Georgina Guedes

Kindle addict, coming through

2013-01-17 13:37

Georgina Guedes

I'm a little late to the party, but I finally bought myself a Kindle. I wasn't sure about making the transition to e-reading because I love, you know, actual books.

I'm not going to bore you with yet another article on how I like the smell of paper and the heft of a novel - but you can take those things for granted. Instead, I'm going to confess, slightly shamefacedly, to the fact that the Kindle is utterly addictive for a whole host of other reasons.

I can remember first setting up an Amazon account sometime back in the internet dark ages. I told the e-tailing giant the four books that I liked that immediately sprang to mind. Based on those four books, Amazon spat out some recommendations. These recommendations were so chillingly accurate that I got that whole, tingly "Big Brother is watching" feeling.

I couldn't fathom how this thing could work out that since I liked The Secret History, I'd probably enjoy listening to Massive Attack. How did it do that? A few years and a slightly more advanced understanding of consumer analytics and I am less gobsmacked than I was - and I still base a lot of my "what next?" research on Amazon's recommendations.

Enter the Kindle, and this whole set up becomes very dangerous indeed. Suddenly, I am able - through Amazon's terribly clever (evil) one-click-to-purchase model - to instantly buy and store any "customers who bought that also bought this" book.

With one click I'm spending not-real money on not-real books. It's like being on Brewster's Millions (showing my age) where I can spend money I don't have as long as I have nothing to show for it.

Of course, my purchases are all there, filling up my little Kindle at a frightening rate. But my husband doesn't get much opportunity to say to me, "When are you going to read all these books?"  because he doesn't know they're there. I'm frequently astonished by all the titles stored there - Imagine if they were real. Where would I put them all?

I have, however, modified my reading process to include my husband. "I am now starting Moranthology," I'll tell him - because he otherwise has no idea what I am reading, and reading is quite a social activity for us.

At around the same time as I bought my Kindle, I ordered a few books as Christmas presents for friends from Kalahari. At the same time I was surreptitiously salivating over my live-link to Amazon, these parcels arrived, delivered direct to my door (Go, Kalahari!), and I must admit that I swooned a little as I ripped open the packaging to reveal the bright covers of actual books.

I promised I wouldn't, and I'm not going to (heft, smell), but while I confess to being an Amazon addict with Kindle as my dealer, there’s still a lot of room in my life for real books.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

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