I recently treated myself to a shiny new Kindle – half gleefully and half guiltily due to the size of the initial outlay (although with the added justification of helping to keep the beleagured British economy afloat). While not completely convinced of the merits of owning one, I felt it was the right time to give an e-reader a go, especially as previous generations of Kindle buyers have so considerately helped to iron out the early technological and design flaws.
I’ve had the Kindle for a week now, and am gradually learning to appreciate its benefits. As a crime reader, I consume a huge amount of books, and one big plus is that the Kindle will help keep my bookshelves from collapsing in the too-near future. I’m also finding reading on it a pleasant and user-friendly experience (especially as one can customise the appearance of the type to suit one’s aging eyes). But best of all, I’ve been able to widen the scope of my reading through opportunistic scavenging for bargain crime. Gems have come my way through the Kindle Daily Deal, while others are simply waiting to be found in the course of browsing. There’s some very good stuff out there that costs very little, and because they’re so reasonably priced, I’m willing to take a flyer on novels I might not otherwise try – which is no doubt the idea. In any case, it’s having the effect of allowing me to broaden my horizons and to fill in the gaps for good authors I’ve missed to date. So far I’ve snapped up low cost (or even free) crime from the US, Norway, Iceland and the UK, and now have a nice range of different types of novels stored on the Kindle to suit different types of crime-reading mood.
That’s not to say that I’ll ever give up the wondrous paper book. I’ll continue to buy crime in indie and charity bookshops, as I’ll always love the feel of a book in my hand, especially when having a nice hot bath at the end of a long working day. That’s one advantage the Kindle will never have – and that’s quite OK by me.