With the death of my hard drive (yes, she’s still with the Geek Squad), I’ve had the unexpected opportunity to fall back in love with Mrs. K. — my Kindle. I don’t have one of the new fancy-schmancy Kindles. No, not me. I have the original model. And I’m smitten with her.
Now before any potential naysayers jump in, please let me say that I adore printed books. As do so many of us. But that very love has a negative impact on my first-and-foremost favorite things on this planet—trees.
As of September 6, 2008 the figure of 20 million trees was the common estimate for the number of trees cut down annually for the production of books sold in the United States alone. That figure doesn’t include the production of newspapers or magazines — just books.
No trees — none — are harmed when you read books on a Kindle or any other type of eReader.
The cost of a book on Kindle is at least half (if not less) than the price of a printed book. Because most of the classics have been in the public domain for so long, many of them are available for free, and there are a multitude of website that give away free books for the Kindle.
My Kindle weighs the same or less than a regular book and takes up the same amount of space, or less, all the while, carrying about a hundred books (depending on their length). Once it’s full I simply move them over to the “shelves” in my private Kindle “library.”
If I ever lose my Kindle, all of the books I’ve ever purchased are still mine (even if I haven’t moved them to my library yet).
If it’s ever stolen, with one quick phone call, my Kindle quickly becomes nothing more than a paperweight to the person who took it.
And yes, I can still lose myself in the “pages” of a Kindle, just like a real book, only better because I can adjust the font size bigger or smaller — depending on my need. The screen looks just like the pages in a print book. There’s no back light or glare. I can even “dog ear” a page if I want, but the Kindle automatically remembers my last location so it’s really not necessary.
By the way, I’m currently reading The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention by Dawson Church — I highly recommend it.
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
– Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.
Hmmm? I am not sure about all of that. I have never even personally seen or touched a Kindle or other such device.
I understand the trees and paper part. I usually get my books from book sales, yard sales, library.
Hey but if you enjoy it and it is a eco friendly tech thingie good!
I am Love, Jeff
Good morning, Jeff – I’m glad you stopped by. Yes, they’re eco-friendly, very much so — especially when it comes to trees. Have a fantastic day!
You are stretching me to my tip toes!!!
I love books too, dogged eared, high-lighted and the smell!!! But the down side to paper books, next to all that you have said is storage.
I’m de-cluttering, throwing out just about all little nick knacks and things I can’t even remember why I bought them. All coffee table, counter spaces are being cleared away. Not to mentions bags and bags of clothes. Since I begin this chore I have gone to the dump and Good Will 6 times.
So with all that being said. . . .I will have to look into the Kindle too. My son can upload books on his phone, he has a smart phone, I have a dumb phone all it does is ring!!!
Well you know what they say,
Readers are Leaders!!!
On the subject of intention, I have to say, Ask with Great Intention and things do happen. I am living the proof of this each day. I went to a yoga class and just about collapsed!! I was thinking what I need is just a stretching class does anyone just stretch? Well, you could have knocked me off my chair last night. I am started to join in with this new group of healers. I was invited to my first drumming last night and the women next to me reminds the group she is starting her stretch only class next wed!!!! REALLY!! REALLY UNIVERSE, ENERGY MED. DETOX FOOT BATH, REIKI, DRUMMING AND NOW STRETCHING!!!! I am so blown away by intention. I will definitely get the book you recommend.
P.S. I am totally having a hard time with the second step of discipline, delayed gratification. But I’m working on it. (Road Less Traveled)
Jean – It sounds like you’re on a de-cluttering rampage — You go, girl! S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G is wonderful for your body. It’s a fantastic way to start the day!
Well Laurie I am getting more and more convinced – actually I am convinced but I need act – that kindle or another form of e-reader is the way to go for most book reading.
I keep many of my hard copies as they are used as references and conversation touch points like conversations with friends… I think a kindle library may even do a better job of this for me.
What I also need to do is make the next book I create e-reader friendly.
Terrill – yes, Yes, YES, please make your next book eReader friendly. Like you, I keep some hard copies of books — typically the ones that haven’t made it to Kindle yet. As they become available on Kindle, I typically donate the hard copy version.
And for those of you who like to write in your books, or highlight passages, you can do this with the Kindle. I make notes and highlight all the time. There’s a little keyboard for typing notes, and there’s a “highlight” feature as well. With the click of a button you can have every passage you’ve highlighted brought to one place for your review. You can do the same with the notes you’ve written. It’s pretty cool!
Kindles haven’t reached the antipodes as yet, and they do look interesting.
With respect to trees, things are not always as they might first seem.
We own a small plantation forestry block.
If there was not a demand for trees, that land would be in some other use, and not covered with trees.
If we stop using trees we will have less forests on the planet, not more.
Having said that, I do most of my reading on this laptop.
