's Spot said...

I keep hearing all these great things about Kindle, but I just don't think it's for me. There's just nothing like the crack of a new book spine and the smell of unread pages. Being able to toss around that paperback at the pool or set your drink on it when a coaster is nowhere to be found. Yeah, don't think Kindle can fill those shoes. But good luck if you go that route. I would be interested in hearing from someone who's actually used it.

And my fave book of all time is Catcher in the Rye. Love it.