Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Just Bought the Same Book Twice

OK, for the second time, I just bought the same book twice. That's a bit abstract but true.

Grace bought me a Kindle 2 for my birthday. Yeah! Being in the publishing business, I have seen more blog posts on the shape, size, function and philosophical meaning of the Kindle and Kindle 2, so I think that ground has been covered quite well. So let this be a blog post for the people not in publishing that read this blog (I believe that number ranges in the area of a half dozen readers, give or take a few).

To put it simply, I like it. And yes, it is a game changer. I have been reading books with Ereader and Stanza on my iphone, which works, but only because of the convenience. But the Kindle 2 has been enjoyable - for the three days I have owned it. I find it is closer to a 'real' book and I have been reading it in the exact same scenarios - sitting in my Dad chair by the fire in the evening with my girls on all sides, or propped up on my bed.

And here is how I can tell I am enjoying it: I paid money, twice, to buy the ebook on the Kindle 2 for a book I already owned in hand.

OK, the first time was an experiment. I was reading Scott Turow's Ordinary Heroes in an old, tattered mass market paperback which I pulled off a book swap shelf in the British Virgin Islands. When the Kindle 2 arrived I just had to buy the ebook edition to try it out. So I did, and spent 7 bucks for it. It was worth it.

The second time - at 6:00am this morning - was not an experiment but instead was a bonafide consumer purchase. After finishing Ordinary Heroes, I was moving on to my next book - from popular fiction to popular non-fiction - and picked up Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything". I love reading Bill Bryson as he has a quick wit that I find essential at certain times of my reading career. This book is a layman's guide to all things science, starting with the Big Bang, and I figured Bill Bryson was just the right guy to steer me through a dense set of topics.

I received this book from Grace as a gift, which she bought in Borders a few weeks ago as a trade paperback. Surprisingly, I actually found it quite cumbersome to read after reading Turow on the Kindle. It kept flopping over like it was made of paper! So, sitting in bed this morning, I proved to my wife Grace yet again that I am nuts and bought the Kindle Ebook edition for 7 bucks, searching for the product in the Kindle Store, buying it, downloading it and getting to the same page in less than a minute total.

That is a game changer. She complained for a moment that she had bought the Bryson book as a gift, but I simply countered that she had also bought my Kindle as a gift - and thank you very much.


Jana said...

I've found myself feeling the same way about reading ebooks vs. real books (on my Treo). I haven't seen a Kindle2 in person yet, but I have to admit I'm not a big fan of the original.

Davina said...

Thanks for the article, very effective information.