Three years ago this month my Kindle was delivered to our door. I had learned of the innovative e-book reader from a co-worker whose brother had a beta version at Sprint, the wireless provider for the first two generations of Kindle.
I’m a risk-averse, prudent person, usually the last to adapt to technology. Yet I was drawn to this device. As the cost was $359 plus a cover and a reading light, I discussed the purchase with my husband Tiger. He encouraged me to place the pre-order. No doubt he was thinking of the ever-growing inventory of books taking over the guest room.
When the Kindle arrived I quickly learned the basics and purchased a couple of books. I bookmarked the Kindle Store on my laptop. The label on the bookmark stated there are over 230,000 books. Today a bookmark label indicates more than one million books.
In the early months I alternated between reading a Kindle book and a paperback, probably out of guilt over those unread books I already owned. I’ve gotten over that guilt.
Then the worst happened.
My Kindle didn’t break. I did.
I shattered my wrist into pieces so small they could not be pinned. From fingertips to shoulder, my arm was immobilized to allow the bones to begin knitting together. My Kindle became my new best friend. For six weeks I sat on the loveseat, hugged my battered wing close and read book after book with a click of the button with my good hand.
In my painkiller-induced haze, I paid $9.99 for a book that was downright awful. I vowed I would never spend $9.99 again for a bad book. That was the seed that became DailyCheapReads.
I began to realize the potential of the Kindle as mine went everywhere with me. My orthopedic surgeon was glad to find a gift for his wife; my occupational therapist was interested for his patients who had diminished use of an arm; and a physical therapist asked questions as his wife had vision limitations.
When Tiger was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, I perused the Kindle Store for information. I shopped in privacy, crying with abandon. Within 10 minutes of logging in, I had the books on my Kindle and, most importantly, learned that we could beat the illness.
Games for the Kindle were introduced and the novelty continued. As with almost all electronic devices, the price came down and more people became Kindlers. I purchased a Kindle DX for Tiger and we work crossword puzzles together on its larger screen. I have the original version of Every Word on my Kindle and I’m not going to update it.
The Kindle has become a part of everyday life. I follow two blogs by downloading the content each evening. Tiger reads non-fiction more and watches television less. My brother who doesn’t adapt to anything electronic reads from his Kindle every night. A cousin with Parkinson’s places her Kindle on a stand, activates text-to-speech with the volume low and the Kindle turn the pages as she reads.
A sister who was a loyal library user hasn’t been there in months as she is reading from my extensive archive. Another sister no longer waits until she visits to get a fresh box of books that I’m ready to pass along. She opens the archive on her Kindle and chooses a book. A niece just recently graduated from college has the small 6” Kindle and is glad to be back reading for pleasure. My father reads from his Kindle when his eyes tire from reading print books.
With the Kindle Fire we watch movies through our Prime membership; compete against each other in word games; and I browse through the book covers on the carousel.
Three years ago I had no idea we would integrate the amazing Kindle so completely into our lives. I foolishly underestimated the electronic gizmo that arrived that cold February day. Shame on me.
By the way, to this day I haven’t finished the first book I downloaded. But with more than a million books available to read, why bother?
What’s your Kindle story? We welcome you to tell us by commenting on this post. Let’s take a poll to see how long we have been Kindling.