In lieu of Amazon’s latest commercial for their Kindle Paperwhite, I thought I’d do a quick post about Kindles. The Kindle First Generation was released on November 19, 2007 (priced at $399!), and in my opinion, it revolutionized reading.
Reading is going out of style, especially for children. Learning has become visual in the modern world as a result of how television and computers have come to dominate our culture. I’m not going to rip on visual learning. Media can be a great tool for learning, and parents/educators need to remember that. Reading, however, is key to everyday living. You can’t get through life easily without at least knowing how to read, even if you don’t like it.
I have always been a reader. My mom read at least one book to me every night before I went to bed, and I was eager to follow along so that I could read on my own as well. I devoured chapter books from the library. For a while, I kept track of how many books I had read (that I could remember). The total came to about 300 when I quit at age 12. It saddens me that children don’t always have the influences that I did or the resources. Reading is more than a simple exercise; it can open their eyes to new cultures and parts of the world. Thousands of places they’ve never visited! I appreciate that Amazon is trying to engage children in reading by creating advertisements that show them enjoying reading. The Kindle combines technology with reading in such a way that I think makes it more accessible for such technologically advanced children as our modern world produces.
I was horrified when the Kindle came out. As much as I love reading, I couldn’t understand why someone would want to give up the pleasures of smelling paper and ink, feeling the page turn, and having the satisfaction of reaching the end and closing the covers on a completed adventure. Then, in November of 2012, I bought a Kindle. Not one with a keyboard or the Paperwhite or Fire, just a plain, old Kindle. And do you know what? I love it.
I’ve learned that I can’t read on computer screens. At least, I can’t do it long enough to finish a book because the screen makes my eyes hurt. When I was younger, I had a huge purse in which I would carry several books for a long trip. My Kindle has solved those problems. The screen looks exactly like the page of a book, not hard on my eyes at all. I also can store a multitude of books on it. Amazon actually has many free Kindle editions of classics, the sort of books I need for my classes and enjoy. It also gives you the option to borrow some books for free in you have Prime (which is half as expensive for college students and a good investment).
I’m still stunned by how much I enjoy reading on my Kindle. I’m currently working on Les Miserables, but if I ever get tired of it, I have several other books, as well as short stories, at my fingertips. Plus, it only cost $79. That’s a much more bearable price than the original $399!
If you can afford it, the Kindle is a great investment for readers. This is coming from a hard-core, paper and ink girl. You have to learn to embrace change when it comes your way. I still love my paperbacks, and I don’t think anything could really replace them, but the Kindle comes quite close.