I Love My Kindle

Or more accurately,  my husband’s Kindle. He got one for his birthday.

I borrowed it a few nights ago to read my manuscript and I haven’t let go of it since. I love this thing.

I had no idea how much I’d like it from a writer’s point of view.

I’d been planning on printing up the latest draft of my manuscript all week, trying to figure out if I should print it up from home or at work. At home, it’s a long, time-consuming process that can take upwards of three hours and a good portion of the ink cartridge.

Or I could try to print it up at work when no one’s looking. But you know, someone’s always looking. Always asking, ‘What’s that?’ Or ‘Who’s hogging the printer?’ And then they grab your stuff and see ‘Pg. 100’ and they give you this really snotty look like you’re writing a novel at work.

So I’ve been making-do by reading the latest draft of my manuscript on my laptop in bed. I’m 7 months pregnant and everything sort of hurts all the time. I sit at a desk all day anyway and by the time I get home, I really need to put my feet up. But it’s been awkward and weird — working in bed with the laptop — I worry that the laptop will rest on my belly and give the baby radiation or something (I know, crazy, but I can’t even take an Ibuprofen, so you get sort of paranoid about these kind of things). I’ve been propping the computer up with pillows or lap top bags so it won’t touch my stomach, but then my back still hurts and it’s just been an entirely uncomfortable way to read a manuscript.

Enter the Kindle.

You email your document to yourself and that’s it.

So far, I’ve only read my own stuff on the Kindle…and I’m shocked by the experience. But in a really good way.

I saw errors that I haven’t seen in multiple drafts, either in print or on the computer.  You can write yourself little notes for errors to fix and bookmark pages to work on.

I do find the navigation a bit weird. If you’re used to a Smart Phone or any kind of i-touch technology, the Kindle can feel a bit backward with its arrows and navigation wheel for moving up and down. For the first hour, I kept wanting to touch the screen and scroll through the manuscript, but I got used to the manual keypad pretty quickly.

Other handy feature: the size. This sucker is small. You can slip it in your purse, bring it to work, slug it to the park with your kid, read it while your little ones are taking a bath. When you’re grabbing every minute you can to get a little work in, the size of this thing really comes in handy. Before, I had to lug my laptop around or carry a brick-sized print version, neither of which was extremely convenient when you’re trying to squeeze in a quick half-hour of work on your lunch or when you’re chasing a three-year-old around. I can only imagine how much agents, editors, creative writing instructors and writing students can use this thing.

As an MFA grad myself, I feel like I’ve spent a small lifetime standing at the copier, sometimes in heightened anticipation (What will they think?), often in boiling frustration (Goshdamnabit, page five jammed again! I’ll never get this done!) How great it will be (and cost-saving) to read and share work on a Kindle.

Anyway, all I can say is: Kindle. Highly recommend it.

The only thing I’d change about it is….maybe make it an iPad. But for $100, I’ll keep the Kindle.

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