Digital Bookshelves

I’ve officially moved out of my old apartment and pack to my hometown. The last three days have been filled with lots of boxes and the possessions I somehow managed to squeeze into them. It been really surprising just how much “stuff” I’ve acquired in the last couple years, but the bright side to all this unpacking is that it’s given me an opportunity to weed out all of the books, clothes, and miscellaneous objects that I just don’t need or use anymore.

Today, I spent the morning organizing my bookshelf, which had increasingly become home for stacks of books (many of them unread) acquired as birthday or Christmas gifts or as required reading for school. Even after reorganizing and eliminating some of my books, the shelves are far from full, but the whole process got me thinking about the Amazon Kindle.

First of all, I’m a big fan of physical media, be it DVDs, CDs, videogames, or – yes – books. I like the sense of owning a physical object, placing it on a shelf, and being able to look at it and say “yes, that is mine.” I know some people find this weird, especially with services like iTunes and Steam (both of which I use) being so prolific, but I just prefer to have something tangible.

In a perfect world, I could buy a physical book and get a digital copy for free (or for a couple dollars more). A small premium would be worth the convenience. Much like my netbook, I’m starting to see the niche in my life that an e-reader like the Kindle or the Nook could fill. And at $140, they’re quickly approaching “impulse buy” status.That being said, I’m starting to come around to the idea of the Kindle. I’ve been a commuter – either by bus or light rail – for the last three years, and I’ve often literally felt weighed down by the small assortment of books I carry with me. I’ve also felt it when I occasionally travel: I once took half a dozen books with me on a week-long trip to Virginia. It would have been so much more convenient to simply have a small collection of reading material synced to my Kindle.

And who knows! Maybe I’ll actually start reading more if I get one. I know this much though: if Manga ever starts getting published in Kindle editions, my wallet is in big trouble.

Do you use a Kindle or another eBook reader? What do you think of it?

Comic SOurce: Penny Arcade