Kindle3-224x300If I had to rate the electronics that have impacted my life the most, my Kindle is right up with microwave, DVD, DVR, and computer.

I have always had a compulsion for reading. The only problem is that just any book wouldn’t do. I can remember driving my mother crazy, asking her to drive me to the library. When I was fifteen, out of school for the summer, she had enough, and told me to ride my bike. The trip seemed like 50 miles, riding up those steep hills against the Oklahoma wind.  A smart person would have picked out enough books to last three or four days after a long ride on a bike.  Not me.  Being the persnickety reader that I was, I found only one or two books and the next day I was on my bike again.

While I never had to ride my bike again (and my legs never looked as great as that summer) that set a pattern for my book buying. Back in the 80’s & 90’s books were shipped to the stores and put out when the employees got around to it. And, yes, that was me sleuthing around the un-opened boxes of books, When I found someone I did ask, but I confess I have opened many boxes. Of course the pattern of arrival was irregular enough that I traveled from store to store on my days off, going from Wal-Mart to K-Mart to Target to the grocery stores, and then the bookstore. When I lived in larger cities, I added more bookstores. Invariably, I didn’t want just what was on the shelves, I wanted a certain book.

As time went on I learned that publishers provided set release dates for books. That still didn’t eliminate my driving from store to store.  My first choice, because of the lower cost, was always the discount stores, but they didn’t always have the books on the release date. The bookstores were better at putting out books, but romance books had lower priority. Numerous, times, I had to wait for the book to be found in the back and brought out.  Of course that was after I convinced the clerk that, yes, the book was out.  Typically, they would say this is a February book, and I would say, yes, but publisher releases books on the 15th.

Now, I live about 30 miles from a large city.   My town has a population of 30,000 and one book store plus Target and Wal-Mart that carry romance books.  Before gas prices got so high I would drive the 60 miles round trip for a certain book.    The discount stores do have a set day to put books out, but I have to give them time to actually shelve the books.   And, honestly, some days off I don’t feel like getting out of bed, getting dressed, and driving to the store for one book. Before the Kindle I did, but now I can be slothful.  I order the book and it is delivered at 2 a.m. central time .  I wake up, fix my international coffee, find the book on my Kindle and snuggle in with my dogs, and enjoy my day off.  This week we had bad weather, but with my Kindle, I can still find plenty to read even, when I am iced in.

While it is not a perfect system yet, since a few nameless publishers are dragging their feet on pricing, and release dates, my Kindle has dramatically impacted the amount of time I spend searching for a book.  If you have an e-reader, how has it impacted your life?

– Leigh AAR

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