29 April 2009

Wondering about Kindles

I had a recommendation from Gina at Portable Parents about Kindles. They're an interesting idea. As someone who works as a book designer, they're somewhat anathema to me! The idea of doing away with real paper and real pages and real books is something that I don't want to even think about...

However, Gina said that they are great for travelling in countries where English is not the language, and therefore English language books are a difficult to come by. That's a really good point.

The other thing is though, that when I'm travelling, I generally don't have time to read. While I do LOVE to read (a friend once said of me that I don't read books, I devour them!), when travelling all my "spare" time is taken up with writing my travel diary, or beginning articles for publication in the various magazines that I contribute to. I often use my travel as the opportunity to find new ideas for stories, so like to start on them while the ideas are fresh. Also, our holidays tend to very much be see-it-all-and-cram-it-all-in holidays, and not the sort where we lie around on beaches or poolside in resorts.

Gina and her husband Sean are travelling through South America with their kids, educating them as they go, and doing the whole thing slowly and as a way of life - not as a vacation. In their case, I can see that Kindles would be great for that purpose. It would be heaps easier and lighter than taking a whole pile of books with you, or trying to buy new ones along the way. Gina said that they download their books from free websites, which makes the whole thing quite affordable.

The other thing that is a consideration for me, is that a Kindle is worth more money than a paperback book. When I travel I prefer to keep the expensive items to a minimum in case they get lost or stolen. I suppose they are quite small, so can easily be hidden, but in some ways, I wonder if they're worth the hassle.

If I was off on a long or leisurely holiday then they're probably worth considering, but for the time being, I think that's one more gadget I don't need to own right now.

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