I know I talked about my birthday last time. But as birthdays go, it was an unusually good one, because my Beloved Non-Reader got me a Kindle. As I confided to Facebook, he doesn't always do presents, but when he does, they're freaking good ones.
I've ummed and aahed for a couple of years about whether I actually wanted an e-reader. I didn't (and still don't) know much about them. I'm one of those people who like to own and hold a real thing. I still use CDs, DVDs and of course, books. But over Christmas, when the BN-R and I got a rare chance to go shopping together, I ended up hefting a couple in my hands and discussing their possible merits with him.
It was still a shock to open one up on my birthday morning. It's not the latest bells and whistles, touch screen, backlit, it's really a tablet, Kindle Fire job. It's pretty basic. But I love it. I think about it all day. A whole new world has opened up.
I actually agonised over what to get first. Something I wouldn't normally prioritise, but should read. Something I wouldn't go to the trouble of getting from the library, borrowing from a friend or buying a hard copy of. Of course, something I don't already own. I ended up getting Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. I read the first paragraph to see if the screen annoyed me. It didn't.
In the end, the first book I read completely on my Kindle (should I name it? Do people give their gadgets names?) was A Study in Scarlet, the first time I've read any Sherlock Holmes. Not for any particular reason other than that it was the first thing I saw after searching 'free' that appealed.
The whole thing has been a much more momentous occasion than I'd ever considered. I suppose it'd be the same if I (as the last person on Earth not to have one) got an iThing. Which app to get first?
I lack enough disposable income to be a big consumer of gadgetry. Even the ancient rellies are more teched-up than me. So it was a pretty huge leap to make, to add digital consumption to my favourite leisure activity. The BN-R is beginning to realise he's just lost rather a lot more of my attention.
What are your thoughts on e-readers? If you have one, how much did you deliberate over that first download? And what was it?
* Rohani Alexander is a writer, mother and regular guest blogger for Reading is Bliss.