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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  • Killbot79 - 2013-01-17 14:15

    Love my Kindle, its just easier, lighter and it reads just like a book, I actually only go to book stores now just to see whats released and then look for it on amazon.

  • NigelJamesTurner - 2013-01-17 15:27

    Kindle's great, convenient, inexpensive and fantastic when you're traveling. Printed book are great too, I love them. One thing Kindle is poor at is reproducing books with lots of pictures and graphics.

  • AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-01-17 16:32

    You can download free ebooks from Gutenberg ( and download them to your kindle .

  • irfinlay - 2013-01-17 21:22

    I love reading (and having them on book shelves it adds to the interior decoration of the house). After seeing a friend using one, I decided to take the plunge especially noting that many of their books are cheaper than at Exclusive Books. My reading has increased immensely. A great advantage is if I hear or see a book review that interests me I can immediately look it up in the Amazon Kindle book store and if I like it I can buy and receive it within the next few minutes. That is why I have so many books on my Kindle that I still have to read! Having the habit of reading more books than one at once, Kindle just makes it so much easier. Had a disaster while camping. I fell asleep while reading my Kindle and the next morning as I woke up I turned and dug my elbow into the screen! I could not do without it, so I coughed up the money to buy a new one. Amazon keeps a record of all the books you have ordered, so I was able to download them onto my new Kindle at no charge.

  • jenny.gontier - 2013-01-18 05:41

    I love my Kindle Fire HD, and I don't know how I would have survived the last couple of months. Books in Seychelles are few and far between, and expensive. And paper goes yellow almost overnight - not to mention collecting dust and other unmentionables. Amazon one-click - the best invention since the PC. No more entering credit card and address details for every purchase. And you can choose where you want your good sent (Amazon don't send anything but books and CDs to Seychelles so I have to make use of friends). Go friends ! Thanks Suzette (UK) and Doreen (USA).

  • vernon.meakin - 2013-01-18 07:45

    I would never get rid of my Clive Cussler colection,but have had my Kindel for two years now and have not bought a real book in that time, my naturel ablility to speed read has got even faster ,and i could never live without my kindel.

  • - 2013-01-18 07:53

    There is nothing like browsing in a bookshop or library. Its relaxing and feels like you are in your own cocoon. However, if your town has only 2 Bargain Books with the same books at both and just one library which does not update their books frequently its a problem. My Kindle has solved this problem even if it has my credit card running scared

  • peter.gugelmin - 2013-01-18 08:31

    Is this a KAA (Kindle Addiction Anonymous)? Hi, My name is Peter and I am addicted to my Kindle. The Kindle is unbelievable if you want to do research not related to wikipedia. Type in a word related to the subject you are interested reading up on. The next thing it lists all the books on that subject. Then load down the free samples and browse further in your own time. By then you have narrowed the choice of books down to the minimum. Now compare that to actually going to a local municipal library or a book store and getting the book you want. 9 times it is not available and has to be ordered for you. Only one problem with Kindle booka. Don't buy any that contain graphics or photos. Nothing on Kindle beats a beautiful coffee table book

  • linda.duits - 2013-01-18 10:20

    I got a Kindle for my birthday 2 years back. What a joy, I chuck the thing in my bag, and have always got my book with me. I can read waiting in line to renwe my licence, waiting for the physiotherapiust, on holiday, going overseas, anywhere. Amazon has an amazing collection. Did you also know that you can buy ebooks from Kalahari, load them down on your PC in PDF format then upload on your kindle?

  • raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-18 19:47

    Just get your hands on an ipod/iphone with an audio book. You'll never read another book again!

  • raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-18 19:48

    If you have a kindle, then having Calibre installed on your PC is a must. Its free, google it!

      kollinzoltan - 2013-01-26 12:26

      And if you have a Mac, having Scida installed to manage your books & Kindle is also a must :)

  • renierv - 2013-01-22 14:50

    I gave one to my wife few years ago. She is truly addicted, so much so that I now tell her that she loves that device more than me. :)

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