Saturday, January 22, 2011

Audiobooks, Kindles, the World is Coming to An End!

I'm a late adapter to technology, especially if it concerns books. I'm rather suspicious of non-paper formats.

Okay it's straight out blasphemy.

I thought:
Why would you have someone narrate an entire book?  Doesn't that defeat the purpose of, um, reading?

This changed 2 1/2 years ago when I accidentally put hydrogen peroxide in my left eye.

(Contact lens wearers who use a certain brand of cleaner know this is not as uncommon as it sounds.  And yes, I know there's a red warning ring around the cap.  I'm so blind I couldn't even see it.  And why did my boyfriend keep that cleaner next to my saline in the first place?!)

Since there was nothing to see do but lie in bed until the swelling went down, I had no choice but try a "free audiobook" - you know what company I'm talking about.  I picked Twilight.

I ended up subscribing to that audiobook site for like a year.  It's the only thing that calms me while driving in Los Angeles traffic, or breaks the monotony of the Stairmaster at the gym.  After my car accident last fall, I now plug my ears and close my eyes whenever I ride passenger so I don't have to see the crazy SoCal drivers weaving on the freeway.

Still I maintain some semblance of my old discrimination - I stick with audiobooks whose plots don't suffer if I miss a few lines here and there (when my GPS butts in, for instance).  For my favorite authors, I still prefer a tangible object I can flip through.

But the dark side is seeping in.

It started with Natalie Whipple's seductive post about the beta-reading uses of a Kindle.

Then I booked tickets for my annual visit to the grandparents in Taipei.  I don't want to lug 5 books with me...but a slim e-reader?

This is a slippery slope, people.  What do you think: e-readers all the way?  Do you own a Kindle and love it?  Any caveats you wished you'd known?


  1. Slippery slope indeed. I never even considered the uses of an electronic reader while traveling. Sure would make life easier (does it have a long battery life?).

    I've only ever listened to a few audio books. I don't have a long commute any more, so I've stopped using them. But I can imagine that for long drives, they're priceless.

  2. Magic Man (my hubby) bought me a Kindle for my birthday. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it so much. It's the convenience of the thing I love so much - I don't have to tramp out to a bookstore (although I love tramping out to bookstores & hanging about browsing) when I want a new book. It's a time factor issue for me, I'm just so busy these days. Being able to get my book via whispernet is a convenience I'd trade my hair straightener iron for any day of the week! Hmmm, I may have to blog about my own Kindle...I am so in love with it!

    But, there will always be those books that I want to hold, touch, smell and store forever on my bookshelves!

  3. I lugged around a suitcase full of books for my trip to Chicago last year, and as soon as I got home I went to B&N and bought a Nook. And I LOVE it. I can keep it in my purse, I can download WIPs, I can bookmark pages that I want to remember, and it takes me less time to find a book on the Nook and download it than it does to get through the actual B&N line (yes, I did that once :P). The best part is that if I don't have the money to buy the book right then I can look it up and download a free sample (first 20 pages or so) and then buy the rest of the book when I get the money (or read it in B&N for free).

    Trust me, my favorite place is still the bookstore, and all of my favorite books will still be purchased as print books, but it's so handy for everything else (especially since hubby hates YA, and doesn't want those books crowding his Cormac McCarthy off the shelves ;P).


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