kindle motivations // 27 Nov 2007

So while the tech types commence with the time honored tradition of eating of their young, a couple of notes on why I want a Kindle.  Maybe not this Kindle, but a Kindle.

  • My house has too much crap in it. Six years ago or so I ripped my whole CD collection, and on the rare occurrence when I actually buy a CD now, it gets ripped and then stored.  We used to have furniture dedicated to storing CDs -- no more.
  • The books I keep on the shelf I keep for a reason.  I love books. Addicted to them, almost. About a year ago I went through a massive purge of the collection I'd been hoarding since the mid-80s and kept maybe 20% of them, tops.  I kept the favorites, the ones that changed how I see the world, and the great editions. These fill the shelves at home; the rest of them found new homes.
  • Most of the books I'm reading now don't actually deserve to a permanent home on the shelves. This is sad, but true. I'm still reading great books, but after going through the experience of selling / donating the vast majority of my collection I'm much pickier about what ends up in our home permanently. And there are still too many for the shelves we have.
  • All the other media I consume is getting lighter. You can make all the value judgments around this that you want, but the experience of buying and consuming all nine of Beethoven's symphonies is exactly the same as buying and consuming the latest Britney single or the latest espisode of Weeds: click, download, play. I'm spoiled by that experience and I want the same with books.

So those are all the rational reasons.  The slightly less rational reason is that a Kindle will let me hide my habits.  Kindle will let me buy and read books without having to worry about where they're gonna get shelved after the fact...or how they'll be perceived while I'm reading them.  Just imagine -- I could finally indulge my long-standing curiosity about romance novels and devour 10 or 12 of them in a row without having a single one show up in my bookshelf or in my bookbag. On the outside, it looks like I'm catching up on the latest in linguistic pshychology, while on the inside I'm enjoying the latest bodice-ripper from J.R. Ward. And no one but me -- and Amazon, and all of the trusted third parties my purchase history is shared with -- has to know.