By former Smarty Mom, Janyl Y
I love to read. Curling up with a good book has been something I have enjoyed since I was a kid. In the 80’s and early 90’s it was all about the Babysitters Club and the endless Sweet Valley High series (how many of those were there, anyway??). High school and college was all about the classics – VC Andrews, Mary Higgins Clark, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, etc 😉 These days I read just about anything – fiction, nonfiction it does not matter. Reading is my yoga and a way to clear my mind after a long day. I cannot imagine the money I have spent over the years buying books, but the boxes I have donated and my overflowing bookcase give me a pretty good idea.
Now as a full time working mother of a 16 month old, my old trips to the bookstore where I could spend as much time as I wanted to looking for the right book are just a memory. When I do get to the bookstore it normally just involves the children’s section to search the bargain bin to add to my son’s book collection. Same thing with the library – I wish I had the time, but these days it is non-existent.
Which is why I made the investment in the Kindle. For those of you who may not have heard about it, the Kindle is a nifty electronic book reader that was created by Amazon. What separates it from other electronic readers is that it has built in wireless that allows you to search for books, blogs, magazines and newspapers and download them right to your Kindle – anytime, anywhere in 60 seconds or less. I have downloaded books in the car on the way to the beach and the mountains, at the airport, my house, etc.
Currently there are over 350,000 books available and you can download the first chapter of a book for free to see if you like it before purchasing. The best part is that almost all of the books available to download are $9.99 or less (some are even free!). A New York Times bestselling hardback is $9.99 to download as opposed to the normal $24.99 that you would pay for the hard copy. There are no monthly fees or service plans, just the cost of the book.
The Kindle has tons of memory (it can hold up to 1500 books) and the battery life is great. I probably recharge my Kindle 2Xs/month. The Kindle is lightweight (10.2 oz) and easily fits into my computer bag while traveling. Another benefit is that I am not wasting paper buying a book that I am going to read once and then stick in a pile.
Buying a Kindle is definitely an investment, but one well worth it in my opinion. Amazon just came out with a new sleeker version and dropped the price to $299 (down from $350). While the upfront cost is pretty high, with the discounted rate on books it will definitely pay for itself in the long run. I got mine as my Christmas present last year. I have to admit I was concerned about getting used to using an electronic reader as opposed to being able to turn the pages of a book, but it was an easy adjustment for me.
If you are interested, check it out on Amazon.com. There are lots of other product features listed and tons of reviews. The Kindle is an option that has definitely made a reading a lot more accessible to this mom. I hope it does for you too!