Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas aftermath, in which I fall in love with a Kindle

Another year, another holiday season almost over. I really enjoy Christmas and New Year's and best of all, the time off from work. I'm very fortunate to have a long vacation and I'm very thankful for that.

Yesterday was sunny but still cold and quite uncomfortable to be outdoors. I went out briefly and put up my new birdfeeders (you see the largest one above). This one has a panel divider inside so that you can put one type of seed on one side and a different kind on the other side. We have a large number of cardinals this year and they are so beautiful, especially in the snow. I don't believe there is a prettier thing than a redbird in the snow.

Another great gift this year was the Kindle. I thought I wanted one last year and had it on my Christmas list but decided that it would not be for me. I am a book lover, as many of you already know, and the thought of reading a book on an electronic device wasn't that appealing to me. Well, here I am eating my words. I love my Kindle!

I love the weight of it and the screen really does look like a printed page. It makes it easy to read in bed at night although I do wish it had some type of backlight illumination. I also got a nifty little book light though which takes care of that problem. It is also easy to change the font sizes to suit your failing eyesight requirements.

I love the free books that are available on Amazon for the Kindle. They include a lot of classics which I should have read a long time ago but didn't (and I was an English major, mind you). The first book I downloaded was "The Secret Garden". Michael told me that it would be the appropriate one to choose (I collect editions of the book). I've also downloaded "Dracula" and a collection of Edgar Allan Poe stories. Right now, I'm reading an older book by my favorite writer, Ruth Rendell. Amazingly, I'm finding that I'm reading faster on the Kindle! I'm really loving it!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. So glad to hear you love your new Kindle, Phillip. I got them for my grandsons, 11 and 12 and was hoping there would be free books for them to download. I will suggest the Secret Garden, one of my all time faves. Stay warm! :-)

  2. I have seen those type of birdfeeders, you'll have to let me know how well it works. I have often wondered if I would be willing to give up hard copies for a kindle. I'm glad you like yours!
    I adore the movie Secret Garden.

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  4. A Kindle, eh?

    You've just made this Barnes & Noble girl very sad...:(


    Glad you had a good Christmas!

  5. The Secret Garden - wonderful choice! One of my all-time favorite books.

  6. Two friends of mine got the Kindle for christmas. Now that I have seen and held theirs it makes me want one. I might take the plunge.

  7. I discovered "The Secret Garden" late in life but it has remained a favorite. I wish I had read it as a child.

    Kyna, the Nook was mighty tempting and I went back and forth trying to decide. I've always been an Amazon fan but I like B&N as well. Basically, it came down to uncertainly and money!

  8. The Kindle must be the "it" gift of 2010. My mom, dad and brother all had one. They are really nice for my mom who has had some vision issues in the past few years, and this enables her to read books beyond the large print section of the local library.

  9. Yep, I got one too. I haven't had time to settle in and read yet with all the holiday hubbub, but I think I'm going to love it! I got the free download of Anna Karenina and an $8 download of Gone With The Wind.

  10. Your post made me smile! I'm on my second Kindle...bought my first way back when it was first introduced...I'll admit I still love books - especially cookbooks but the convenience and ease of the Kindle is hard to beat! Glad you're enjoying your Christmas gift and Happy New Year!

  11. I love my Kindle and have tons downloaded on it classics and new but I still like a good old fashioned book to read. I've always got several books started and right now have one on the Kindle, one on iPod, one in the car on disc and one real book I carry too. That doesn't even count the ones I have in various bathrooms throughout the house. Yes, I love to read! Happy New Year.

  12. Ah, Ruth Rendell: I've been known to curl up at night with her books as well. Dare I say, I'm in love with an iPad;-)
    All good wishes for a healthy, joyful 2011, Phillip!!

  13. My hubby got a kindle too and he loves it. Enjoy!

  14. A wonderful gift to get Phillip! We got my mom a Nook and she is learning to work it. She loves to read and I hope she will embrace it at 82 years old. I really enjoyed helping her with it and now wish I had one too!!

