I love reading! My love affair with reading books started in the school library and it has only grown stronger over the years. My love for reading convinced me to have my own little library a few years ago with a collection of over 500 books.
I used to spend almost 10-15% of my salary on books every month. I would grab my hands on books whenever a title attracted me. I would spend hours on book stores browsing books completely forgetting about time.
I collected books on spirituality, business, management, biographies, investment, self-development, relationships and travel etc. The huge pile of book at home was becoming too difficult to manage.
I lived in a rented place so whenever I would be required to change a flat, it was far heavier and difficult to transport the books than all the furniture combined. This led to a lot of tension at home because the books started to occupy a lot of space.
My mother gave me an ultimatum to sell off the books or she would throw them out herself. I had to do something.
The most important thing to highlight here is that I had only read about 10% of the books from my collection. I would read some selected books from my collection again and again while completely ignoring the rest.
I still couldn’t resist my urge to buy new books. Every time I went to a bookstore, I bought a new one.
Back in 2007, Flipkart had just started as an e-platform for buying books. I started ordering books from Flipkart to save the travel time of visiting the bookstore.
Enter Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle was something I started considering buying. However, like a true book reader, I was resisting the purchase as long as I could. I thought using an electronic device for reading would be an insult to the process of reading.
Moreover what fun in reading from a machine when I can’t even touch, feel and smell my books? I took pride in my reading habit and did not want to replace physical books with an electronic device as yet.
Finally, after years of procrastinating, I decided to buy the latest kindle Paperwhite from amazon in 2018.
This completely transformed my life. Not only was I spending more time in reading from my latest possession, I also started selling my paper books off.
This surprised me because selling my books was the last thing I would have even thought of doing before I bought the Kindle. In fact, not selling the books was a major source of tension with my mom.
What is funny is that I did not sell my books to a second hand book store; I sold them to a kabadiwala (ragman) at 10 rupees a kilo.
Reading from Amazon Kindle was a huge paradigm shift for me. But once I got the hang of it, I could not take it off of my hands. Kindle paperwhite exceeded my expectations. It has everything a true book reader would expect and more so.
The device has an inbuilt dictionary for instant checking of meanings of words. It has inbuilt light to allow reading in the dark. Unlike other electronic devices, its screen causes no strain in the eyes. And it is very light weight to carry around.
The most exciting part is that the little device can hold thousands of books and once fully charged, the battery easily lasts up to a month even after hours of daily reading.
These features made reading a fun experience for me. I no longer have to depend on light to read. Nor do I have to worry about finding storage for my books because my little device can hold a lot of them.
Kindle is a traveler’s delight. Unlike books, I can carry it wherever I go and read wherever I want; be it a metro, bus, car or a flight. The size of the words can be changed according to one’s comfort. The kindle device is truly special.
How I saved money
Since I have bought the Kindle paperwhite two years ago, I haven’t purchased a single paper book. This is because the Kindle has opened a new world of reading for me.
There are millions of Kindle books to download into the device and read from. Besides the convenience of being able to carry the device everywhere there is another hidden surprise i.e. Kindle books cost less.
A kindle book costs at least between 10-20% less than the paper books. Besides, there are thousands of kindle books that are free to download.
I downloaded hundreds of books in the last two years and I must have saved thousands of rupees. The icing on the cake is I have had a wonderful reading experience.
I am no longer dependent on external light before deciding to read a book. I can even read after switching off the lights in total privacy when everyone is asleep. Amazing isn’t it!
The kindle device does have its pros when it comes to reading vis a vis a paper book, the idea is not to compare the two. The idea is not to replace people’s reading habit completely. The era of paper books is not going to end anytime soon.
The feeling of holding a new book and reading from it is always going to keep ‘real’ book lovers stick to it. At the same time, there are also a growing number of people especially the millennials who are switching to e-book reading device like the Kindle.
Couple of years ago, I made that change and I have been able to eliminate a lot of clutter from my home. This gave me the peace of mind to focus fully on reading without the worry of finding a place to store the books.
I still have many paper books that I go back to from time to time. I am not willing to let go of them anytime soon and neither should you. My books have a sentimental value to me and reminds me of that phase of life when I purchased them.
The idea is to create a balance and we can try and create that balance in our reading habit too. It does have its perks; most important among them is the peace of mind.