Three cheers for the Kindle

I must admit, there are few things in life I love as much as travel. However, one of the things which does make it on to the list is reading. It’s one of the reasons why I set up the #travelbookclub – which combines my love of the two. I have always loved books and it’s hard to remember a time when I’ve been anywhere without one. Even when I trekked the Inca Trail and we were told only to take ‘essentials’, a sneaky book still managed to make it into my pack. On my first ever solo trip I didn’t want to get rid of any of the books I picked up along the way and ended up carrying eight around with me.

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Yes, I did carry a book along the entire route of the Inca Trail

So when e-readers first came on to the market I was very against them. I felt like I spent enough time staring at a computer screen and I didn’t want to give up the pleasure of holding a book, turning its pages – even the smell of it!

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Love a good book

But a few months ago I started a job up in London which means I have a daily train commute. Up until recently I’ve faithfully carried whatever I happen to be reading – even if it’s a hardback book – in my work bag. However, to make life a bit easier my sister bought me a Kindle for my birthday. Probably knowing that I’d be a bit wary of it, she added something which she knew I would love – a sausage dog cover (I am a tiny bit obsessed with these little guys!)

Crazy sausage dog lady (and no, I don't have one...)

Crazy sausage dog lady (and no, I don’t have one…)

So there it was; I became the owner of a Kindle. But I was still reluctant to use it, telling myself that I had other books I needed to read first so I continued to trudge back and forth with my paper copies. Until finally fate stepped in and I was forced to buy my first e-book for the #travelbookclub when I couldn’t find a hard copy of Finding George Orwell in Burma which we were due to discuss.

And do you know what? (I have to whisper this bit, but *kindles are actually great*) It’s super easy to download a book, plus loads of the classics I’ve been meaning to read for ages are totally free. Also, it can just slip into my handbag on the commute and it takes up hardly any room.

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Definitely a space saver

And I know everyone who already owns an e-reader is shaking their head and thinking obviously and this is just like when I resisted getting a smart phone for ages and then when I finally got one I wondered how I’d ever lived without it – but what can I say? I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes.

That’s not to say that I’ve totally given up on books. I would still always choose to read a paperback at home rather than switching on my Kindle but I’ve just learnt the benefits of having something light to carry around with me.

Kindle

The lightweight book

So will my Kindle ever replace my books? Never. But will it be coming with me on my next trip? For sure.

How do you feel about e-readers? Do you have one or do you prefer books?  

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19 responses to “Three cheers for the Kindle

  1. I love to read too but have not yet got a kindle. I am worried how the monitor will be on my eyes but I love the thought of not wasting paper on books and being better on the environment. I just love holding my book so much. Will have to try it soon!

  2. I adore books too, but traveled with just a carry-on size backpack for our RTW. The extra weight and space of books would’ve killed me. And now living overseas, in a non-english speaking country, the Kindle is really a lifesaver. The convenience is truly amazing.

    • Wow, I’m so impressed that you’re just travelling with a carry-on. Even without my books I’d have never managed that! I can imagine it must come in useful in a country where it’s hard/expensive to get books.

  3. I recognise a few #travelbookclub books in that stack there! I’m another Kindle convert too – I read fast so would always end up lugging a pile of books with me and still run out and end up desperately looking for something to buy/borrow. I love having a whole library to choose from when I’m away, but agree that I still like to read actual books at home (and guidebooks don’t work on the Kindle at all).
    p.s. That sausage dog cover is fantastic! I love them too – my husband is desperate to get one but have a lot of travelling to get in first!

    • I’m the same about a sausage dog – I really want one but worry who would look after it while I’m away. I know what you mean about having the choice on the kindle – I love that all of the classics are free – so much choice!

  4. I’m just reading my first ever ebook for the travelbookclub and I’m not sure I like it! Yes, it’s easier and more convenient and I know a lot of books are free, cheaper and can only be bought as an ebook but it’s just not the same as having a book in my hand and being able to turn the pages and stroke the cover (because I totally do that with my favourite books!). We’ll see how it goes!

    • I know what you mean, it definitely takes a bit of getting used to. I don’t think it could ever completly replace books for me but in terms of convenience for the commute/when I’m travelling, I’m a convert!

  5. Pretty much the main reason I bought my iPad a few years back…the iBooks app to carry multiple books easily while I travel (of course its proven good at other things too).
    Just learning about your #TRAVELBOOKCLUB…how do I get involved? What book are you reading now? When’s your next discussion? And do you have a list of books you’ve read in the past – always looking at great travel related books.

    • Hi Nailah, we’d love for you to get involved with #travelbookclub! Our discussion is on the first Wednesday of every month at 9pm GMT. If you ever want to know what our current book is you can search #travelbookclub on Twitter and to see previous books we’ve discussed, look under the ‘About’ section on this blog. Hope you can join us soon!

  6. I’m 100% on the same page. I was so exhausted from buying expensive books in South Korea, and buying a Kindle seriously saved my life. And because I could instantly download anything I wanted, the time I spent reading shot up and I’ve felt so much more like myself. I adore my Kindle!

    But like you, if I’m at home and about to snuggle under a blanket on a couch, then paperbacks are the way to go. Congrats on your new boyfriend, which is what your Kindle will inevitably become hahaha. 🙂

  7. Well this post has certainly softened me a bit regarding e-readers! I’m SUCH a book girl, it’s not even funny. And to make matters worse, I’m a devout public library person and haven’t paid for a book in a long time. The portability and having multiples to choose from without lugging them around is certainly appealing. I’m always late to the tech party, but maybe now one of these little guys will be on this years wish list.

    • Hi Mary, I’m also a massive fan of libraries and think it’s really important that we support them so that we don’t lose them. I think even when you own an e-reader it’s definitely possible to have a good balance – so books when you’re at home and weight/space isn’t an issue and an e-reader for those times when they’re more limited:)

  8. My Kindle story is almost similar to yours. My reluctance to give in was slowly converted into Kindle love because of the sheer need to reduce my travel baggage. Living in one suitcase sure does make you come out of your comfort zone 😉 I still enjoy the feel of a paperback whenever I can afford one. The #travelbookclub initiative sounds great. See you on twitter 🙂

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