I get a lot from Gutenberg as text files, and a lot of pdfs from all over.
I am looking forward to the next generation of kindle type devices, which is when I will probably jump.
Epigenetics is a fascinating field. The mechanisms that have evolved and modulated atop the basic genetic system are fascinating indeed. Definitely there is Darwinian genetics at the base, and built upon it is a host of mechanisms involving sugars, proteins and RNAs. I think we are only beginning to scratch the surface of the depth of dimensionality and interrelationship involved.
Ted – The problem in the U.S. is that we’re indiscriminately cutting down old growth forests (including parts of the Redwood Forest) as opposed to forests grown specifically for the purpose of production. In our home we’re all about using firewood from trees that have already died due to natural causes, or from cutting that was done for healthy “thinning” purposes. It’s the indiscriminate cutting (not far-sighted, not eco-friendly) that’s disturbing. Yes, I totally agree that epigenetics is a fascinating field.
And by the way, I really appreciated your status update post on Ted Howard NZ’s Blog.
Well, I love trees, books, and am about as attached to my laptop as one can get and not be married. I read Ted’s statement above and he is right about the trees being grown for the specific use of becoming paper. The part that I am unsure about is the production of paper, the amount of water and other resources required to produce a book. I think we print far too many books. Textbooks are the worst and would lend themselves so much better to being Kindleized (<==== new word!) because they become obsolete so quickly due to new and updated information.
Barbara – You bring up another really good point about the additional natural resources needed for the production of paper. Years ago I lived in Washougal, Washington quite near Crown-Zellerbach (a huge paper goods manufacturing company). The pollution that poured from it’s multiple stacks was amazing! I suppose that would be considered post-production waste. Being realistic, there’s probably something non-eco-friendly in the production of eReaders as well. Hopefully there aren’t people crammed in sweat shops somewhere on the globe making seventeen-cents a day to produce them.
You are sure making us think today…about the pros and cons. I have never heard a more convincing argument for a Kindle! And the trees would surely love us a lot more… Food to think about. Thank you, Laurie.
Kathy – Yes, an eReader is definitely food to think about. I’m glad you stopped by.
Hi Laurie, I’m so sorry to read about the temporary demise of your hard drive but have also really enjoyed your last posts. I just love your sense of humor…so funny!!
I’ve been on the fence for a while now. To kindle or not to kindle. The biggest issue being space. We’re being overtaken by our books. We’re mostly minimalists (is that a word?) with the rest of our life but with books…..another story altogether!!
You may have just provided the final push!
Colleen – Thank you for your visit. I like lots of space around me. I’m not a minimalist in the truest sense of the word, but darn close. Using a Kindle really helps to keep things tidy. You can even get newspapers and magazines on it — not just books.
Yes I am looking forward to getting a Kindle one day for all of the above reasons. Of course you know my passion of sharing books and literacy through http://www.islandreliefcharity.org and can only imagine the day I can share Kindles with island countries such as the Bahamas. I am stunned at the amount of barely read books I continue to collect and ship to those less fortunate. It appears so many of us have the genuine intention to buy and read books but end up with personal libraries of often ignored books. At least for now there is a worthy avenue for recycling. Thanks for the good info.
Lisa – So good to see you here! I’m so glad you shared about Island Relief Charity. Whoohoo! If ANY of you have books that you no longer want or need, PLEASE contact Lisa through the website that she provided. The work she does is amazing!
Laurie, I’m catching up on some of my backlog of in-box attention grabbers. And you know this is one I had to read, I would much rather read than eat but the body demands fuel. I love my books! I don’t know how many thousands have passed through my hands, but eventually a good many go to Goodwill, church sales or just get “borrowed” forever. There is something about going to the bookstore, roaming up and down the aisles, scoping out the front cover art, checking out the back cover, opening this fresh book to the inside front cover….yep, I just love it all. I may get a Kindle one day, it’s a possibility, but not anytime soon. One book that I truly believe is almost obsolete and should be printed by request only is the phonebook. They are thrown against our doors indiscriminately and if I were present I would throw them right back. Neither I or anyone I know has a use for a phonebook anymore, we go online for that information. They are like fruitcakes, weigh too much, take up space and taste bad.
Sandi – I know exactly what you’re talking about regarding the touch, the smell, the sight of books — I love them too. But the two things the Kindle has done for me that were deal-breakers is: (1) no trees are cut down, and (2) I have blessed space, space, space in my home. Every time I upload a favorite book on Kindle that I already own, I donate the paper version.
I soooooooo agree with you about phone books. The moment we find one on our front porch, it goes to the recycle bin. There are a few people, however, (my dad is one of them), who would rather poke themselves in the eye with a sharp stick than use a computer. I don’t know what he’d do without his phone book. Yes I do — he’d call me and ask me to look up the number for him on the internet 🙂