  15. C.C., I've been thinking about reading "Gone With The Wind". I got the Blue-Ray DVD for Christmas and just watched it over the weekend. It is on my list of "to read" books.

    Whimsical, I don't think I'd like gardening or cookbooks on the Kindle. I'll stick to the books for those. I have to have the eye candy.

    Jill, I'm trying to learn how to juggle more than one book at a time.

    Alice, another Rendell fan, hooray. Most people I recommend her to tell me they don't like her.

    Thanks memsnyc and Eve!

  16. I'm a book lover from way back, and swore I had no need of a Kindle or Nook. Books are free from the library, right? Well, I downloaded the Nook app for my phone and I LOVE it! It's just so handy to always have a book with me. Still have the real thing next to my bed, but there's a place in my life for both!

  17. Reassuring to know another book lover has tested and approves of the Kindle and other electronic 'readers'.
    I'm old school, very old school when the subject is libraries and books. Bring back the lovely old oak and maple card files. A PC and mouse applied to stagnant options on a monitor take every iota of excitement out of searching for a book or author. As a student librarian from 4th grade - 12th and then to discover the riches of a college library......heaven! I love the stacks, the search for the 'officially noted' connotation in books of fiction; the easily open manner of a well read book as opposed to the stiff open of a new one, the softness of old book print paper. My wary approach to the Kindle, et al, is almost to the degree of having garlic hidden in my pocket and a crucifix chained securely on my neck, lol. I may be the one person going to her grave without a 'hands on, eyes on' electronic reader experience. Thank you Phillip, the absolute, unthinkable approach to reading seems less threatening, a tiny bit.
    My fear is the eventual disappearance of bound books. This circumstance must never happen. For that matter, take me back to the horse and buggy era of transportation. Although slower and possessing its own difficulties the era was also 'green' as we now say.
    Hitching up required exercise, knowledge of horses ( a wonderful thing), a supply of hay/fodder which was then returned to the soil re-fertilizing automatically eliminating the need for chemicals. I tend to run on, you see, lol. A good word on the Kindle from another 'booky' is a good thing. Do you suppose, at some point in time, a disgruntled social group will hold a 'Kindle burning'? I'm not at all impressed by many of these new-fangled electronics.
    Old people and old ways = a good coupling. Enjoy your Kindle and update us in a year. Will you still be enamored or will you return to lovely tomes with so many charms?

  18. Glad you like your Kindle, Phillip. I'll have to tell Todd. By the way, I found a 24 drawer wood card catalog file earlier this week! I've wanted one for a long time. I'm going to store sewing/knitting tools/notions in it.
    I agree re: your comment on red birds in the snow.
    Happy New Year Phillip.

  19. Happy New Year, Phillip.
    I received my Kindle in October as an early Christmas present, and I love it. It is better than I thought it would be. I agree with everything you said about it. I, too, found that I am able to read faster and longer on the Kindle without eye strain. The free books are nice, too.

    Always Growing

  20. Dear Phillip, Wishing you a Great New Year! I am jealous and must get my own kindle someday soon! Good to read your review! I love the Secret Garden. It must be amazing to be able to store a library of books on your kindle!! May many blessings come your way in 2011! xo Carol

  21. I just got an iPad and have already started reading a book on it. I must say I love the backlighting on it. Now I can read in bed without making the hubby grumpy. I didn't realize there were free books available with the Kindle. Hmm, I'm going to have to look into that. Hope you have a great 2011 Phillip!

  22. I also love Ruth Rendell, her new book Portobello is awesome. I just finished it. The characters really come to life within the pages.

  23. What light did you buy for your Kindle? I just got one and can't adjust to the lack of contrast on the screen. I just read my first book on it and aiyeeeeee, I've lived with a constant headache for the days I spent reading. Now that I"m done with the book, no headache. :-/ I really, really want to like it and not have to return it.... I'm hoping something that will boost the screen contrast will make it easier on my eyes (and yes, I tried reading the book in a giant font...wasn't too happy about that either).

    Just discovered your blog and l o v e it (um, unlike the Kindle). :-)