I remember when I got my first Kindle way back in 2008, it was a clunky wedge-shaped device, but I was excited to get my hands on my very first e-reader. Though by no stretch of the imagination was the Kindle the first e-reader, at the time the devices were an extremely niche and expensive. In fact, shortly before the launch of the product, I remember listening to a technology podcast, and one of the hosts was talking about the sheer uselessness of e-readers in general. He thought that the Kindle would come and go amounting to nothing but a footnote in history. Well the Kindle did a little bit better than what that particular host thought it would, a lot better.
From my point of view, one of the reasons why it was so successful was that Amazon did something that was truly unprecedented. They did something that no one would have expected a major corporation to do, they gave something away for free. They gave their customers who bought into the Kindle from the beginning free cellular service so they could always have access to the Kindle e-book store, and so the reading revolution began. With the success of their hardware, Amazon eventually expanded their portfolio of readers with software. The Kindle went from a dedicated device to be available on just about any and every screen the company could get onto. As the ways to read Kindle materials grew, I began to move away from using my dedicated reading device until I eventually abandoned the dedicated device altogether.
As time passed, I would pull up the books I wanted to read on either an iPad, Fire or even a web browser and over time I began to see just how badly my habit of reading began to dwindle. But this past Father’s Day, I got a new Kindle, and I immediately loaded Theros: Godsend, Part 1, a book I had on my fire that I had been trying to read for quite some time. And within the matter of a couple of days, I read more than I had when it was simply on my Fire. It wasn’t because I wasn’t interested in the book because the book was based on Magic the Gathering’s set of cards that were inspired by Greek Mythology and I love anything based on that subject.
Once I realized how much more I had read with the dedicated device I began to think about why I had been able to read so much more with the dedicated device. With such a chunk taken out of the book, I took a moment, and I started to honestly think about why I was having so much trouble reading the book when it was available on a device that wasn’t dedicated to reading. And just like that the answer clicked in my mind, a Fire is a tablet, and just like any tablet, it’s a mini computer which means there are other things to do than just read a book. A fact that will tempt even the most dedicated of readers from actually reading on the device. But when it comes to a dedicated Kindle, there is no choice but to read since that is what the device is designed for reading.
So go get a new Kindle e-reader and find either an old favorite or explore the store for a new entry and explore the world the words inside are creating.