Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kindle Love

Cruising nowadays is made much easier by a whole slew of "modern conveniences"; the Internet, FedEx, long life milk and e-readers, to name a few.

I am an avid reader and, when left to my own devices, I can crank out a book a day.  This is something that baffles Scott: "Did you seriously just read that book?!"  but something that gives me great pleasure and, as long as I have a book on hand, I will never be bored.

Room on a boat is always at a premium, no matter what the size.  Items brought on board must serve double duty, must have purpose and must fit.  When we were preparing for this trip one of the few things I actually worried about was "how am I going to bring enough books to read?!" (Book swaps, FYI, often produce romance novels and the kind of paperback books you find at kiosks in airports if you are into those types of books, which I, unfortunately, am not).

I had never considered an e-reader before - in fact - when they first came out I scoffed at how unauthentic reading a book on a machine was.  I mean, isn't half the joy of a book the physical book itself?  I was a hater.  But as I loaded box after box of books I saw not only the sheer volume of paperback but the weight, I knew I had to figure something out.

Enter the e-reader:  the pancake thin, super light "e-reader" that holds over 1,000 books at a time.  Volumes are downloaded in minutes (or seconds), they're cheaper than their physical relatives, and they are easy to carry and use.  Do you have any idea how much room 1,000 books would take up on a boat?!  I was sold.

I first bought a Barnes and Noble Nook because it was cheaper than the Kindle.  How different could they be?  I mistakenly thought.  I am not even going to go into the issues I had with the Nook, but the number one glaring issue I didn't realize until it was too late was that you cannot purchase books from an "out of USA" IP address*.  Having an e-reader that you cannot buy books for is...annoying.  My best friend, Lisa, would have to log into my account and buy them for me and only then could I download books (which was another headache).

My other dear (and incredibly generous) friend, Bijal, after hearing of my Nook woes on Facebook (and someone who understands my love of reading and books) decided she was buying me a Kindle and presented it to me saying "no one should have to deal with a Nook when there is a Kindle!".  Bless her cotton socks.  I love her.

So now I am a Kindle owner.

Let me tell you - this thing is amazing.  It's convenient, the fact that you're not reading a "real" book is a non-issue, books can be leant between friends, it's super user friendly, and - most important - it has the potential to be 1,000 books in one!

Guess who's not going to be bored for the next 100 years?

Brittany & Scott

* At least at the time I was downloading books from my Nook, I could not make international purchases.  They may or may not have changed this.


Tamara said...

I love my eReader, it's so nice to just have one device to lug around with all my books, especially when going on vacation! I used to bring a backpack full of books and now I can just stick my Nook in my purse and be good to go!

Just want to put it out there for your readers that I have a Nook and have had it for over a year with ZERO issues! My reason to purchase the Nook over the Kindle (I researched both heavily) was that the Nook had the ability to borrow books from my local library and the Kindle did not, I didn't want to be forced to buy each and every book I wanted to read so the Nook was the right choice for me.

I do hear that Amazon is coming out with their own library in the future which will be nice, but for now the Nook wins hands down for me because of this simple fact. I love being able to browse the library website and load a book onto my Nook within a couple minutes and not have to PAY for it!

Windtraveler said...

Tamara! Glad you like the Nook and happy you had (and continue to have) a great experience with it and can give the readers here a more positive review! My #1 issue was that it was very difficult for me to get books - they are really not made for heavy international use (aka living abroad vs. vacation). Anyway, glad you love it - they really are FANTASTIC!

Deb said...

My husband and I each have Kindles and the nice thing about it is that we can both share the books. I don't know if you've found this out yet, but all of the public domain books are available on the Kindle for free. You can read all the classics forever without paying a dime.

Thanks for your blog. It's at the top of my Google Reader list.

S/V Kintala

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

I have a Nook that I love, but whether a Nook, a Kindle, or any other type ... e-readers are great! Perfect for liveaboards! I didn't know I could download from the local library ... gonna have to check into that!


I just bought a kindle 2 wks ago and I think it is THE BEST INVENTION EVER!!! I am actually in awe at the screen. It has actual ink in there. That's why it looks so much like a paperback book. LOVE!

