The Mother’s Day that changed my life

Kindle 1Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!

Now, you may be asking, “What does Mother’s Day have to do with a blog about e-books and the digital life?” Actually, it turns out, quite a bit.

In 2008,  at my request,  my husband and children bought me one of the first generation Kindles as an early Mother’s Day present. I am not exaggerating when I say that that gift changed my life. Back in 2011, I started an e-book blog. Obviously, I wasn’t ready to be serious about blogging. It only lasted for two blog entries, LOL! But in the first entry on that blog, I shared my feelings about my first Kindle.

Here is an excerpt from that first e-book blog entry:

At the end of April, 2008, I got my first Kindle. It cost $400.00 and it totally changed my life.

I had been a avid reader since childhood, but my vision was starting to deteriorate. I had seriously minimized my reading due to the headaches and discomfort that it caused.

People who hear me talk about eReaders now would be very surprised to learn how I struggled with the decision to buy that first device. Like many avid readers, I too loved the physicality of the reading experience, the touch and the feel of a book. But, at the end of the day, it all boiled down to the fact that I was just tired of not being able to read.

I was also worried about the technology quickly becoming obsolete. I have been an early adopter of various tech devices before and know how quickly that it can change. I lived on Amazon’s Kindle forums for a while, and listened to the experiences and the stories that users told. (As I recall, at that time, the first wave of Kindles had sold out and the second wave was ready for shipping.)

I really was like a kid in a candy store in the first days with my new Kindle. It only took a few minutes to get the operations down. I then started loading up the device with many of my favorite books. I bought digital versions of all of Anne McCaffrey’s books.  I re-read Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Artur’s Court and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan. I discovered horror writer Scott Sigler. In short, I was in heaven because I could read again! And I haven’t really looked back.

Even though I have now had surgery on both my eyes, my vision is still somewhat impaired and I no longer read print books.  I have gone on  to own almost every Kindle model available as well as many other e-readers. I own several Nooks and other brands, but I always come back to the Kindle because of the ease of use. These days I use a Kindle Paperwhite for my everyday reader.  My husband even has one of his own now.

But I still have that first, original Kindle. And, yes, it still works, although some of the newer e-books don’t display correctly on the device. The original came with a removable battery and seven years later, I am on battery number two. The first one lasted for almost six years!

What has also lasted is the passion for e-reading that that first Kindle ignited in me. It has been nearly eight years since the first Kindle came on the market and went brought the concept of e-reading to the mainstream. It saddens me that there are still so many books not available in an e-book format.

Every time a well-known digital hold-out like Charlotte’s Web or To Kill a Mockingbird comes out as an ebook, someone says “All the important books are now available digitally.” Yet everyday, I find titles that are still not available as e-books. And some of the prices? YIKES! So no matter what anyone says, there are a lot of books that need to be digitized. Backlist digital pricing is still not reasonable. We still have more work to do….

So how about you? Ever have a tech gift that changed your life?