Purge Report: All My Children

This is part of an ongoing series of blog posts about things I’m purging from my apartment and why I’m getting rid of them. 

The first time heard about the Amazon Kindle I was offended.

I thought, “Amazon has gone too far this time! First they kill off brick and mortar book stores and now they want to destroy the printed the page? Ridiculous!”

My opinion changed after I was seated next to a woman reading a book on a Kindle on a plane. She had nothing but good things to say about the device, but even then I was skeptical.

“I don’t know,” I said, holding up the copy of The Best Liad Plans I had borrowed from the library. “I still enjoy turning the pages the old fashioned way. Plus you don’t need to plug in a book.”

She let me hold the Kindle and read a few pages. I was impressed by how good it felt in my hand. Then she showed me the one feature that would change my life forever: she made the font bigger.

I’m blind as a bat and I read a lot. It’s pretty difficult for me to read some books unless I’m in direct sunlight, and reading before bed can be a struggle, even with a good bedside lamp. I was hooked.

The dedicated eReader is my favourite mobile device. It does one thing, and it does it well. The screen reminds me of an Etch-N-Sketch and living in a small space, my eReaders let me have an extensive collection of books without taking up a lot of space. They also make taking books out of the library that much simpler (except that the Vancouver Public Library doesn’t let you renew a book that you haven’t finished). They’re light, they’re elegant, and personal. The problem is I’m addicted to buying them.

For about three years, if Kindle or Kobo released a new model of eReader, I would buy it. Friends teased me about my eReader addiction, telling me I was defeating the purpose of owning digital books.

“They’re like my children,” I would say. “I love them all.”

At my worst I had six eReaders standing between two bookends next to my bed. Like any addict, I had a laundry list of reasons of why I kept them around. The fact of the matter was that I only used two: my Kindle Paperwhite 3G and my Kobo Aura HD. I was literally charging the extras and using them to prove to myself they were still useful.

I finally grew a pair and got rid of four of them. I gave my Kobo Mini to a friend, and I sold the rest on Craig’s List.

Kindle WiFi

Amazon Kindle Wifi

Amazon Kindle Wifi

This Kindle replaced my Kindle 3G with keyboard. The first generation of Kindle was a great device but I found the keyboard got in the way of my thumbs when I held the reader at the bottom. When I was using my first Kindle, I often thought it would be the perfect device if only Amazon could get rid of the keyboard and put the page turners on on both sides of the reader. The updated Kindle WiFi solved both those problems, and it was under a hundred dollars. A few weeks after I bought it, Amazon released the Kindle Touch.

I loved my Kindle Wifi; it was light and fit in my jeans pocket comfortably. I bought a beautiful saddle coloured cover for it which made it a pleasure to look at and hold in my hand. After I bought the Kindle Paperwhite, I justified keeping this one around to use when I was doing cardio at  the gym. I got so used to the touch screen on the Paperwhite, that when I went back to read on the WiFi, I kept touching the screen to turn the pages.

Saddle cover for the Kindle Wifi

Saddle cover for the Kindle Wifi

I sold this model on Craig’s List for $60, just $10 less than what I was asking for (one asshole asked if I would give it to him for $20).

The guy I sold it to contacted me while I was away on vacation. After a bit of text-tag, we finally connected outside of the office building where I work. He wanted to test the WiFi by tethering the Kindle to his Android phone. The connection didn’t work and I panicked. The Kindle had never given me any trouble before. He ended up buying it anyway, and texted me the next day to let me know it worked just fine.

Kindle Paperwhite WiFi with Ads

Kindle Paperwhie with ads

Kindle Paperwhite with ads

I bought this Kindle on Craig’s list before it was  released in Canada. I paid $200 CDN for it, even though what I really wanted was the 3G model without ads. Then I went and spent another $40 on the padded cover designed to look like an antique book. If I had waited another couple of months, I could have bought the model I really wanted from Amazon Canada for the same price, but I’m Koo-Koo-for-Kindle.

Verso antique book eReader cover

Verso antique book eReader cover

Both items served me well, but after a year or so I got tired of seeing ads for offers I couldn’t take advantage of, so I upgraded to the model I wanted from the start.

I justified keeping this model as long as I did for the purpose of travel, the gym, and having a backup in case something happened to the 3G. I also used this one to send articles to and for personal documents. On the occasions when I did actually reach for it, the battery was dead and I would have to charge it, defeating the purpose of having a back up.

I sold this one for a $100 to a lovely Irish lady on Craig’s List on Thanksgiving Day. I have a feeling it found a good home.

Kobo Glo

Kobo Glo

Kobo Glo

This was one of my favourite eReaders. I loved the rubbery casing and the rounded corners. It was very pleasing to look at and hold. I used this mostly for library books. I found the Moby Dick cover at Chapters on Robson. I paid $40 for the cover, and then a couple of weeks later they were reduced the price to $10. This is why I should never make an impulse purchase.

Mody Dick eReader cover by Out of Print

Mody Dick eReader cover by Out of Print

I kept the Kobo Glo around because of the cover. People would always “ooh and ahh” when they realized it was an eReader, giving me an undeserved sense of pride.

I ended up buying a Kobo Aura HD because of the larger screen size (since I make the font so big when I read). I tried to use the Kobo Glo at work or when I was away from the apartment, but I found the devices didn’t synch up very well with each other.

I sold the Kobo Glo to a lovely Spanish guy on Craig’s list for $100.

Now that I’ve sold the readers, I hardly notice that they’re gone. Kindle has just released the new Kindle Voyage, which looks pretty stunning, but I think I’m going to sit this model out. But who knows, I could be listing my Kindle 3G on Craig’s List this time next year.

About garpinbc

Author of the forthcoming "Same Love" published by Lorimer, as well as the memoir "Foodsluts at Doll & Penny's Cafe", and the YA short, "Haters Gotta Hate".
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