The kindle is perfect for you to download books all over the world. Whenever you wish! I love the sharing, and how I can get a book in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. All while staying in my bed! There are hundreds of free books, and I love all the sales they have. I have a kindle chocked full of new books now, without taking up any space in my tiny flat. LOVE.

I'm a huge reader and can also read a book per day and my husband thinks I'm weird because of it. But, I can think of worse habits than reading.

Enjoy!!! Set up your wish list on Amazon and put up a link on your side bar. You just might find a few book prezzies the next time you get on your kindle! ;)

Lisa said...

When it comes time to cruise, I imagine I will have to break down and join the e-readers. Until then, I consider the books ballast! Just love that paper.

Colleen Snell said...

Hmm. You may have just convinced this "real" book snob to buy an e-reader. I have always thought the "experience" was worth it - but frankly, after moving this month, I'm more in the "less is more" camp in terms of stuff.

Thanks for the review!

Hope (trust) you guys are well.


Nicole. said...

I got a Kindle a few months back and have to say that I am a total convert to the e-reader! I am also an avid reader and only got into the idea because it is so great for travel purposes, but I have found many of the features to be incredibly useful. For example, despite studying English in university I never look up words in the dictionary while reading. Yet on the Kindle the dictionary feature is so accessible that I have actually been using it a lot! Also, it's nice to be able to highlight quotations that I find intriguing and to see what other people have highlighted while reading.

It also doesn`t hurt that most of the books are cheaper to buy in the e-reader format!

I just started reading your blog recently but really enjoy hearing about your travels and insights! I will be sailing to the Caribbean this fall with my parents and sister so am looking forward to some great adventures myself.

All the best!

Albert said...

Agree, agree, agree. My wife is still in love with the physical book, and the results is books everywhere. I took the leap to the Kindle, and love it. Perfect for the boat.

SV Fugue said...

My husband and I are preparing to cruise so for the last 8 months I have been selling my 1000s of books and bought a kindle. Like you I easily read a book a day and the 3G global was the selling point for me. My first international download was in T&C and worked perfectly. I love my kindle!

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

I also had a flirtatious look at the Nook. But both Trophy Wife and I have had our own Kindles for the last 45 days or so! I am now an enthusiastic reader. I don't have to carry around those heavy old, space-eating things that flop open or close unexpectedly. And you know what? My Doberwoman loves it, too because I always have a hand free to scratch her back & rub her ears.

Sue said...

I bought the Kindle two years ago and use it every day. I was sure to purchase the international version which was a little more expensive, but I wanted to be able to buy books out of the country.

It worked flawlessly in the Bahamas this last season. We'd be at anchor with no town or people in sight, yet somehow there would be a Batelco tower powerful enough that the 3G could connect.

The other bonus: the basic web browser. In these same anchorages, I was able to access the internet for free. We'd check the weather, our email, and read blogs all while on the boat.

The price just dropped significantly so my husband purchased one also and we are able to share books.

Enjoy! Your boat will be grateful not to have the extra weight!

Team Giddyup said...

I have to weigh in on the opposite side and say that the Nook *is* good for people permanently living outside of the US (as opposed to vacationing) if you check out books from libraries instead of buying them.

As a dirtbag cruiser, I can check out FREE books from my US library account *and* my Canadian library account, while traveling in Bahrain (I did both).

Anonymous said...

I just read this post yesterday (found your blog and catching up), and, having recently got a Nook, I was a bit alarmed to read that I might not be able to buy books when traveling outside the USA. Ugh! I figured since it's been awhile (as you clearly stated), I would check with BN to see what the current status is.

What I found out is that if one has their Nook set up with a credit card with a USA billing address, then one can buy books from anywhere. I asked for more detail (why) and this is how it was explained to me:

1) The agreements (or licenses or whatever they are called) that the book publishers have with BN/Nook are for sales to the USA.

2) Originally, this was tracked by IP address, so if you were buying via the Internet but were not in the USA, no go. Obviously that was a problem.

3) Now they have changed this so that as long as your account is tied to a credit card with a USA billing address, you can buy from anywhere in the world (i.e. it no longer goes by IP address).

So from what I can tell, that particular reason is no longer a reason to not choose a Nook.

I just figured I would update with this comment because even though this is an older post, it seems that your blog is well read, and people might also find it via search for Nook.


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