Tackling my Kindle / Before I Fall

Friday, May 20, 2011

Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

Everyone has reviewed this book, so I’m going to skip the big review and talk more about the fact that this was my very first Kindle read. I got a Kindle for Christmas but have been resisting the whole e-book thing for so long that I couldn’t just switch over immediately. I’ve read e-books before, but it was on my iPhone or through e-mail using DailyLit.com. That’s different in my mind, because it’s a way to read when I have no other option. A Kindle is something I could read at home on the couch, and I would rather just pick up a “real” book.

I wanted to dive in though and to do that I needed to find the right gateway book. People kept telling me to pick a fast read for my first Kindle book. I also wanted a book that I didn’t think I would want to keep to re-read. After reading hundreds of reviews about various books, I finally chose Before I Fall and it was perfect. I started it and couldn’t put it down, which was exactly what I wanted. It made me think of it as picking up my book, not picking up my e-reader.

The book itself is great. It opens with Sam, a popular high school senior, dying in a car wreck. The rest of the book is Sam repeating that same day over and over. It really is Mean Girls meets Groundhog’s Day, as so many have described it. The characters are addictive and the plot never pauses. I was worried that the repetitive premise would get old fast, but it never did.

I would recommend both the book and finding a fast read if you’re struggling to pick up your e-reader. I think a good mystery would work well too. I’m never going to stop reading regular books, but not I’m more comfortable picking up my Kindle.

**SIDENOTE: I am struggling with the price of e-books. Unless it’s a book I know I’ll love or a special edition (hello Penguin hardcovers), I almost never spend $10 to $15 on a single book. I read way too much to be able to afford that. I use PaperBackSwap, used bookstores and library book sales and average about $2 per book.

I’ve checked out eBookFling, but so far I’m not impressed. It seems like the vast majority of books I want to read either aren’t available for lending at all or there just aren’t any available at the moment. Until library books become available on Kindles (which I hear will happen by the end of the year), I won’t be reading too many books on my e-reader.

Do you guys have any Kindle tips?


Sandy Nawrot said...

My first Kindle read was The Help, which was also perfect! But you definitely picked the right book. It wasn't a short book but I read it in like two days. My book club just picked it as our read for July.

As for tips, all of the classics that are public domain are free (or close to free). Also, more and more publishers are offering review books in the e-format as well. I know our library in Orlando has e-books for the Nook and Kindle. So there are cheap options.

Kristi said...

I just ordered a Kindle for my little brother for his birthday, so I'm definitely going to see what your readers have to say. I do know that project gutenberg has all their books in kindle format. The expense of the ebooks is what has kept me from getting an ereader as well.

I'm glad you liked Before I Fall. I liked it much more than I expected to. I loved Kent and the transformation of Sam.

Cori said...

I'm the same way with you when it comes to only buying used books and swapping. I just can't afford to keep myself in new books! Most of what I read on my Kindle is free stuff off Amazon. They have a Top 100 Free list that I check weekly and I usually download stuff off the list, or find other books for under $4. NetGalley is also a great source for free pre-releases.

I still read paper books at home almost exclusively. But the Kindle is perfect for my purse and for traveling (it's the only "book" I'm bringing to Italy next week!).

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - Oh The Help would have been perfect too. I loved that one. Thank you for the tips too. I've downloaded quite a few free classics and those are keeping me busy for now.

Kristi - Kent was wonderful and I loved watching Sam mature.

Cori - I'll have to check out NetGalley. Also, you're brave to only take your Kindle on a trip. I'd be terrified that it would somehow break and I'd be left without a book.

Jenners said...

Glad you started using your Kindle. I think it doesn't take long to really forget that you are reading on the Kindle once you get going. I LOVE the Kindle for chunksters; it helps not to have to lug or hold a big giant book. Anything over 500 pages is pretty much a Kindle book for me. As far as buying, I tend to look for newer releases that I can't easily get elsewhere (like Paperback Swap ... I've been on the waiting list for 2 years for some books and I can't always wait that long.) I compare the prices and usually the Kindle version is cheaper than a hardcover. And if it is a chunkster, then the Kindle version usually wins out anyway. As you use it more (especially when traveling) it will come to feel like second nature. I think I read that Amazon is going to start working with libraries to lend out Kindle books at some point so that will be a plus too.

Mumsy said...

I...just don't like Kindle. I don't like that it doesn't feel like a book or smell like a book, and I don't like not being able to leaf backward efficiently to find that quote in the first third of the book that I wanted to use in my review. Maybe for travel, though.

I really want to read this book, but like you, don't want to own it...guess I will have to reserve it at the library! (Funny how that used to be my FIRST option, and now it has become my option of last resort.)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jenners - I've been waiting for some PBS for two years too! I think I will end up using it for many of the things you mentioned, new books, chunksters, all of those would be perfect.

Mumsy - I love having an actual book in my hands, but I think Kindles (or other e-readers) have their place. I won't ever stop reading paper books, but my Kindle will work well for some things.

tracy said...

i haven't been able to get into my kindle either. i hate to admit it but i got it for christmas and it's still in the box. i just love the physicality of books and so far ... i'm not digging the same thing about the kindle. the weight and/or size is off or something.

Jeanne said...

As someone who likes to leaf backwards and forwards, what bothers Mumsy would bother me, too. But I was looking for tips for my daughter here, as she's getting a Kindle from her grandparents as a high school graduation gift. Good things to know, thanks!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

tracy - Mine sat unused until I read this (for 3.5 months), which I felt awful about. Even now I haven't read a second book on it yet.

Jeanne - I feel like I might have used a Kindle more in college. I always carried a book around with me, but I also had my giant text books to carry, usually for a whole day. I was also going through a major classics phase and most of those books are free. I hope it works for your daughter.