If there is one thing I love besides chocolate . . . it is a book. A good, old-fashioned, hardcover book that has a unique paper smell. The whisper of each page turning while you sip your cup of coffee. The feel of the book’s binding in your hand – as you reach for that last piece of chocolate.
Did that sound romantic? Good. I was trying to make it so.
Yet even though I love books with big, bright, beautiful pictures, I came to a decision recently. After talking with Lowell of the pros and cons of a kindle, we decided to purchase a simple kindle that can only be used for reading. I wanted nothing that remotely resembled a game-playing gadget, as that causes lots of arguing and zombies around our home. (We’ve put those away, but that’s a post for another time.) After looking on ebay, Lowell was able to find a used kindle in excellent shape – and for a good amount of money less.
Why Did We Make The Switch?
Here was our equation that ultimately helped us make the switch: in previous years, we had used the 1 or 2-DVD plan on Netflix which cost us around $8-$15 a month. And even then, we forgot to send it back very often and so didn’t use it enough to justify it.
Kindle Unlimited is $9.99 a month and you can read as many books as you want from their 600,000 free selection – as long as they are on the Kindle Unlimited plan. You can have 10 books out at a time, sort of like a library limit. Once you are done, you return the book and download a new one.
But this is why we did it: we have tried to do all we can to encourage our children to read. Being able to not only read, but to read well, opens up a whole new world to a child. We would rather see them reading than watching a video – reading lends the imagination to all sorts of adventures! And as an adult, being able to read keeps your mind sharp and also helps you stay well-informed on the necessary decisions thrown at you.
How We Work It
I made a list on our Amazon account called Kids Kindle List. Then I bookmarked the Manage Content and Device’s page on my web browser so the children could easily add or remove their own books.
In the beginning, I walked them through it thoroughly so they knew how to find the book they wanted, download it, or save it to the kindle list. Now anytime I want to, I can bring up their kindle list on our Amazon account and either approve or delete the books they have put on there. Same with the Kindle. I read on it enough that I keep tabs on what books the children are reading.
Too much parental control? Not in this world. I don’t like my children to have free rein to read just anything.
This was one of the reasons we got a kindle. We were finding that our local library did not have the best selection of good, wholesome books for the children – especially as they reached the Young People’s section. Now I am not saying Amazon is any better, but at least the selection is much bigger! There might still be the same witchcraft books we see at the library (which I will never allow my children to get), but to combat that are thousands of good books at our fingertips.
What We Read
Once I realized how many books would be available on instant download, I began to get really excited. I mean REALLY EXCITED! If you follow this blog much, you’ll know that both Lowell and I love to read and research. This kindle is another avenue to combat the limitations of our local library in the areas of research . . . and to also keep us from having to research so much via being on a computer.
For the kids, they have downloaded books on these topics recently:
- Fishing – fly fishing, fly tying, trout fishing
- Football – everything you need to know about quarterbacks, plays, and just plain football
- Jokes – okay, this one I really limited to ones I knew were very clean
- Drawing – how to draw anything
- Practical tips – Terrel got a huge kick out of these books! He told me how that by chewing gum while cutting an onion will keep me from crying. I haven’t yet tested that theory.
- Animals – all kinds of animals. Did you know an octopus has no bones in its body and can squeeze through a hole no larger than its eyeball? Yeah, I didn’t either until Logan informed me Sunday morning while I was cooking bacon!
- The Borrowers – Megan loved this one!
- so much more, but here are a few pictures from their kindle list:
For myself, I’m having fun researching all kinds of things. There is a whole world open to me about the dangers of sugar, how to mulch my garden, adrenal fatigue and what causes it, and of course, my favorite historical fiction author for when life gets too serious – Georgette Heyer. She requires a good chocolate and coffee to match her Regency wit!
Here are a few pics from my kindle list:
What We Don’t Like
Since you asked . . . we are selfish and five of us must share one kindle. I warned you it was selfish! However, we are learning to each download only a couple books at a time and to take turns with reading it.
I will also mention that there is nothing that can take the place of a huge book with vivid photographs of sharks and lizards. Even after using the kindle for a month, we went to the library last week and came home with a big stash of pictures books, atlases, and encyclopedias for the kids.
And it was a quiet afternoon.
Other than that, we love it! Price-wise, it was a good swap.
Imagination-wise, it was an even better swap.